There is a webpage on AirWaterBestPrices.com about Campbell Environmental Systems that claims to be a copper/silver/UV system that is chlorine-free and yet NSF certified. This is a complete lie. The NSF Standard 50 list of Copper/Silver and Copper Ion Generators does not list their system and furthermore ALL such systems have the following note demonstrating that chlorine or bromine is REQUIRED:
One of the NSF certified products also states the following:This product is designed to be operated with no less than 0.4 ppm free chlorine or 0.8 ppm free bromine.
In addition, the NSF Standard 50 list of Ultraviolet Light Process Equipment does not list their system and ALL such systems have the following note:"Chlorine-Free" logo only applicable when unit used with bromine or bromine compounds that do not contain chlorine.
The webpage refers to lay articles about chlorine health effects, but does not refer to nor analyze the actual studies themselves. As I describe in this post the epidemiological studies on chlorinated drinking water either show no increased risk of cardiovascular disease or are inconclusive or insufficient with regard to the relationship to cancer or outcomes of pregnancy. As I describe in this thread, a meta-analysis of studies showed no significant correlation between swimming during childhood and asthma while a recent conference concluded that a suggestive link was not conclusive and noted problems with existing studies. This post and ones following it discuss 3 studies of chlorinated swimming pools in Barcelona, Spain as well as the latest scientific info showing that chloroform is not the THM of concern, but rather it is the brominated THMs.This product is intended for supplemental disinfection and should be used with registered or approved disinfection chemicals to impart residual concentrations in accordance with state and local regulations.
This post shows a kill time comparison between chlorine (roughly at active chlorine levels recommended by this forum) vs. copper and silver. At least the Campbell Environmental Systems product uses copper and silver since other products using copper alone won't kill fecal bacteria. However, as you can see from the chart, copper and silver do not kill bacteria quickly and they are not good with viruses or protozoa. Because they may not prevent person-to-person transmission of disease, they are not allowed to be used without chlorine in commercial/public pools in the U.S., Canada, Australia and countries in Europe following DIN 19643 or related standards. Residential pools are not regulated.
The website says that Cyanuric Acid contains cyanide, but that is yet another lie. Cyanuric Acid can produce some cyanide as a combustion product, but it is made from urea and its degradation in chlorinated water produces nitrogen and carbon dioxide gasses, hydrochloric acid and some intermediate chloramines (and a small amount of nitrogen trichloride) but not cyanide (see this post). This report describes the relatively low toxicity of cyanuric acid (less toxic than table salt). The website says "THIS IS A HIGHLY TOXIC SUBSTANCE WHICH HAS BEEN OUTLAWED IN SEVERAL STATES DUE TO THE ACCUMULATION OF CYANIDE IN THE POOL WATER" which is another lie. Cyanuric Acid has only been prevented from use in commercial/public pools in one state -- New York. The reason has nothing to do with cyanide, but rather that CYA reduces the active chlorine level and New York had outbreaks of Cryptosporidium parvum and felt that they wanted a higher active chlorine level also to be able to shock the pool per CDC guidelines (10 ppm FC with no CYA as described in Hyperchlorination to Kill Cryptosporidium).
The Partial User List for the product also has yet more lies since it has a heading of "CHLORINE - FREE SWIMMING POOLS AND SPAS", yet a quick look at some of the commercial pools shows this is not true with the pools at YMCA Venice, FL and YMCA Flushing, NY where you can see it says "Chlorine-Free: No". In fact, it would be illegal for any commercial/public pool in the U.S. to not be chlorinated (or use another EPA-approved disinfectant such as bromine or Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB though the latter is only used in practice in some residential pools) as described by every state health code as listed by NSPF. The specific state codes for pools listed in the fraudulent webpage are:
Massachusetts64E-9.004 Operational Requirements
(1) Water Quality –
(d) Chemical quality –
2. Disinfection – Free chlorine residual shall be 1 milligram per liter (mg/L) to 10 mg/L, inclusive, in conventional swimming pools and 2 mg/L to 10 mg/L, inclusive, in all other type pools such as spa-type pools and interactive water fountains; bromine residual shall be 1.5 mg/L to 10 mg/L, inclusive, in conventional swimming pools and 3 mg/L to 10 mg/L, inclusive, in all other type pools. Except that, the following maximum disinfectant levels shall apply to indoor conventional swimming pools: 5 mg/L free chlorine or 6 mg/L bromine.
