ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

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jdskycaster

ECOsmarte

Postby jdskycaster » Tue 06 May, 2008 11:52

schark wrote:Wouldn't 20 micron cartridge filters be better than a DE filter when used in conjunction with a copper ion system? Anyone ever try them?


I do not know the scientific answer to this question but my experience with cartridge filters was horrible. I had my inground 20x44 pool installed in 2000 (this was not my first pool). I started with a Hayward cartridge system and chlorine. The cartridges required frequent cleaning due to pressure rise and replacement after 1 season which is very expensive. Nothing I did seemed to work but I stuck with them for 3 seasons. I finally ditched the cartridge system due to the crazy cleaning required and moved to a sand filter (had this on my previous pool) with Zeosmarte media along with an Ecosmarte ionization system. I am starting my 5th season and have had very good luck with it. It took 1 month to get the system initially started up and working but my water has never been cloudy.

Factors to consider: I live in Wisconsin and have a relatively short swimming season (4 months). I also have a vinyl lined pool. I am on well water with very low iron and TDS. I just opened my pool last weekend. Water was crystal clear - PH was at 7.0, copper was 4PPM, calcium was above 450ppm. Just as I had left it in the fall when closing it. If this year is typical, as it has been for the last 3, I will not have to adjust PH as it has always remained rock solid around 7.0 and I will only have to ionize (add copper) midway through the season and again at the end of the season before closing.

I am not trying to sell the Ecosmarte system I am only giving my experience with it. I would also be thankful for any links to the scientific reports stating that this system in fact will not control algae, bacteria and viruses in my pool. As I said previously this is the first system which allows me to remove chlorine from my pool entirely. I have been maintaining a personal pool for 19 years now. Anyone that says you do not "notice" or have any side effects from a properly maintained chlorine pool is just wrong in my opinion. Will it be properly sanitized and algae free. You bet. But I can attest to the fact that my family and I have all experienced side effects from chlorine no matter what the ppm. It appears to be a tradeoff no matter which way you decide to go.

I also agree that Ecosmarte, or any other method of water treatment, is not for everyone. Every water supply, climate, pool contruction is different. It may not work for every situation. You do however, tend to hear more from people that have not been able to make it work than those that have.

Best Regards,
JD


chem geek
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ECOsmarte

Postby chem geek » Tue 06 May, 2008 12:45

JD,

There does not appear to be a lot of data on the kill times for copper and silver in water because they are relatively long by themselves. Most sources (CDC, etc.) just refer to "slow disinfection". For a scientific example, this link describes a 6-log reduction (99.9999% kill) in Legionella pneumophila at a copper concentration of 0.1 ppm taking 2.5 hours. For comparison, 1 ppm Free Chlorine (FC) without CYA would accomplish the same kill rate (for most heterotrophic bacteria) in around 15 seconds while normal FC/CYA ratios (FC level being 10% of the CYA level) would accomplish the 6-log kill in around 5 minutes. [EDIT] This link shows a 99% kill time at 0.1 ppm FC (roughly an FC level being 10% of the CYA level) would be 40 minutes so a 6-log reduction would take around 120 minutes or 2 hours. That makes it roughly comparable to copper for this particular bacteria that appears to be more resistant to low levels of chlorine. For other more common bacteria, chlorine kills very quickly as I noted above while copper is still around around 40 minutes for a 99% kill rate. Copper may have other issues with E.coli and other bacteria as seen here . [END-EDIT]

Most bacteria reproduce at rates, under ideal conditions, of doubling every 15 minutes to an hour (see this link ). So a disinfectant that prevented runaway bacterial growth would need to kill bacteria faster than they can reproduce. A doubling is equivalent in rate to being balanced by a 0.3-log (50% kill) reduction. The 2.5 hour 6-log reduction is roughly equivalent to around 7.5 minutes of a 50% kill. This is why copper and silver can prevent runaway bacterial growth. They generally kill bacteria faster than they can reproduce, though not by a huge margin.

