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How was Silver Used for Water Purification?

Ancient Romans were known for building complex aqueducts that provided water for their people. With water coming from various water sources, it is vital to maintain water safety.

The Ancient Romans exploited the germicide and preservative properties of silver. In addition to building filtration for water purification using settling basins to remove impurities in the water, Romans would also use silver to extend the freshness of food and drink.

Archaeological research shows that silver has been used to treat water
for over 5,000 years.

By using silver vessels for drinking and dropping silver coins into barrels of water and milk, the Ancient Romans preserved drinks and increased water safety on long journeys.

Silver’s Antiseptic and Antibacterial Properties

Today, we refer to cutlery as “silverware,” which stems from the use of utensils made from actual silver. The use of silver was more than a display of wealth. 

You may have heard how ancient cultures believed in silver’s ability to detox poison.

  • There are records of people using silverware in the hopes of staving off the disease during the Bubonic Plague in the middle ages.
  • In the 1800s, doctors used silver sutures and nitrate topically for burns and infected wounds due to its ability to reduce inflammation.
  • During World War I, soldiers carried leaves of silver dressings to treat injuries.

Even though the advent of antibiotics has replaced silver as a more effective treatment, silver nitrate continues to be used today in a more sophisticated manner to help cauterize and heal wounds faster. 

In addition to using silver for medical treatments, scientists have also come up with agion silver, a compound primarily made of silver ions, which can be activated by the moisture from a person’s hand to kill bacteria on the touched surface. This makes agion silver the ideal material for door knobs, railing, and other high-touch elements in facilities with a high-risk germ transmission.

From battlefield medical treatments to new materials for door knobs, from eating utensils to water purification, silver has helped to improve people’s lives and health. 

Copper-Silver Ionization Takes Disinfecting Water and Water Purification to a New Level

The use of silver to kill bacteria is not new, but we continue to find new ways to maximize its antibacterial powers. As a Legionella control expert In the water treatment field with over 20 years of experience, Enrich Products, Inc. (EPI) is proud of our Copper-SIlver Ionization water treatment system. 

Copper-Silver Ionization systems generate a safe amount of copper and silver ions to kill Legionella bacteria in potable water and maintain safe water for all purposes.

Check out our website to learn more about how Copper-Silver Ionization controls Legionella or how our EPI systems are simpler, safer, and more effective than others. 

Contact our experts to discuss your water treatment needs and get a free site assessment.

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What Are My Options for Legionella Remediation?

woman drinking clean water free of legionella

When you send out your water samples to get tested, the last thing you want is to receive a positive Legionella test result. When Legionella is detected in your potable water system, you need to act quickly to protect your facility and the people using your water for drinking, cleaning, and bathing. 

Why should you trust copper-silver ionization over other modalities of remediation? In this article, we’re discussing traditional remediation methods and their disadvantages.

Heat Your Water

High water temperatures can kill Legionella bacteria, but only if the water can reach at least 160℉ for a sustained period. This solution doesn’t have a wide range of applications because it is hard to achieve in regular facilities and could cause potential burn hazards for your water users, including staff, residents, customers, or patients. 

This method may seem inexpensive but comes with hidden costs from the extreme temperatures, pipe damage, and heater recovery time. It is also difficult to maintain proper temperatures over time in complex plumbing systems with sensor faucets, cross-connects, and mixing valves. 

Install Filters for Quick Legionella Remediation

Micron filters can trap Legionella bacteria if they are .2 microns. Point-of-use filters can be installed directly on a sink or in-line to catch bacteria before it reaches the faucet fixture. 

Filters are an effective Legionella control method, but they are expensive and can clog easily, requiring frequent replacements and attention. 

Halogen-based Chemical Water Treatment

One of the most popular Legionella remediation methods is halogen-based chemical water treatment. Chlorine dioxide and chloramine are the major disinfectants used to control Legionella. However, you shouldn’t ignore the risk of using these powerful chemicals. 

Halogen-based chemicals are volatile, often requiring daily testing and monitoring to control the dosage in water systems. When circulating hot water loops, high temperatures will also impact the chemical levels and create inconsistency. Even with regular testing and strict monitoring, some people are more sensitive to chemicals and changes in their environment. Certain chemicals make rubber fittings commonly found in flush valves, faucets, and some pipe connections brittle.

Use Copper-Silver Ionization to Control Legionella

Copper-Silver Ionization is one of the safest and most effective methods to treat and control Legionella in drinking water. It is recognized by the World Health Organization and the United States Environmental Protection Agency for controlling Legionella within potable water distribution networks in large-scale facilities for both long and short-term remediation.

Copper-Silver Ionization water treatment has a low human toxicity rating, which means the treated water is safe to handle and consume. The Copper-Silver Ionization water system and equipment are durable, long-lasting, and require minimal maintenance. This method also provides quick and long-term Legionella remediation when an issue occurs. The EPI team can even be on-site and resolve Legionella issues within 24-48 hours anywhere within the United States. 

While the traditional methods of remediation may seem effective, they each have their downfalls. Superheating is inefficient and costly, filters clog frequently, and halogen-based chemicals are dangerous. 


Want to improve your facilities’ water quality? Contact the experts at EPI for a free site assessment and learn more about the importance of choosing an affordable, safe, and simple water treatment for Legionella prevention!