It should be noted that the only equally effective disinfectant registered with the U.S. EPA other than chlorine and bromine is Baquacil/biguanide/PHMB for pools. For spas, Nature2 (silver ion) with MPS (potassium monopersulfate) is also approved. However, in practice, neither system is used in commercial/public pools, mostly due to cost.435.29: Chemical Standards
(1) Swimming, wading and special purpose pool water shall be treated in accordance with the
Disinfection .... pH .... Alkalinity .... Residual Chlorine
................................ (ppm)(mg/l) ..... (ppm)(mg/l)
Chlorine ...... 7.2-7.8 .. 50-150 ...... 1.0-3.0 Free
........................................................ 0.0-0.2 Combined
Bromine ....... 7.2-7.8 .. 50-150 ...... 2.0-6.0
Other equally effective disinfectants registered with the United States Environmental Protection Agency as an approved disinfectant, may be used as a substitute for chlorine or bromine, subject to the approval of the local Board of Health.
(1) Disinfection with chlorine. When chlorine gas, calcium hypochlorite or sodium hypochlorite is used to disinfect a swimming pool and the pool water pH is less than or equal to 7.8, the dose of chlorine or chlorine compound shall be sufficient to maintain a concentration of at least 0.6 mg/l free chlorine throughout the swimming pool. When the pH is between 7.8 and 8.2, a concentration of at least 1.5 mg/l free chlorine residual shall be maintained. A free chlorine residual of 5.0 mg/l or a pH of 8.2 shall not be exceeded in any swimming pool during use.
(2) Disinfection with bromine. When bromine is used as the disinfectant, the following shall be followed:
(i) Bromine shall be fed on a continuous basis.
(ii) The pool pH shall be maintained between 7.2 and 7.8.
(iii) A concentration of at least 1.5 mg/l bromine residual shall be maintained throughout the pool water at all times. A maximum of six mg/l bromine residual shall be permitted in any swimming pool during use.
(iv) Solid-stick or tablet-type bromine (brom-chlor-dimethyl-hydantoin) shall be used with feed equipment conforming to the standards contained in section 6-1.29, item 11.4, of this Subpart.
(3) Other disinfectants. Disinfectants other than those listed above may be used only if the State Commissioner of Health determines they are safe and effective when used in accordance with the manufacturer's directions.
Georgia12 VAC 5-460-250 - Disinfection equipment
All swimming pools shall be provided with approved chlorine feeding equipment. The chlorinating equipment shall be capable of applying a dose up to 6.0 ppm of chlorine at the rate of recirculation.
Nothing in this section shall be construed as debarring any other method of disinfection or filtration equipment demonstrated to be of at least equal efficiency and approved by the State Health Commissioner.
North Carolina290-5-57-.17 Chemical Operational Parameters.
(b) The pool or spa water shall be continuously disinfected by a disinfecting agent that imparts an easily measured residual. The disinfecting agent used shall be subject to field testing procedures that are simple and accurate. Gaseous chlorine, chlorine compounds, bromine compounds or other bactericidal agents shall be acceptable when meeting the disinfectant level parameters outlined in Rule .17 of this Chapter. Other bactericidal agents not outlined in Rule .17 may be used if the health authority can be shown test results that show the agent to be an adequate bactericide for swimming pool and/or spa use.
Also, it should be noted that none of copper/silver/UV oxidizes bather waste such as ammonia, urea, creatinine, etc. While UV can disinfect the water that passes through during circulation, it is not an oxidizer like chlorine. If one truly wanted a halogen-free system for a residential pool, then a copper/silver combo with a boron-doped diamond electrode oxidizer might be reasonable IF you carefully controlled the copper/silver and pH levels to prevent staining and you weren't worried about person-to-person transmission of disease.15A NCAC 18A .2535 WATER QUALITY STANDARDS
Whenever a public swimming pool is open for use, water quality shall be maintained in accordance with the following:
(3) Disinfection shall be provided in accordance with manufacturers' instructions for all pools by a chemical or other process that meets the criteria listed as follows:
(a) registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for pool water or potable water;
(b) provides a residual effect in the pool water that can be measured by portable field test equipment;
(c) will not impart any immediate or cumulative adverse physiological effects to pool bathers when used as directed;
(d) will not produce any safety hazard when stored or used as directed;
(e) will not damage pool components or equipment; and
(f) will demonstrate reduction of total coliform and fecal coliform to a level at least equivalent to free chlorine at a level of one part per million in the same body of water.
(4) When chlorine is used as the disinfectant, a free chlorine residual of at least one part per million (ppm) shall be maintained throughout the pool whenever it is open or in use. Pools that use chlorine as the disinfectant must be stabilized with cyanuric acid except at indoor pools or where it can be shown that cyanuric acid is not necessary to maintain a stable free chlorine residual. The cyanuric acid level shall not exceed 100 parts per million.
(8) When silver/copper ion systems are used, the copper concentration in the pool water shall not exceed one part per million and a chlorine residual must be maintained in accordance with Item (4) of this Rule.
Will someone please sue this company for fraud!