The combination of copper and zinc (patented under the trade name KDF®) in water
treatment systems removes chlorine, chloramines, iron, lead, bacteria, hydrogen sulfide,
and hundreds of other problem contaminants from the water supply. It also reduces
scale and hardness.
Works Alone or in Combination
Copper-zinc can be used alone or in concert with traditional treatment processes
(such as carbon and reverse osmosis) for a synergistic blend of media. Copper-zinc
assists traditional treatment by extending the life of carbon or reverse osmosis
membranes, by maintaining a bacteriostatic environment inside the filter, and by
leaving a residual of copper and zinc hydroxides in the treated water to discourage
Lasts Longer than Carbon
With a lifespan of 10 to 20 times that of carbon, copper-zinc is the most efficient,
longest lasting, and lowest maintenance filtration media on the market. It removes
the weak link in most water treatment systems: the monitoring and maintenance and
component replacement required by these systems.
CuZn systems perform better because the compact, dense copper-zinc alloy has
no pores that plug up, is not soft like carbon, has no membranes to replace, remains
bacteriostatic, and can be easily backwashed for years of use.
Filters by Catalytic Action
CuZn media functions by catalytic action, using the age-old redox (reduction-oxidation)
principle of dissimilar metals. Water containing dissolved oxygen, minerals, and
organic materials enters a bed of the copper-zinc alloy, with the copper becoming
the cathode and the zinc becoming the anode.
The space between each granule of alloy in the media bed becomes an electrolytic
cell. The water and contaminants act as electrolytes.
As contaminants and oxygen pass through, a reaction takes place, causing zinc
hydroxides and copper hydroxides to form in controlled amounts. These controlled
releases of copper and zinc oxides (chelatable by the body) are carried into the
filtered water and provide hostile conditions for algae, fungus, and bacteria growth.
Eliminates Hard Scale
Within a water system, calcium and magnesium can adhere to plumbing and water
appliances by forming crystalline scale structures. These become hard, interfere
with heat transfer and eventually cause loss of water flow and pressure.
Copper-zinc reshapes these hardness ions so they cannot adhere to each other
or to the inside of plumbing. Instead the calcium and magnesium ions remain soluble
in the water, thus reducing scale while adding life to the water.
(Water without these minerals is flat and can be aggressive, since water in
its most natural state contains minerals such as calcium and magnesium, picked up
from the earth as it filters through rock strata.)
This scale reduction feature is ideal for cooling towers, hot water heaters,
water lines, plumbing, ice-makers, fountains, and other water-using equipment and
Removes Hydrogen Sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide is present in many U.S. water supplies. Recognized by its rotten
egg odor and taste, it is a poisonous gas that can, in large amounts, cause nausea
and illness or death. It is also corrosive to metals, which is especially serious
in older plumbing systems that used lead-based solder.
When hydrogen sulfide passes through copper-zinc media, spontaneous oxidation
removes the hydrogen sulfide by creating zinc oxides and zinc sulfates. Zinc oxides
and zinc sulfates are defined as food supplements and nutrients by the Food and Drug
(During the copper-zinc filtration process, minuscule traces of zinc and copper
are released into the water. In proper amounts, both copper and zinc are necessary
for healthy body functions. The trace amounts found in CuZn filtered water are a
small percentage of the minimum daily requirement for these minerals.)
Meets NSF, EPA Standards
In 1992, the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that copper-zinc, patented
as KDF-, qualifies as a mechanical device. This means the media imparts nothing harmful
to the water. The National Sanitation Foundation tested KDF® and found it to be in
compliance with its Standard 61 for water treatment plant applications and Standard
42 for aesthetic effects (taste, odor, chlorine reduction).
Removes Heavy Metals
Copper-zinc systems are excellent at removing heavy metals, often by electroplating
them to the media's copper-zinc granules. Under normal circumstances, CuZn filtration
removes 90 to 98% of heavy metals, including lead, iron, arsenic, and cadmium.
Works With Chlorination
When iron, hydrogen sulfide, or bacteria are present in large concentrations,
CuZn filtration can be preceded by chlorination and retention time. Chlorination
oxidizes these contaminants and assists the copper-zinc media in their removal. The
copper-zinc, of course, then removes the chlorine and remaining contaminants from
With carbon-only systems, this combination of chlorination and filtration is
not efficient because the carbon is quickly depleted when high levels of chlorine
pass through it.
Works With Carbon
Many CuZn systems use carbon filtration in concert with chlorination and copper-zinc
filtration to treat water with high levels of organic contaminants which carbon is
excellent at removing.
Because the carbon is not removing chlorine (the copper-zinc does this before
the water reaches the carbon) and because the copper-zinc provides a bacteriostatic
environment, carbon's life is greatly increased. (Bacterial fouling of the carbon
media is a serious problem in carbon-only water filtration and requires frequent
System Approach is Best
Water filtration technology has reached the point where using a combination
of treatment methods allows a system approach to water quality problems and provides
better water quality.
CuZn Water Filtration Systems, Inc. has specialized in this approach since its
start in 1987 by combining the most advanced copper-zinc technology with traditional
filtration methods to solve a broad spectrum of water problems.