Source of Copper
Copper (Cu-3) in drinking water can be derived from rock weathering, however the principal sources are the corrosion of brass and copper piping and the addition of copper salts when treating water supplies for algae control. The body for proper nutrition requires copper. Insufficient amounts of copper lead to iron deficiency. However, high doses of copper can cause liver damage or anemia. The taste threshold for copper in drinking water is 2 - 5 mg/l. The US EPA has proposed a maximum contaminant level (MCL) of 1.3 mg/l for copper.
Treatment of Copper
Copper can be reduced or removed with sodium form strong acid cation resin (softener) dependent on the concentration. If the cation resin is regenerated with acid performance will be enhanced. Reverse osmosis or electrodialysis will remove 97 - 98% of the copper in the water supply. Activated carbon filtration will also remove copper by adsorption.
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