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Precautions for Kidney Dialysis Patients and Fish Owners

Although the use of chloramine is proven to be safe, kidney dialysis patients and fish owners must take special care not to use water directly from the tap. As with chlorine, chloramine must be removed from water that is used in the kidney dialysis process and from water that is used in fish tanks or ponds. Please follow these precautions:

Kidney Dialysis Patients

  • In the dialysis process, water comes in direct contact with the bloodstream. Just like chlorine, the presence of chloramine in dialysis water would be toxic and must be removed.
  • Dialysis systems already pre-treat their source water to remove chlorine. However, some modifications might be necessary to remove chloramines. Consult your dialysis provider or health care practitioner for more information on your particular treatment need.
  • Medical facilities that perform dialysis are responsible for purifying the water, which enters the dialysis machines. Consult your physician if you have any questions.
  • Although New Jersey American Water has notified the region’s medical facilities, you should remind your physician of the switch to chloramine.
  • If you use a home dialysis machine, check with your physician. Many home dialysis service companies are able to make any necessary modifications if they are needed.
  • Kidney dialysis patients can drink, cook and bathe in water treated with chloramine. Chloraminated water can be consumed because the digestive process neutralizes the chloramine before it reaches the bloodstream. Please consult your physician if you have any questions. For more information, customers can also visit the EPA’s website.

Fish Owners

  • Both chlorine and chloramines are toxic in very low levels and must be removed from the water used for aquatic life. Most pet stores sell disinfectant-removal products that can be added to the tap water prior to introduction to the fish tank or pond.
  • Consult your local pet supply store for specific assistance on recommended products.
  • Chloramine is a very stable disinfectant and will remain in water for weeks. You are advised to remove chloramines from any water used for fish or aquatic life. This approach will provide maximum protection for your pets.
  • More information for fish, amphibian and fish pond owners.