copper silver ionization questions

The following is a list of key copper silver ionization FAQ intended to shed light on Legionella growth prevention water treatment technology advantages and realities.

Copper Silver Ionization FAQ

Is Copper Silver Ionization safe for humans consumption?

Copper silver ionizationIs Copper Silver Ionization safe for humans consumption water treatment is safe for human consumption and does not pose health risks at WHO and/or EPA regulated potable water levels. Facility managers and building owners should periodically test their potable water for ions no less than once per week. Note that the EPA does not test or endorse commercial products, services, or businesses.

How long do Copper Silver Ionization Cells Last?

When properly sized and with regular preventative maintenance, a CSIDefender® Chamber Cell will last 12 to 18 months or longer. The alloy usage is directly proportional to the daily water usage.

Where are copper silver ionization manufactured?

CSIDefender® and AquaLyse® copper silver ionization water treatment solutions for Legionella growth control and prevention in facility potable water networks are designed, manufactured and assembled in Canada. These particular units can be found globally yet all have Canada as country of origin without exception.

How Does Copper Silver Ionization Penetrate Biofilm?

How Does Copper Silver Ionization Penetrate Biofilm? Biofilm is normally made from organic living matter, organic dead matter and inorganic materials. Biofilm is known to build-up over time inside a facility’s potable water distribution network where it can protect and nourishes Legionella bacteria. This in turn can provide ideal growth environments that eventually become problematic for Legionella growth & exposure. CSIDefender® releases positively charged copper and silver ions which saturates this biofilm in 30 – 45 days, creating an environment where Legionella can no longer freely grow and can prevent future growth of this bacteria.

What is Legionnaire’s disease?

Legionnaires’ Disease , originally identified in 1976, is a serious type of preventable pneumonia (i.e. lung infection) that happens when infected micro water droplets, containing Legionella bacteria, are unknowingly inhaled by an unsuspecting person who then might develop Legionnaires’ disease or the milder and less severe version known as Pontiac fever. Most people globally have been exposed to Legionella bacteria yet those who are more at risk of developing Legionnaires’ disease include: the sick, immune compromised, the elderly, smokers, athletes and others with health conditions. These demographics are predominantly found in healthcare facilities, long term care facilities, hotels, cruise ships, high-rise buildings and other types of facilities with elaborate potable water distribution networks.

Why is preventing Legionella bacteria important?

Legionella bacteria, causes Legionnaires’ disease, is a severe and often lethal form of pneumonia. It can develop when a person inhales micro water particles contaminated with Legionella bacteria. Each year, an estimated 10,000 – 18,000 people are infected in the United States alone.


Is Legionella bacteria strictly found in cooling towers?

People believe that most cases of Legionnaire’s disease, cause by Legionella bacteria, are associated to HVAC and/or cooling towers. This is false. In fact, The WHO reports that cooling towers only accounted for 28% of global reported Legionnaires’ disease cases. Other sources or Legionella contamination and Legionnaire’s disease outbreaks include potable water outlets, hot tubs, domestic plumbing systems such as those hound in healthcare, hotels and long term care facilities.

How are copper silver ions created?

CSIDefender® Ionization Chamber Cells contain medical grade electrodes which release positively charged copper and silver ions into the potable water distribution network. These ions bond with and neutralize Legionella bacteria, while saturating the biofilm where Legionella grows to prevent future growth. The result is a powerful and reliable solution that works across the entire water distribution system and keeps facility occupants safe from potential exposure.

What preventative maintenance is required, and what are the effects if this is not performed?

Cleaning the ionization chamber cells is required every 3-6 weeks depending on water quality. Cleaning is very easy. Simply close the bypass, drain the chamber cell, remove the cell, clean & scrub, rinse and reinstall. A chamber cell maintenance activity can normally be done in less than 20 minutes. Chamber cell electrodes are consumables and will deplete over time. These should be replaced every 12-18 months depending on the water load and electrode depletion, to maintain performance.

