Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brighton begins utilizing water from Thornton

Beginning July 1, the city of Brighton will begin utilizing water from the city of Thornton’s water distribution system. The Thornton system uses chloramines as the primary disinfectant to keep its water distribution system free of disease-causing bacteria. Currently the city of Brighton utilizes chlorine. Both treated water supplies are safe for drinking, cooking, and bathing, and meet or exceed all State and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guidelines protecting water quality.
Special care needed for the following water customers only:

· Kidney Dialysis Patients

o Because water used in hemodialysis essentially comes in direct contact with the patient’s blood, both chlorine and chloramines must be removed prior to use in dialysis.

o Dialysis units may need to slightly alter their water purification to ensure chloramine removal.

o Dialysis units in the city have been notified of the water conversion.

o Home dialysis patients should contact their medical service provider for more information.

o While chloramines can cause health problems for patients if not removed prior to use in dialysis, chloraminated water is safe for kidney dialysis patients to drink, cook with, and bath in unless they have a compromised immune system or other medical condition that requires them to avoid drinking tap water.

o Ask your doctor if you have any questions about the conversion to chloramines and your specific treatment.

· Those who own aquatic pets

o Both chlorine and chloramines can be toxic to fish and should be removed prior to introduction of potable water into a fish tank.

o Boiling water or letting water sit for a few days will remove chlorine from water but will NOT remove chloramines.

o Chloramine-specific water conditioners are available for aquatic pet owners at pet stores, and activated carbon filters will remove both chlorine and chloramines.

o Contact your vet or local pet store for their recommendations.

· Those who operate select industrial processes that require purified water

o Contact the city of Brighton Utilities Department with specific questions.

About chloramines:

· Water treated with chloramines is completely safe to drink.

· The EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) have accepted chloramine treatment as an acceptable disinfectant method for distribution systems.

· Denver, Thornton, Westminster and Aurora are just a few examples of cities that utilize chloramines as their system disinfectant.

Due to various levels of water usage throughout the city, some neighborhoods may notice this change as soon as the introduction of the new water takes place, while other neighborhoods may not notice a difference for several months.

For more information, contact Dave Anderson, city of Brighton Utilities Department at 303-655-2102.


  1. As cities across the country switch to chloramine as a tap water disinfectant, citizens have been experiencing moderate to severe respiratory, digestive and/or skin symptoms. For more info. go here: chloramine.org.

  2. Chloramine's disinfection ability is far inferior to chlorine's. Actually, the type of chloramine they use to disinfect water is called monochloramine. There are two other kinds of chloramine, which are even less effective disinfectants and far more toxic, and water systems have to try to make sure that none of the monochloramine turns into either of these as the water wends its way through pipes and then sits in your home plumbing: dichloramine and trichloramine. Because of the chemistry of chloramine, however, where there is monochloramine, there is always at least a little dichloramine and trichloramine present as well. There can be more dichloramine and trichloramine present in the water, depending on the pH, water temperature and aerosolization of the water (like in a shower). It is very hard for water utilities to make sure the kind of chloramine is monochloramine where they do have control over it. It's anyone's guess what's going on with it in your home plumbing. The powers-that-be say that none of this is anything to worry about. I beg to differ...

    The World Health Organization says in its Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality Vol.2, 1996, Chapter 16, “Monochloramine is about 2000 and 100 000 times less effective than free chlorine [regular old chlorine] for the inactivation of E.coli and rotaviruses respectively. Monochloramine cannot therefore be relied upon as a primary disinfectant."

    Why monochloramibe is being used as a primary disinfectant there is beyond me. But then, after all the health effects chloramine is apparently causing all over U.S., including in my water district where 250+ people have reported respiratory, skin and/or digestive symptoms to a citizens group, People Concerned About Chloramine, in my water district since the switch to chloramine as a *secondary* disinfectant, why they would use monochloramine at all is beyond my comprehension.