In other words, copper and silver are good as surfaces that prevent bacterial growth, but aren't so good at killing existing bacteria populations at a fast rate. So given enough time and no new introduction of bacteria, silver/copper disinfection would be sufficient. However, bacteria are constantly being introduced into the pool, most especially by bathers. Therefore, copper/silver alone are not sufficient to prevent the transmission of disease (bacteria, viruses, protozoa) from person-to-person. This is the main reason such systems are never used alone in public pools. If they are used at all, it is in conjunction with at least small amounts of chlorine.

Also, copper and silver are not very effective at inactivating viruses at low concentrations because viruses don't grow in water -- they need a host to reproduce. They are also not effective against protozoan oocysts (e.g. Giardia or Cryptosporidium) but chlorine isn't very effective against these oocysts either (chlorine is especially ineffective against Crypto) though chlorine is effective at inactivating viruses. A scientific paper describing copper inactivation of viruses is here where you can see that to achieve 2-log (99% kill) reductions in viruses in under 30 minutes it required concentrations on the order of 10-1000 ppm which is far higher than found in pools. The virus inactivation time for the copper levels normally used in pools would be on the order of days, assuming this is scalable.

As for algae, copper kills algae quite a bit faster than it can reproduce since algae generation (doubling) times are in the 3-8 hour range. In fact, some algaecides use copper for this purpose.

There is simply a spectrum of risk with regard to the type of disinfectant that you use. Not having an EPA-approved sanitizer (chlorine, bromine, Biguanide/Baqua/PHMB) simply means the risk is higher, but it does not mean that your water is teaming with bacteria. If you were to have someone who was sick be in your pool, they could transmit their disease to you (including the fecal-to-oral route). Also, some bacteria can form biofilms and be more resistant to disinfection so that a more powerful disinfectant is required (or an enzyme or oxidizer specifically able to break down biofilms).

Richard
Guest

ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby Guest » Wed 11 Mar, 2009 12:57

Great summary of copper info Richard

I followed a link from one of the references in the newer EcoSmarte post and found this post which answered so many of the questions I had.

Thanks
JJ
Guest

ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby Guest » Wed 18 Mar, 2009 18:52

A friend had one of these ecosmart units. Every now and again the water would turn and look awful, green and hazy. He used to dump a handful of water softener salt tablets into the skimmer and within an hour you could smell chlorine in the pool! :wtf:

He would run the unit full for a day and the pool would become crystal clear and beautiful once more. He always complained that he had to add more copper after he did this and wasn't happy with the replacement costs of the copper electrodes.
Go to hell

ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby Go to hell » Mon 20 Apr, 2009 11:14

I had the Ecosmarte system installed in my concrete pool as a part of a complete renovation of the pool (new filter, pump, acid wash etc.)three years ago. I wanted to swim in fresh water and bought the salesman's hype. It was HUGE disappointment.

There may be people out there that can get this system to work in a reasonable manner. Despite years of pool experience from day one, I could not.

The manual Ecosmarte provided was nothing short of useless and I could never keep the pool algae free for more than a day at a time. I ended up spending better than an hour a day on maintenance to no avail and could not leave the pool for more than a day unattended without the water going green.

The ecosmarte system ended up staining my pool copper blue and still wouldn't touch the algae.

I wrote to the company to complain and they told me I had exceeded my 60 day warranty and could not help me. I really feel I gave the product a fair chance for two years and finally gave up in frustration.

After two years of experimenting with every variable possible, even with the support of their local representative, I yanked it out and installed a salt water system.

Chemical free? Not at all I spent more on chemicals in the two years I had the Ecosmarte system than I ever did with chlorine and always felt I was swimming in a soup of algaecide.

This product simply did not even come close to working for me and ended up costing me a fortune to repair the damage to the pool.

The salt water system I now have is trouble free (as was my original chlorine system) and effortless.

As for the eco-"not so"-smarte system forget it. You will not convince me (or a friend who had a similar experience) that this product is ready for the market.

I actually paid the money to ship my ecosmarte system back to the company to show my displeasure. They have never followed up.

Back to the drawing board Ecosmarte!!!


