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309-691-WATR (9287)

5831 N. Knoxville Ave.
Peoria, IL 61614
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Hi, Everyone!

I wasn’t sure if you were all aware that Peoria transitioned to a new water treatment process on 2/14/12. This new process is called chloramination and uses ammonia in addition to chlorine to treat our water. This was due to a new EPA mandate that required IL American Water to transition to this particular treatment. I was active in the process of researching, questioning, and meeting - with our councilman, IL American Water representatives, the EPA and Peoria Public Health Department, to voice my concerns. I wanted to share what I found. This new process requires less chlorine, which is good, but leaves residual ammonia in the water, which is very hard to remove. It also increases the possibility of lead/copper leaching from pipes and is of special concern to those with pets, children or immune compromised individuals. I feel that people should be aware that there could be reactions to this new process. Here are a few links describing some of the health issues that have been associated with this treatment in other states:

http://chloramine.org/index.htm
http://www.freeh2otesting.com/chloramine.htm
http://www.epa.gov/ogwdw/disinfection/chloramine/pdfs/chloramine2.pdf

I am not convinced that this was necessary or that it is better than the old system. I have my doubts. But what I do know is that I’m not comfortable drinking or showering (showering being even more concerning in some ways) in water that now has ammonia levels higher than those that kill fish. I had to have my whole house carbon filtration system updated so as to remove the ammonia.

After much questioning, the guys at Superior Water (who installed my original system) were the ones who came through. They did a lot of digging and found a company in Florida that has been treating chloraminated water successfully. What they found was that while carbon filters will work initially, the ammonia will eat up the carbon very quickly and may well tear up the membranes on any RO systems as well. If you are seeing black “fines” coming through in your sink or toilet, it could be a sign that your system is breaking down.

I had them come and test my water and while my current whole-house system was taking out some of the ammonia, the levels were still quite a bit above those that kill fish. Sooooo, I had them install a CRS (chloramine reduction system) which uses a specialized, fine carbon dust w/a catalytic ion to remove the ammonia. I had it installed as a pre-filter to help save my current, whole-house system from destruction. They estimated that it would have been destroyed in 3-6 months without this step. After installation and running the tap for 1 minute, the water then tested at undetectable for ammonia. I am very relieved, although not happy about having to take this extra step to protect myself.

If you are concerned, Superior Water will come and do a free water analysis and check out existing equipment and then make recommendations. They are able to start from scratch or work with any pre-existing filtration systems to fine-tune and meet individual needs. It was very much worth it for my piece of mind. I definitely don’t want to be drinking/showering in water with our current levels of ammonia. Let me know if you have any questions. Hope this will be of help to you all.

-Kandy

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309-691-WATR (9287)