Tips for Owners of Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Shellfish

The water you receive from Washington Water is safe for human consumption. However, your water may contain chlorine or chloramine, which can harm animals that live in water, such as fish, reptiles, amphibians, and shellfish. Unlike land-dwelling creatures, these animals don't have a digestive process that neutralizes chloramine and chlorine before it reaches their bloodstream, so putting them in untreated tap water may be harmful — even fatal.

What can you do to protect your pets? Follow these steps.

  1. See if your water contains chlorine or chloramine. You can find this information in the water quality report for your water system.
  2. If your water contains chlorine: Chlorine evaporates quickly, so the easiest method of removing it from water is to put it in an open container and let it sit still for a couple of days. Alternately, chlorine may be eliminated from water by boiling it or adding salts.
  3. If your water contains chloramine: There are two methods for eliminating chloramine from water. You can either purchase a granular-activated carbon-filtration system specifically designed to remove chloramine, or you can use a conditioner or additive containing a dechloraminating chemical for both ammonia and chlorine.

Products for removing chloramine and chlorine, as well as kits to test your water for chloramine, are available at many pet and aquarium supply stores. These stores may also be a good resource for information on care for your pets.