In these days of modern technology, we rarely, if ever, would dare to drink water directly from the tap or a pond as we are aware that it is unsafe due to the presence of disease causing bacteria, viruses and so on. In order to make water fit enough to drink, today we have UV filters and RO purifiers. In such a world, speaking of drinking water stored in copper vessel might sound anachronistic. Nevertheless, one quick look about the science behind storage of water in copper vessel and its benefits might be educative. Let us explore benefits of drinking copper vessel water.
Storing water in copper and silver pots for purification of water finds mention in ancient texts of Ayurveda. The storage process is known to kill all the micro-organisms that includes virus and bacteria. Thus making it perfectly fit for the drinking purpose. This ancient view is supported from the results of recent research which states that when ground-water with a slightly alkaline pH and contaminated with 500 colony forming units (CFU)/mL of bacteria was stored in copper pots for 16 hours at room temperature, all bacteria were killed. It is reported to destroy diarrhea causing bacteria, such as Vibrio cholerae, enteropathogenic E. coli, Salmonella. It is also effective against many other disease-causing bacteria such as, S. flexneri and Salmonella Paratyphi.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
When water is stored in a copper vessel for about 16 hours, copper, in very small quantities gets dissolved in water. This process, known in scientific parlance as the “oligodynamic effect” has the power to destroy a wide range of molds, fungi, algae and harmful microbes due to its toxic effects on living cells. The copper content of water which reaches levels of about 190 µg/l is well within the permissible limits set by the World Health Organization and thus remains safe for drinking. After 16 hours, a slight increase in the pH of water from 7.83 to 7.93 occurs in copper pots due to which the taste of water might change a little while the physicochemical parameters remain unchanged.