RonB
larryc

ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby larryc » Sat 02 May, 2009 07:27

If the system kept the pool water clear for the first full year but has only one day in the second year it is likely a filter problem, assuming the water chemistry testing is the same as done in the first year. Usually the first year is a little trickier than the second. The toll free support line at 1-800 ION SWIM is available six days a week at no charge and there is no reason you cant get your pool clear again. Backwash and rinse the filter twice in a row and maybe you can get it unchanneled. Double check the ph test kit you are using. You spent good money on this product and call us every day until this is resolved. Larry Couture CEO
Wantapool???

ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby Wantapool??? » Thu 07 May, 2009 09:04

Go to hell wrote:I had the Ecosmarte system installed in my concrete pool as a part of a complete renovation of the pool (new filter, pump, acid wash etc.)three years ago. I wanted to swim in fresh water and bought the salesman's hype. It was HUGE disappointment.

There may be people out there that can get this system to work in a reasonable manner. Despite years of pool experience from day one, I could not.

The manual Ecosmarte provided was nothing short of useless and I could never keep the pool algae free for more than a day at a time. I ended up spending better than an hour a day on maintenance to no avail and could not leave the pool for more than a day unattended without the water going green.

The ecosmarte system ended up staining my pool copper blue and still wouldn't touch the algae.

I wrote to the company to complain and they told me I had exceeded my 60 day warranty and could not help me. I really feel I gave the product a fair chance for two years and finally gave up in frustration.

After two years of experimenting with every variable possible, even with the support of their local representative, I yanked it out and installed a salt water system.

Chemical free? Not at all I spent more on chemicals in the two years I had the Ecosmarte system than I ever did with chlorine and always felt I was swimming in a soup of algaecide.

This product simply did not even come close to working for me and ended up costing me a fortune to repair the damage to the pool.

The salt water system I now have is trouble free (as was my original chlorine system) and effortless.

As for the eco-"not so"-smarte system forget it. You will not convince me (or a friend who had a similar experience) that this product is ready for the market.

I actually paid the money to ship my ecosmarte system back to the company to show my displeasure. They have never followed up.

Back to the drawing board Ecosmarte!!!


RonB


GTH,
Please tell us the circumstances of your pool. Wereis it located, what climate is it in, size, daily use, dogs, leaves, etc. This kind of info would be helpful for those with similar conditions.
Thanks,
Wantapool???
chem geek
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ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby chem geek » Thu 14 Oct, 2010 20:04

FYI. I have an updated post here showing kill times for chlorine vs. copper vs. silver that fills in some gaps of understanding. Generally speaking, copper ions are better than silver ions at normal concentrations used in pools (0.4 ppm or 400 ppb for copper and 20 ppb for silver). However, though most such bacterial kill times from copper ions prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth, this is not true for Escherichia coli which is a common bacteria found in fecal matter. Copper ions kill Legionella pneumophila faster than chlorine. Also, metal ions are mostly ineffective against most viruses and protozoan oocysts.
Guest

ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby Guest » Tue 22 Feb, 2011 17:22

For the record the US EPA in Sept 2010 approved copper ions for numerous off label bacterial, viral and fungal kill rates. Specifically and also confirmed by NIH cryptosporidium, polio virus, giardia cyst and ataph bacteria are highly copper toxic. It is not accurate to state that chlorine is more effective than copper against these pathogens. Further when a particle is vaporized by chlorine with a shopck no method competes with the inactivation or kill rate.

Don't be mislead by the UV people-- no scientific study demonstates the microbes swimming back thru the pool jets to be exposed to the lamp. Nor have I seen studies where a UV system puts output greater than a single day of sunshine on the surface of the pool.

