Chlorine or Chloramine? A look at the Cities of Canada. June 07, 2018 11:33

Chlorine has long been the go-to for the disinfection of city drinking water. In the last decade though there's been a move to chloramine as a residual disinfectant.

Chloramine is a much more stable molecule meaning it persists in the water better than chlorine. But this stability makes it a lot more difficult to remove from water. Knowing whether your city is using chlorine or chloramine will help you choose the correct piece of equipment to remove it.

Here's a list of the top 100 cities in Canada by population, showing whether they use chlorine or chloramine as their residual disinfectant.  Clicking on the city name will take you to the city web page.  Below this list, we've provided more info on how to remove both chlorine and chloramine from your home water.

 Top 100 Cities by Population Type of Residual Disinfectant
Toronto, ON Chloramine
Montreal, QC Chlorine
Calgary, AB Chlorine
Ottawa, ON Chloramine
Edmonton, AB Chloramine
Mississauga, ON Chloramine
Winnipeg, MB Chlorine
Vancouver, BC
Chlorine
Brampton, ON
Chlorine
Hamilton, ON
Chlorine
Quebec City, QC
Chlorine
Surrey, BC
Chlorine
Laval. BC
Chlorine
Halifax, NS
Chlorine
London, ON
Chlorine
Markham, ON Chloramine
Vaughan, ON Chloramine
Gatineau, QC Chlorine
Saskatoon, SK Chloramine
Longeueuil, QC Chlorine
Kitchener, ON Chloramine
Burnaby, BC
Chlorine
Windsor, ON
Chlorine
Regina, SK
Chlorine
Richmond, BC
Chlorine
Richmond Hill, ON Chloramine
Oakville, ON
Chlorine
Burlington, ON
Chlorine
Sudbury, ON
Chlorine
Sherbrooke, QC
Chlorine
Oshawa, ON
Chlorine
Saguenay, QC
Chlorine
Levis, QC
Chlorine
Barrie, ON
Chlorine
Abbotsford, BC
Chloramine
Coquitlam, BC
Chlorine
Trois-Rivière, QC
Chloramine
St. Catharines, ON
Chlorine
Guelph, ON
Chlorine
Cambridge, ON
Chloramine
Whitby, ON
Chlorine
Kelowna, BC
Chlorine
Kingston, ON
Chlorine
Ajax, ON
Chlorine
Langley, BC
Chlorine
Saanich, BC Chloramine
Terrebonne, QC Chlorine
Milton, oN Chlorine
St. John's, NL
Chloramine
Thunder Bay, ON
Chlorine
Waterloo, ON
Chloramine
Delta, BC
Chlorine
Chatham-Kent, ON
Chlorine
Red Deer, AB
Chloramine
Strathcona, AB
Chloramine
Brantford, ON
Chloramine
Saint-jean-sur-Richelieu, QC Chlorine
Cape Breton, NS
Chlorine
Lethbridge, AB
Chloramine
Clarington, ON
Chlorine
Pickering, ON
Chlorine
Nanaimo, BC
Chlorine
Kamploops, BC
Chlorine
Niagara Falls, ON
Chlorine
North Vancouver, BC
Chlorine
Victoria, BC Chloramine
Brossard, QC
Chlorine
Repentigny, QC
Chlorine
Newmarket, ON
Chloramine
Chilliwack, BC
Chlorine
Maple Ridge, BC
Chlorine
Peterborough, ON
Chlorine
Kawartha Lakes, ON
Chlorine
Drummondville, QC
Chlorine
Saint-Jerome, QC
Chlorine
Prince George, BC
Chlorine
Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Chlorine
Moncton, NB
Chlorine
Sarnia, ON
Chlorine
Wood Buffalo, AB
Chloramine
New Westminster, BC
Chlorine
St. John, NB
Chlorine
Caledon, ON
Chlorine
Granby, QC
Chlorine
St. Albert, AB
Chloramine
Norfolk County, ON
Chlorine
Medicine Hat, AB
Chlorine
Grande Prairie, AB
Chlorine
Airdrie, AB
Chlorine
Halton Hills, ON
Chlorine
Port Coquitlam, BC
Chlorine
Fredericton, NB
Chlorine
Blainville, QC
Chlorine
Saint-Hyacinthe, QC
Chlorine
Aurora, ON
Chloramine
North Vancouver, BC
Chlorine
Welland, ON
Chlorine
North Bay, ON
Chlorine
Belleville, ON
Chlorine
Mirabel, QC
Chlorine

  

More about Chlorine vs Chloramine

The disinfection of city drinking water is a two-part process. Step one, usually called primary disinfection, is the process where a city treats the water it draws from the environment to destroy all pathogenic organisms - bacteria, cysts, viruses, etc.  For the vast majority of cities in Canada, this is accomplished using free chlorine. Free chlorine is an aggressive oxidizer and essentially destroys the tissues of these organisms and kills them.

But just killing the organisms at the water extraction point isn't enough. This water now has to travel through thousands of kilometres of pipe to reach every home in the city. To ensure that the treated water isn't contaminated on its journey, the city adds a residual disinfectant that travels with the water as it's distributed.

When we talk about Chlorine vs. Chloramine we're talking about the choice of the residual disinfectant. Most cities in Canada still use chlorine as the residual, but more and more cities are making the move to Chloramine. Why?

Simply put - Chloramine persists in the water longer than Chlorine. It's a more stable molecule and won't naturally dissipate into the air or aggressively react with every compound or surface it comes into contact with. This means that chloramine added at the source is much more likely to be present at the point of use - your home. More persistence = better disinfection = safer citizens.

But the stability of chloramine also makes it a lot hard to remove from water than chlorine. Both compounds are removed well using activated carbon, but chloramine removal necessitates the use of a special type of activated carbon called catalytic carbon.

Here at Aquatell, we sell multiple different systems that can be used for the removal of chlorine and chloramine. These systems fall into two broad groups - systems that treat the water for your whole home, and those that treat the water for a single dispensing point (these are usually called point-of-use systems).

Here are links to our whole home systems:

Whole Home Chlorine Removal Filter
Whole Home Chloramine Removal Filter

If you're just looking to remove chlorine or chloramine for your drinking and cooking water, we highly recommend one of our Reverse Osmosis Systems.