What is Copper?

It is a reddish-brown, malleable, ductile metal element. It is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.

Copper in Water.

Copper is generally found in the earth's crust as oxides, sulfides and rarely in its metallic state. As a consequence of the contact of water with the earth's crust we can find dissolved copper salts in surface waters and in the underground mantles due to industrial activity, usually in concentrations lower than 20 µg / L. However, higher concentrations can be found at points of water use as a result of corrosion of brass and copper pipes.

Health Effects.

Copper is not considered a systemic cumulative poison. Oral doses of up to 100 mg cause symptoms of gastroenteritis and nausea. Copper poisoning in water can be avoided because the taste of copper makes it easy to identify. There is little information about the chronic toxicity of copper. Only people with Wilson's disease are at risk for the toxic effects of this element because of a disorder in their metabolism that does not allow them to synthesize it.

Copper is considered an essential element in human nutrition because it is involved in many enzymatic reactions. A consumption of this one of 2 mg / day is recommended, this dose we can obtain in foods like crustaceans, leguminous, nuts and cocoa.


How is copper removed from water?

There are no methods that will remove 100% of the copper in the water. Some accepted technologies are as follows:

  • Coagulation / Filtration (60 to 95% removal).
  • Ion exchange (up to 95% removal).
  • Lime softening (90% to 96% removal).
  • Reverse Osmosis Systems (90% to 99% removal) (DeZuane, 1997).