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Home Latest News Latest What the industry says about copper ionization

What the industry says about copper ionization

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Numerous alternative devices, many dating back to the late 1980s exist to reduce or
eliminate the use of certain pool chemicals. Many of them completely eliminate the use
of chlorine stabilizer, (cyanuric acid) and the obvious human health issues.


The oldest methods involve copper or copper/silver ionization using ionic metals to kill
algae, bacteria and virus. Early Roman fountains and modern day wishing wells easily
demonstrate the water clarity achieved from the stable part per million metal residuals.
NASA legitimized this science in the 1960s by using ionization on three week Apollo
missions to the moon.

 Only since 1999 have efficacy studies confirmed superior kill rates on Legionella, Polio Virus, Ecoli and
Coliform with the use of ionization. The issues, however, revolve around staining and the
need for oxidation.

Ionization / Oxygen and Ionization / Ozone

The problem in swimming pool applications however is that ionization alone does not
address body oils, uric acid, and other organics brought into the water by swimmers.
Therefore an oxidation supplement or method is required.

The less expensive ionization products ($800-$1400) recommend the use of household
bleach or non- chlorine shock on a regular basis to accomplish the needed oxidation
(Caribbean Clear, Pioneer, Sigma, Challenger, Lifeguard).

The more sophisticated and
successful manufacturers will incorporate a second device (ozone or oxygen generators)
to eliminate the regular use of halogen chemicals.

These Dual systems, while not necessarily doubling the cost ($1300-$4500)
should be scrutinized, particularly if ozone is used to ensure proper sizing based on both
the size of the pool and projected swimmer volume.

Tens of thousands of pools operate without regular chemical to the pool a fact that North
American pool professionals have acknowledged only after Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and Canadian Tire garnered
over 30% of the swimming pool chemical business.

Ozone has been accepted chemical reduction standard in water treatment since the early 1900's.
The short life of the ozone, however, makes both oxidation supplement and algaecide use
a necessity.

The main problem with ozone generators in residential applications is the
cost of electricity and element replacement. (Residential ozone generators require 24 hour
circulation and annual bulb/element replacement)

Ozone generators are rated in grams per hour and a 2-3 gram output is required to have
an impact on the chemical demand of the pool. As with salt chorine generators, ozone
devices require high amperage AC voltage to operate.

(Editors note: When used in combination with a copper ion system, an ozone system needs to be run 5 - 6 hours a day. To resolve the electrical costs, consider installing a solar-powered ozone system, which is $120 - $160 more)

Last Updated on Saturday, 10 July 2010 12:58  

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