Do CSIDefender® Copper Silver Ionization Chamber Cells meet fire and plumbing construction codes?

Yes, unlike PVC and CPVC ionization chamber cells, CSIDefender® Ion Chamber Cells are housed in Schedule 40 (316) stainless steel external jackets. Not only does this provide increased durability, it also exceeds local fire building codes and plumbing water pressure and temperature codes.

What happened is we don’t perform the monthly cleaning of the ionization chamber cells?

Failure to conduct preventative maintenance could damage the cell. CSIDefender® systems will detect the lack of maintenance and trigger fault alarms, eventually shutting down automatically until the cell is properly cleaned or replaced.

How soon can we expect to detect ions after the CSI unit is started?

Depending on the size of the unit and number of cells, it can take between 5 – 40 minutes to fully saturate and maintain ionic concentrations in your potable water distribution network.

How often should we test the water for ions once a CSI unit had been installed and calibrated?

Ongoing water testing should be conducted no less than once per week for technology validation.

Can we install a smaller swimming pool CSI unit in a domestic potable water application and expect the same results as a commercial unit?

No, these smaller swimming pool type CSI units are not designed for facility potable water having larger daily water loads. Typically, these CSI units are physically much smaller, less alloy, do not adapt to varying water conditions, and have small electrodes, meaning they do not provide the performance or durability required for larger potable water distribution systems.

Do you have CSI sizing tools to help consultant engineers in new construction projects?

Yes, copper silver ionization project evaluation tools are available for consultant engineering firms. Simply contact us and we will provide you with the appropriate resources.

Can we use copper silver ionization in drinking water?

Yes. City water treatment classified as primary and copper silver ionization is classified as secondary water treatment. When installed at a facility point of use, copper silver ionization can be safely utilised to provide Legionella growth prevention by following EPA drinking water guidelines. CSI technology compliments the initial “primary” city water treatment since city water known to not provide Legionella growth protection for larger facility water distribution networks.

Where can I find Legionella growth control recommendations or standards?

Yes, there are a wide range of Legionella growth control standards available online. These include but not limited to: L8 Code of Practice (UK), ASHRAE188 (USA), WHO, CDC (USA), EPA (USA), JCAHO 1.7 (USA), CSA (Canada), CMS (USA), Health Canada, and many more.

What should I consider when deciding between a copper silver ionization Point-of-Entry and a Domestic Hot Water application?

To determine whether you need a Point-of-Entry (POE) or Domestic Hot Water (DHW) application, answer the following questions:

  • Is your incoming facility water above 68°F (20°C)? 
  • Does your facility have low occupancy or the potential for water stagnation? 
  • Is the facility geographically located in the South (Southern USA, Central & South America, Southern Europe, Middle East, Asia)? 
  • Are there liability concerns that warrant treating all of the facility potable water?

If you answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then a POE should be considered. If “NO” is the answer to all of these questions, then a DHW application can be considered unless otherwise recommended by an industry professional.

How do I size a copper silver ionization system for a point of entry application for 100% incoming water treatment?

You will need to gather following information to properly size a copper silver ionization solution for your point of entry (POE) application. 

  • Size of the POE water line where you want the CSI solution installed,
  • Maximum water flow,
  • Location of the cooling towers makeup water line if present,
  • Expected daily water loads,
  • Determine if you want the CSI system installed “in-line” or “in-parallel” to the incoming water line.

Contact your local representative to receive a complete project submittal package and performance specifications that you can easily integrate into your master specs.

How do I size a copper silver ionization system for a domestic hot water application?

You will need to gather following information to size a copper silver ionization solution for your domestic hot water zone(s). 

  • How many DHW zones does your facility have? A DHW Zone is a completely separate area that has it’s own recirculation loop and hot water maker. If two areas return to a common hot water maker then this would still be considered as one (1) DHW zone.
  • If multiple DHW zones, are any of them located in a common mechanical room?
  • What is the expected DHW daily load per zone?
    • How many beds/rooms are in each zone?

