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    Chlorine or Chloramine? A look at the Cities of Canada.

    June 07, 2018 4 min read

    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
    Chloramine
    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 
    Kamloops, 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.