A common and very effective method of purifying swimming pools is to use electronically produced copper and silver ions. It was previously promoted that copper was the more efficient algicide and silver the more effective bactericide. More recent studies have shown each to be highly effective in the control and killing of both bacteria and algae. Together they give superior results.

This method has the advantage over chlorine of remaining very stable in swimming pools. The pool will stay sanitized for days or weeks with the system turned off and no additional copper or silver being added.

Copper and silver are not absorbed through the skin, therefore , are not carried out of the pool by swimmers. They are also not affected by sunlight and actually become slightly more effective as the water is heated or the pH increases.

Copper and silver are safe. At the normal recommended levels of copper in a swimming pool, a person would have to drink over two gallons of pool water to get the amount of copper in one vitamin pill. A glass of EPA approved tap water could have five times as much copper in it as a glass of swimming pool water. The tap water could also have five times as much silver as a glass of pool water.

The Environmental Protection Agency completely removed any limits on silver in drinking water in 1989 because they said it presented no hazard to human health.


Electrolytic mineral ion systems are a proven, effective non-chemical method to help control bacteria, algae and viruses. Advantages include improved water quality, effective algae and bacteria control, improved sanitation, reduced chemical usage, automated operation and an environmentally friendly method of water sanitation.

How it Works: This is a very basic explanation of how copper and silver works. Both have some algaecidal and bactericidal properties. Copper has the ability to pierce the protective outer membrane of a cell and disrupt enzyme balance, as well as allowing other bactericides and algaecides access to the susceptible part of the organism. Silver is effective because of its capabilities of interfering with DNA production and accelerating the death phase. Although lethal to bacteria and algae, this process is completely safe to humans. A multitude of scientific tests have been done showing the effectiveness of copper-silver ion systems in different areas including swimming pool and spa applications.


  • Thurman,R. and Gerba,C., The molecular Mechanisms of Copper and Silver Ion Disinfection of Bacteria and Viruses, University of Arizona,
    Tucson, 1988.
  • Gerba,C and Kutz,S Microbiological Evaluation of Free Chlorine and Copper: Silver Ions Against Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Legionella Pneumophilia, Drpartment of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Arizona, Tucson, 1988.
  • Taylor,G.R.., The Effect of Disinfectants on Picornavirus Structure and Ineffectivity in Viruses and Disinfection of Water and Wastewater, University Surrey, Guilford, Surry, 1982.
  • Coleman,V.R.., Wilkie,J., Levinson,W.E.., Stevens,T. and Jawetz,E., Inactivation of Herpes Virus hominis Types 1 and 2 by Silver Nitrate in vitro and vivo, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemother.,4,259, 1973.
  • Richards,R.M.E.., Antimicrobial Action of Silver Nitrate, Microbios, 31, 83, 1981.
  • Moroz,O.G., Kulskii,L.A., Prokurykova,N.B., Rudenko,A.V., and Florensova,K.M., Susceptibility of Organisms which cause Intestinal Infections to Removal of Silver, Khimiya; Tecknologiya Vody., 2, 275, 1980.
  • The Silver Institute, Washington, D.C.

Ozone Disinfection

Ozone destroys bacteria, molds, and mildew, eliminates spores, yeast, and fungus, deactivates viruses and cysts, and will oxidize and destroy oils and other contaminants in water. Ozone will reduce or eliminate the need for high levels of harsh chemicals such as chlorine and bromine, significantly reducing maintenance costs. Ozone leaves no unpleasant chemical taste and is less corrosive than chlorine. Ozone dissolved in water will not irritate skin, nose, or ears, nor will it dry out or leave a chemical film on skin. Ozone does not affect the pH balance of water like traditional chemical treatment methods.

Ultraviolet disinfection

Ultraviolet (UV) light can be used as an alternative sanitizing method to very effectively destroy microorganisms in swimming pool water. Up to 99.9% of the microorganisms can be destroyed, as the pool water passes through the UV unit. This dramatic reduction, in the microbial populations, helps to better maintain proper sanitary pool water conditions: reducing the amount of chemical sanitizer needed to maintain proper, sanitary water quality and keep the underwater surfaces free of bacterial or algal growth. A UV Sanitizer must be used in conjunction with another sanitizing product: chlorine, ionizers or mineral purifiers. In addition, oxidation of waste products must be accomplished with the use of chlorine, ozone, shock or hydrogen peroxide. Most commonly a UV Sanitizer is used with chlorine or bromine and can reduce their usage by a considerable amount. Typically, an Ultraviolet Sanitizer is plumbed inline and operates with the filter pump cycle. Water passing through the cell is efficiently sanitized, as the UV light passes through the microorganism's cell membrane.

You can add UV Sanitizing and an Ozone Generator, but as two separate units. It will virtually assure you that the return flow will be devoid of living algae and bacteria. However, the pool walls and water can still support algae and bacteria. Keeping a low level of chlorine, about 1 PPM, will prevent growth in the pool and on the walls. The ozonator will carry the burden of oxidizing wastes and very little chlorine will actually be required. The odorous form of chlorine will be destroyed, as the water returns to the pool. There should be little or no sensation of chlorine. The fact that you will be able to maintain this low level of free chlorine, with only minimal amounts of chemicals, will act as conformation that proper conditions exist and that everything is functioning properly.


These systems are actually miniaturized chlorine manufacturing plants: the same technology is utilized. The devices are plumbed in-line and work by electrolytically converting salt, in the pool water, into chlorine as it passes over specially coated titanium electrode plates. Salt must be added to the pool prior to start up, as directed. Thereafter, salt needs be added occasionally, to replace that lost due to splash out, rainfall, pool leaks.

Salt alone doesn’t keep water clear and free of algae. Ocean life depends on algae. Chlorine generators simply generate chlorine gas and hydrogen gas from salt and water at the expense of your power bill. Once mixed with pool water, chlorine gas produces the exact same active sanitizer as the chemical chlorine you are currently using.

This chlorine will continue to burns eyes, dry skin, and bleach bathing suits. Chlorine generated from salt is not a chlorine alternative.


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