Ammonia which is also called as Nitrogen (NH3) is soluble in water. The underground water gets mixed with Ammonia from various sources where the decay of organic nitrogen compounds enter from agricultural lands, industrial expellents, animal feeds, pollution of natural water bodies etc. Expressed as N, most of the water sources may show the presence of Ammonia in the range of 0.1 to 1.0 ppm normally. A bacterial action makes the Ammonia gets oxidized to Nitrate and the excessive content becomes the health effecting factor.
Effects of excess ammonia in human body are:
- Excess Ammonia in blood levels may cause muscle weakness, fatigue etc.
- The brain’s functioning gets effected when excessive amount of Ammonia enters human body.
- Liver damage due to excessive intake of Ammonia via drinking water.
Continuous contamination of natural water bodies has made the situation worse and the Ammonia levels has been reported at around 2.2 ppm which is quite alarming for the authorities and the consumers of the effected water. Chlorination is the chemical process to destroy the Ammonia content in drinking water. The organic contaminants get destroyed by Chlorine before it gets reacted with the Ammonia. Cation exchange, resin treatment and degasification are other few methods to remove Ammonia from water. Boiling of water also will remove Ammonia to an extent, but the dissolved part may be difficult to get extracted.
A good RO water purifier with a high quality semi-permeable membrane can easily remove the Ammonia content in drinking water to an extent. The pre activated carbon filter in the water purifier also removes the chemical impurities and solids which are dissolved in the water.