Copper-silver ionisation can help prevent Legionella in the UAE

Mark Engelenburg, CEO of The Netherlands-based company ATECA, says how copper-silver ionisation is the best technique in preventing Legionella outbreak and other bacteria

Mark Engelenburg, CEO of ATECA.
Mark Engelenburg, CEO of ATECA.

Mark Engelenburg, CEO of The Netherlands-based company ATECA, spoke about how copper-silver ionisation is the best technique in preventing Legionella outbreak and other bacteria.

In an interview with MEP Middle East, Engelenburg said: “The knowledge of copper-silver ionisation to fight bacteria has been around for several years. Think about fountains or water wells with copper and silver coins in them.

"Originally this was to prevent the water supplies from decaying. In addition, silver cutlery and cans were known to reduce bacteria growth and thus the risk of illnesses. Eventually it was NASA that did extensive research on how copper and silver act on bacteria in water.

"They found it to be extremely effective, especially on legionella, and used the technique of copper silver ionisation to keep their water safe in space. It was not long after we were able to design a system that was to be used for potable water installations in buildings, cooling towers and swimming pools.”

 

Engelenburg explains the process further: “For potable water, we place the copper-silver ionisation system after the water meter of the water supplier. This means, it should be as far upstream as possible, and this gives the ions maximum time to be effective.

"Here, in the UAE, copper-silver ionization systems are sometimes placed in the circulation line of the tank. This also works, although it is a little more complicated to control the exact dosing of the ions.

"The treated water in the tank will then be distributed into the building (i.e., hotels, malls, hospitals, etc). Fortunately, copper and silver ions are always positively charged, while waterborne pathogens like legionella are negatively charged.

"Therefore, the ions and bacteria attract each other and the reproduction [of bacteria] will be stopped. It will be just a matter of time after which you will flush out the bacteria activity.

"To be more precise, the copper will open up the cells in the bacteria, and the silver ions will enter and stop the reproduction of bacteria.”

Engelenburg's complete views will appear in the 1209 issue of MEP Middle East's special report on Water Technology, which will be out on the first week of September 2017.

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