Water disinfection systems utilizing electrolytically generated copper and silver ions (200 and 20, 400 and 40, or 800 and 80 micrograms/liter) and low levels of free chlorine (0.1 to 0.4 mg/liter) were evaluated at room (21 to 23 degrees C) and elevated (39 to 40 degrees C) temperatures in filtered well water (pH 7.3) for their efficacy in inactivating Legionella pneumophila (ATCC 33155). At room temperature, a contact time of at least 24 h was necessary for copper and silver (400 and 40 micrograms/liter) to achieve a 3-log10 reduction in bacterial numbers. As the copper and silver concentration increased to 800 and 80 micrograms/liter, the inactivation rate significantly (P less than or equal to 0.05) increased from K = 2.87 x 10(-3) to K = 7.50 x 10(-3) (log10 reduction per minute). In water systems with and without copper and silver (400 and 40 micrograms/liter), the inactivation rates significantly increased as the free chlorine concentration increased from 0.1 mg/liter (K = 0.397 log10 reduction per min) to 0.4 mg/liter (K = 1.047 log10 reduction per min). Compared to room temperature, no significant differences were observed when 0.2 mg of free chlorine per liter with and without 400 and 40 micrograms of copper and silver per liter was tested at 39 to 40 degrees C. All disinfection systems, regardless of temperature or free chlorine concentration, showed increase inactivation rates when 400 and 40 micrograms of copper and silver per liter was added; however, this trend was significant only at 0.4 mg of free chlorine per liter.
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