What are chloramines? How to remove them from your pool safely

Chloramines are known to ensure that public drinking water is safe. However, they are not without side effects. If you are using the same water for your swimming pool, you might end up with pool water that has a chemical taste and causes skin and eye irritation. Unfortunately, removing them from water is much trickier than removing free chlorine. Using a standard carbon filter won’t be enough. In this article, we will be learning more about chloramines and how you can safely remove them from your pool:

What are chloramines?

Councils/shires/municipalities commonly use chloramines as a water disinfection agent to sterilize the drinking water. It is created when ammonia, as well as chlorine, is added to water. Many city water distributors use groundwater supplies such as underground aquifers or surface waters like reservoirs, large rivers and lakes. This water isn’t always the cleanest and might be teeming with microorganisms like protozoa and bacteria. In order to make this water clean and safe from waterborne diseases, it might be disinfected at a water treatment centre.

Traditionally, only chlorine was used for water disinfection. Adding chlorine to water initiates a process known as oxidation. The process results in the formation of a weak acid named hypochlorous acid with a neutral electrical charge. Once this acid penetrates the bacteria’s cell walls, it eliminates it. Now, chloramine has also become a popular disinfection agent.

Unfortunately, chlorine, as well as chloramines, have some side effects. Not only do they ruin the taste of water, but they also aggravate skin conditions. It can even corrode metal pipes. So, if you want to enjoy your pool safely, you have to get rid of the chloramines.

Why is it important to remove chloramines from your pool water?

As mentioned above, chloramines have some unfortunate side effects. Even though it keeps the water safe from harmful bacteria and protozoa, they are an irritant with corrosive properties. Let’s take a detailed look into some of the reasons why you should remove chloramines immediately from your water.

1. Eye and skin irritation

One of the biggest disadvantages of having chloramines in your pool is its ability to irritate your eyes and sinuses and aggravate skin conditions. If you or any of your family members have sensitive skin, they might end up with rashes after swimming in the pool. Skin conditions such as acne or eczema can get worse with chloramines.  If you require assistance, reach out to Fibreglass Pools Sydney.

It is also important to note the impact of chloramines on your eyes. Normal chlorine also causes eye irritation, but with chloramines, some people might end up with bloodshot, stinging eyes. It can also upset your mucous membranes, sinuses and nasal passages.

2. Odour and taste

Compared to chlorine, chloramines have less of a chemical aftertaste. However, you will still end up leaving your pool with a chemical or metallic taste. Chloramines also have a harsh smell.

3. Rubber deterioration

Prolonged exposure to chloramines can cause your rubber to degrade over time. This means that your seals, O-rings, and gaskets will break down. Chloramines will eat away the O-rings that seal your quick-connect fittings, which will lead to spring leaks. Some water filtration systems also use O-ring seals, such as ice filtration or UV purification systems. These systems will break down as well. Managing these repairs will cost you a lot.

4. Corrosion

Chloramines have corrosive properties as well that can damage your metal pipes. When corrosion control is not optimized, a process called nitrification occurs that converts the ammonia into nitrates. If this issue isn’t resolved, leaks are guaranteed.

How to remove chloramines from your pool safely?

Now that you understand why it is important to get rid of chloramines from your pool water, let’s get into how exactly you can do this:

1. Ultraviolet light

Ultraviolet systems have been used for dialysis procedures by the beverage and pharmaceutical industries for decades. They are now starting to be used for disinfecting pool water. By using UV light of a particular wavelength, you can get rid of bacteria and other pathogens. In order to break down chloramine compounds, you have to use UV light at a certain length of exposure and intensity.

2. Sodium Thiosulfate

This is a chlorine remover that can be used for dechlorinating pool water that has been over-chlorinated accidentally. Using reductive dechlorination, sodium thiosulfate can rid your pool of free chlorine and chloramine molecules.

3. Shock superchlorination

Shock super chlorination or shock breakpoint chlorination is a technique that is used for controlling the excess chloramines in your pool. However, it is crucial that you perform it correctly. You can perform this at the end of the day so that no one uses it after that. You must ensure maximum ventilation to remove chloramines that volatilize into the air. Depending on whether you have performed continuous breakpoint chlorination and the amount of ammonia present in the pool, you have to perform super chlorination fortnightly.

In order to perform this, you have to add sufficient chlorine and adjust the pH to 7.5 or lower to get a free chlorine concentration that is ten times the combined chlorine concentration. Your pool filtration and circulation systems will be working overnight. In the morning, the chloramines will be oxidized. The breakpoint will be reached when the total chlorine is free chlorine. You can hire a pool consultant to help out with the process. This will ensure that the shock super chlorination is performed safely and efficiently.

4. Ascorbic Acid

Also known as vitamin C, sodium ascorbate or ascorbic acid will neutralize chloramines as well as chlorine. You will need a large amount of acid to treat your pool. It will also lower the pool water’s pH considerably.


Chloramines are bad news for your pool. It will not only impact your pool experience but might cause health issues as well. In order to rid your pool of chloramines, you can use the above-mentioned measures. If you are not confident in your abilities, it is best to hire a professional to help out.

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