As an alternative disinfectant to chlorination, electrolytically generated copper:silver (400 and 40 μg/L copper and silver, respectively) with and without free chlorine (0.3 mg/L) was evaluated over a period of 4 weeks in indoor and outdoor water systems (100 L tap water with natural body flora and urine). Numbers of total coliform, pseudomonas, and staphylococci were all less than drinking water standards in systems treated with copper:silver and free chlorine and systems treated with free chlorine alone (1.0 mg/L). No significant differences (p ≤ 0.05) in bacterial numbers were observed between systems with copper:silver and free chlorine and those with free chlorine alone. Overall, free-chlorine treatments (0.3 or 1.0 mg/L) showed significantly lower heterotrophic plate numbers than those without free chlorine. When challenged with a natural Staphylococcus sp. isolate, water with copper:silver and free chlorine had a 2.4 log10 reduction in bacterial numbers within 2 min, while free chlorine alone or copper:silver alone showed 1.5 and 0.03 log10 reductions, respectively. Addition of copper:silver to water systems may allow the concentration of free chlorine to be reduced while still providing comparable sanitary quality of the water.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Biology