Monochloramines Improve Water Quality | Tampa Bay Water

Tampa Bay Water uses monochloramines to treat drinking water. After initial treatment with a primary disinfectant, small amounts of a secondary disinfectant, or disinfectant residual, must be applied and maintained at all times within the distribution system to kill organisms that could make people sick.

Tampa Bay Water uses monochloramines as its secondary disinfectant and continues to use chlorine as its primary disinfectant.

The use of monochloramines ensures compliance with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) stringent health standards. The use of monochloramines reduces the formation of suspected cancer-causing compounds, and ensures a consistent water quality throughout Tampa Bay Water’s wholesale system.

The use of monochloramines has reduced the level of some regulated disinfection by-products formed when chlorine mixes with trace quantities of naturally occurring organic substances found in water. Specifically, monochloramines reduce the formation of trihalomethanes (THMs) and haloacetic acids (HAAs), two types of by-products suspected to cause cancer with prolonged exposure.

Tampa Bay Water’s member governments—Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, New Port Richey, St. Petersburg and Tampa—all use monochloramines as a final disinfectant. 

Monochloramines, like chlorine, must be removed from water before it is used for two specific purposes:

  • Kidney dialysis treatments
  • Keeping live fish, such as in an aquarium or pond

The removal process is different from some of the methods used to remove chlorine.