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How Legionnaires’ Disease is Spread

washing-hands-in-legionella-free-water

Many people have heard of Legionnaires’ disease, but not everyone is aware of how it affects the human body and how prevalent it still is in the United States. There are many misconceptions about the disease and the bacteria that cause it. Some of the most glaring misunderstandings are how the disease is spread, how it is contracted, and how contagious it is. 

Is Legionnaires’ disease prevalent in the United States?

Legionnaires’ disease is a waterborne pathogen that accounts for thousands of hospital admissions and a growing number of fatalities annually. According to an analysis published by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2017, 76% of the jurisdictions analyzed reported a definite case of healthcare-associated Legionnaires’ disease and it is often severe with a 25% case fatality rate. However, Legionella issues don’t just happen in healthcare facilities, but also occur in hotels, long-term care centers, industrial plants, and other large facilities. 

What is Legionnaires’ disease?

As a type of pneumonia, Legionnaires’ disease is contracted by aspirating or inhaling mist and water vapor infected with legionella bacteria. Contrary to popular misunderstandings, the disease doesn’t spread from person to person and can only be contracted through the environment. 

For example, taking a hot shower and breathing in the infected mist, infected water accidentally gets into the lungs while drinking, or from air-conditioning units for large buildings. Adults over the age of 50 and people with weak immune systems, chronic lung disease, or heavy tobacco use are most at risk.

Where does legionella bacteria come from?

Legionella bacteria are naturally occurring and live in groundwater and soil. They can survive municipal water treatments and end up thriving in the warm, damp conditions of plumbing systems. The risk of Legionella issues elevates in large buildings that have mazes of plumbing lines and circulating hot water loops.

How is Legionnaires’ disease treated?

Legionnaires’ disease can be fatal unless the patient is tested and treated promptly. In young or healthy people, the disease may be mild, but for smokers, the elderly, or immunocompromised people, the disease can be deadly. 

Many people exposed to the bacteria don’t develop symptoms. Those who do develop symptoms may experience cough, fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle aches, headaches, and diarrhea. People who have contracted the disease should visit their doctor to get medical diagnosis and get it properly treated with antibiotics.

Control legionella bacteria with water management and risk assessments

By learning more about Legionnaires disease, we can better understand the importance of Legionella testing and treating water systems for it. Legionella control should be in the water management plan and regular risk assessments of all facilities using water. 

Having an effective water treatment system like Enrich Products Inc.’s (EPI) Copper-Silver Ionization system to control Legionella bacteria is crucial to public large buildings that are occupied by staff, patients, tenants, or customers daily, like hospitals, hotels, and factories.

Interested to learn more about our safe, simple, and effective approach to Legionella control and remediation? Visit the EPI System page. If you are ready to improve your facilities’ water quality, contact our experts today for a free site assessment.

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The Latest in Water Treatment Technology

water faucet with water treatment technology

Enrich Products Ionization Launches New Products with Full Water System Remote Monitoring

Enrich Products Ionization (EPI) has launched its newest Ion Generator controller to help facilities effectively and proactively fight legionella in their water. EPI’s Ion Generator controller is set up with local and remote monitoring of crucial settings and alarms. The system adheres to unique state rules and regulations and can immediately communicate real-time data and alert flow and temperature issues as they occur. The Ion Generator controller also comes with a state-of-the-art HMI touch screen, allowing easy user experiences and customized control settings.

EPI’s Copper-Silver Ionization system provides 24/7 monitoring on the whole plumbing system. Continuous water flow throughout the building is essential for effective legionella control. Therefore, it is crucial to have full awareness of the condition and risks in the plumbing system. With the Ion Generator controller providing around-the-clock monitoring, EPI ensures its Legionella solution is not compromised by plumbing issues. The new Ion Generator controller is now installed with every EPI system; upgrades to EPI systems installed before this new controller are available now.

The Ion Generator accompanies another new water treatment technology update — Copper-Silver Monitor (CSM). CSM was developed in partnership with HF scientific, a Watts brand, to measure, monitor, and report daily on the concentration of copper and silver in the water distribution system. The CSM communicates directly with the ionization system so that adjustments can be made quickly and correctly, resulting in cleaner and safer water.

These technologies are exclusively available through EPI.

“For nearly 20 years, our goal has been to deliver the safest and most effective control for Legionella.”

Neil silverberg, president and founder of epi systems

Since 1997, EPI has been providing Healthcare and other communities with Copper-Silver Ionization for the control of Legionella Pneumophila bacteria in potable water systems. EPI equipment is proudly manufactured in Pittsburgh, PA and distributed throughout North America.

For more information on Copper Silver Ionization technology, please contact EPI at 1.800.369.7662 by phone, or by emailing info@coppersilver.com

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Copper for Nosocomial Prevention

Copper-Silver-Reaction

Copper is a potent anti-microbial agent in water – which is why it is so effective in copper silver systems to control Legionella. Recent studies show it may also become the best way to prevent bacterial infections on contact surfaces in hospitals.

Nosocomial (hospital-acquired) infections, like Legionnaires Disease and MRSA, affect millions of people every year. Many nosocomial infections are spread by contact surfaces like bed-rails.

But there is hope to stop this deadly spread of bacteria, thanks again to copper.

In a recent article from NPR, Constanza Correa, a Chilean scientist, shares her research on the effect copper bed-rails are having on hospitals in Chile and the US.

Read the full article from NPR here.