Contact your local representative to receive a complete project submittal package and performance specifications that you can easily integrate into your master specs.

When was copper silver ionization water treatment discovered?

The modern application of Copper silver ionization technology was originally developed in the mid 1950s and has evolved since then. Being of smaller capacity at first, the more modern versions of CSI technology started to make their appearance in the late 1990s. In early 2000, ProCare Water Treatment Inc.(CANADA) was the first to launch a new era of modern copper silver ionization solutions under the brand name AquaLyse®. These powerful CSI units included unique engineering and automation features that propelled the advancements of Legionella growth control into facility potable water distribution networks. Over a decade later, CSIDefender® was introduced to the industry with additional automation features and innovative ionization chamber cell engineering.

What are the advantages of copper silver ionization water treatment solutions for Legionella growth control?

Medical and commercial type Copper silver ionization solutions have been on the market for over 20 years. These larger and powerful Legionella growth control and prevention systems can easily and discreetly be installed in either a point-of-entry (POE) or domestic hot water (DHW) area of a facility. The technology is extremely well documented by industry experts and is known completely saturate a facility within 10 to 45 minutes and provides long lasting biofilm penetration within 30 to 45 days. The technology is stable in all water temperatures, produces no chemical odours, does not discolour the water when properly calibrated, requires a smaller technology footprint than chemical feeders, does not require chemical storage, recognised by the CDC, EPA and WHY, no corrosion, no dangerous by-products such as THMs, easy to install and easy to use. Has never failed when properly sized, calibrated and maintained.

Where can I get copper silver ionization shop drawings for a new construction project?

Copper silver ionization shop drawings are always included in the submittal documents once a project has been properly evaluated. Contact us to start the evaluation steps and receive the appropriate shop drawings for your project.

Is it easy to retrofit a Copper Silver Ionization solution into an existing facility’s potable water distribution network?

Yes, CSIDefender® solutions use standard plumbing components and electrical requirements to be easily installed in existing facilities.

Where can I purchase replacement ionization chamber cells?

CSIDefender® copper silver ionization chamber cells are sold and supported by our global partners network or directly from us. Authentic CSIDefender® copper silver ionization chamber cells are manufactured only in Canada and sold directly from us or by our listed partner locations.

What is the CSIDefender® copper silver ionization solutions warranty?

CSIDefender® controllers include a 10 year limited warranty. The copper silver ionization chamber cells include a 1 year warranty. Click Here for details.

How can I become a certified CSIDefender® partner?

Partner candidates can communicate directly with us to explore the possibility of becoming a certified CSIDefender® vendor.

Does ProCare Water Treatment Inc. (Canada) offer water treatment technology other than copper silver ionization solutions for Legionella growth control?

No, ProCare Water Treatment Inc. (Canada) only manufactures CSIDefender® (distributed in North America) and AquaLyse® (distributed outside North-America). We also provide support to our network of certified CSI partners. Some of these partners do however offer and support additional water treatment technologies such as water filtration systems, water softeners etc. ProCare Water Treatment Inc. (Canada) also has an OEM division for special CSI application environments and branding.

Can I use Ultra Violet water treatment for Legionella growth control and prevention.

There are advantages and disadvantages to UV water treatment technology. Advantages: easy to use, no chemical corrosion and nothing is added to the water. Disadvantages: There is no residual going into the water distribution network and it will not treat the biofilm which is where Legionella is known to grow and cause eventual Legionella outbreak. Additionally, UV technology requires filtration prior to the UV lights to remove any micro particles. That said, UV technology can be used as a complimentary technology to a CSI solution yet should not be relied upon as a primary technology to treat biofilm contamination against Legionella contamination.

Have Questions about Copper Silver Ionization?