Chloramine disinfectants are most commonly formed when ammonia is added to chlorine in order to treat drinking water. Chloramines are used because they are supposed to provide longer-lasting water treatment as the water moves through pipes to water consumers. They are used as a secondary disinfectant.
Yet, according to the World Health Organization, chloramine is a less effective disinfectant than chlorine and may not kill pathogens such as E. coli and certain viruses as effectively.
While not everyone who is exposed to chloramines will exhibit symptoms immediately, after months of exposure some symptoms may start to show including skin rashes, respiratory problems and digestive tract issues.
Chloramine is corrosive, causing increased lead levels, copper pipe corrosion, problems with rubber fittings and so on.
Chloraminated water poses a greater risk to infants, the elderly, dialysis patients, and those with suppressed immune systems such as cancer patients and people suffering from immune system disorders.
Additionally, Chloramine entering streams, ponds, or Lake Champlain from watering lawns, washing cars, runoff, water main breaks and so forth can kill or damage fish, amphibians, and marine invertebrates.