Chloramine Conversion ProjectWoman Drinking Water

General Questions and Answers

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website contains information about chloramines. The EPA site states:

"Water that contains chloramines and meets EPA regulatory standards is safe to use for:

  • Drinking
  • Cooking
  • Bathing
  • Other household uses"

Please see a link to this EPA page in External Links below.


Changing Way We Disinfect Your Drinking Water

The City of Stockton Water Utility has started work on an important project to change the way our drinking water is disinfected. The City will be using chloramines in its North Stockton Water Service Area. The following general information is provided to help you understand if and how your drinking water is affected.


What Is Drinking Water Disinfection?

Disinfection inactivates disease-causing organisms in water. Disinfection uses a chemical process that kills microorganisms like bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Chemical disinfectants include chlorine, chloramines, and ozone. 


Why Is City of Stockton Changing to Chloramines?

Chloramines have been safely and successfully used by water utilities for more than 90 years. More than 1 in 5 Americans uses drinking water treated with chloramines. 


What Are Chloramines?

Chloramines are a chemical compound of chlorine and ammonia, commonly used as a diluted solution to disinfect drinking water before it is delivered to you. These chloramines are formed using low chemical concentrations in a controlled environment. 


Are Chloramines a Common Way to Disinfect Drinking Water?

Chloramines have been safely and successfully used by water utilities for more than 90 years.  More than 1 in 5 Americans uses drinking water treated with chloramines.


Why Did the City Select Chloramine Disinfection Over Other Options?

The City selected chloramine disinfection because it forms fewer disinfection byproducts, is more stable and longer lasting than free chlorine, and is most cost-effective option.


Will I Notice Change in Taste or Odor of My Water?

Utilities that use chloramines often experience fewer taste and odor complaints than utilities using free chlorine.


What Precautions Must Dialysis Providers Take?

Kidney dialysis patients can safely drink, cook and bathe in water disinfected with chloramines.  The digestive process neutralizes chloramines before entering the bloodstream. However, chloramines must be removed from water used in kidney dialysis machines.

The City will continue to work with local hospitals and dialysis treatment centers to educate about this change. If you are a dialysis patient, call your physician or the dialysis center nearest you. Please read this letter dialysis concerns. The link to the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation's website, noted in the letter, can be found in External Links below.


Are Chloramines Safe for Fish?

Chloramines, like chlorine, are toxic to fish and aquatic life and must be removed from water used for keeping live fish, amphibians, and other aquatic animals. This includes fish, lobster, shrimp, frogs, turtles, snails, clams, and live coral.


Are Mosquito Fish Impacted by Chloramines?

San Joaquin County Vector Control recently addressed this question. A blog post by Alex Breitler of The Record (March 3, 2016) summarized the report.  A link to the post can be found below in External Links or you can download a copy of the article here


Is Everyone in the City Affected?

No. Only customers in the City of Stockton's North Water Service Area, including those County Areas served by the City, are affected. City of Stockton water customers located in the South Water Service Area and California Water Service Company customers are not affected. View a map of the City of Stockton's Water Service Areas.


Other Questions?

The City has developed printable Frequently Asked Questions documents for the following:


Need More Information on Chloramines?

Some useful links are listed below in External Links.


External Links

American Water Works Association Monochloramine Consumer Information
Are Mosquito Fish Impacted by Chloramines? - Blog post by The Record's Alex Breitler
Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation - Information about dialysis standards
Chloramines and Swimming Pools - Center for Disease Control Article (PDF)
Environmental Protection Agency - Drinking Water Requirements for State and Public Water Systems, Chloramines in Drinking Water 

This City of Stockton web page last reviewed on --- 3/24/2016