The key to all of this is sanitizer level, ph and filtration. Cartridges are only compatible with pools that reach a weekly chlorination curve via shock, other wise they simply host algae spore, human skin and blood cells from exfoliating swimmers and biofilms-- the precursers to the stuff we should worry about in pool water. Dealers must be knowledgeable or they should not be selling alternatives to chlorine. Consumers must be be prepared to test the water weekly. check the pressure guage, and use and autovacuum or brush. Without throwing too many stones at our 2007 negative post, suffice it to say Ecosmarte is not for people with cartridge filters or those who beleive a weekly water test (twice weekly in the desert) to be burdensome.
chem geek
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ECOsmarte water purification systems feedback

Postby chem geek » Tue 22 Feb, 2011 21:14

Pool User wrote:For the record the US EPA in Sept 2010 approved copper ions for numerous off label bacterial, viral and fungal kill rates. Specifically and also confirmed by NIH cryptosporidium, polio virus, giardia cyst and ataph bacteria are highly copper toxic. It is not accurate to state that chlorine is more effective than copper against these pathogens. Further when a particle is vaporized by chlorine with a shopck no method competes with the inactivation or kill rate.

This is absolutely, positively NOT true. The EPA approval is for copper ALLOYS (to kill pathogens on surfaces) as described in this link , NOT copper ions, and this was done in February, 2008. This link indicates that copper TUBING produced a 1.3-log (95%) reduction in Crypto after 24 hours. Please give a link to the EPA website and to NIH that support your claims regarding copper IONS at concentrations used in pools.

Concentration means everything and the copper level found in pools is similar to that in blood serum which bacteria that live in the gut readily handle with no problem. Read the link I gave which listed numerous scientific peer-reviewed papers in respected journals supporting this fact. Copper is not very effective at these concentrations against many viruses either. It is faster than chlorine at killing Legionella pneumophila, but does NOTHING for fecal bacteria or blood-borne bacteria. That's a fact. Read the science.

Specifically for bacteria, copper ions at the concentrations used in pools do not even inhibit, let alone kill, fecal bacteria including Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus which chlorine kills in less than 1 minute. Chlorine kills Pseudomonas aeruginosa about 40 times faster than copper ions (and copper doesn't control some phenotypes at all). Chlorine kills Acinetobacter baumannii about as quickly as copper ions. Copper ions kill Legionella pneumophila about 5 times faster than chlorine.

Specifically for viruses, chlorine inactivates Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) at least 12 times faster than copper ions. Copper ions have no effect on Vacciniavirus while chlorine inactivates this virus. Chlorine inactivates Poliovirus at least 100 times faster than copper ions. Chlorine inactivates Coliphage MS-2 over 70 times faster than a copper/silver ion combination. Chlorine inactivates Influenza over 100 times faster than copper ions.

Specifically for protozoan oocysts, chlorine inactivates Naegleria fowleri over 40 times faster than copper ions.

Pool User wrote:Cartridges are only compatible with pools that reach a weekly chlorination curve via shock, other wise they simply host algae spore, human skin and blood cells from exfoliating swimmers and biofilms-- the precursers to the stuff we should worry about in pool water.

Also, where do you get that cartridge filters require weekly chlorination shocking or else they host algae spores? Yes, all filters catch human skin remnants, suntan lotion, and other substances that do not completely oxidize and are large enough to get caught directly or to get coagulated to get caught in the filter, but the chlorine levels going through the cartridge filters prevent any algae growth in them as well as biofilms. Sand filters are more likely to get channeling with dead spots that would allow biofilms to grow, though in residential pools that's not that common. Also, regarding the earlier post about cartridge filters needing frequent cleaning, this depends on the size of the filter. If one gets one oversized, then far less cleaning is needed. I have a 340 square foot cartridge filter for my 16,000 gallon pool that I only need to clean once a year and it gets virtually no pressure rise at all though the cartridges clearly need cleaning (mostly of suntan lotion).

Bacteria are killed before they form biofilms. While this paper showed greater reductions when a weekly shock was done, even without the weekly shock there were 5.5-log reductions in biofilm on plaster coupons and 6.7-log reductions in a sand filter. With shocking this increased to 6-log reductions on plaster coupons and 8.9-log reductions in a sand filter. The bather load simulation was high at the equivalent to 20 bathers in 7000 gallons. Residential pools don't get anywhere near this sort of organic loading.

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