FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the eBooster system

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What is the Ecas4 Booster® / eBooster?

The Ecas4 BoosterTM (or eBooster) is the only Australian made and WaterMark-certified device available on the market for in-line treatment of drinking water.

The simplest way to describe it is by referring to a swimming pool chlorinator: both devices allow to produce active chlorine in situ, but while a pool chlorinator requires significant quantities of salt, the eBooster is able to work with normal levels of salt present in drinking water.

How does it work?

Like a pool chlorinator, the eBooster is a device that allows for electrochemical water treatment. Inside the device, microorganisms are eliminated thanks to the effects of electrolysis (electrocution / electroporation); moreover, the salt chlorides present in the water are converted into active chlorine, allowing a disinfection activity that also extends outside the device (residual effect).

How is it installed?

The eBooster is built in such a way as to allow installation inline within water disinfection processes and / or food sanitation processes. We suggest installation in a dedicated line (bypass), to allow easy maintenance of the system, if required, without interrupting the water flow. The bypass line is preferably made of PVC. Please contact us for more information.

Who can install it?

According to Australian regulations, changes to the drinking water supply network can only be performed by a qualified plumber.

What are the benefits?

The eBooster can be applied in all those situations that require a water sanitization treatment, even for preventive purposes. The disinfection treatment is obtained without any dosage of chemical products. OHS risks are thus eliminated, as well as those related to the dosage of by-products that can form when disinfectants are stored for a long time before being used.

What does the installation package include?

The simplest version of the system includes the electrochemical cell (eBooster) and a control panel; the latter can then be connected to a flow switch, a flow meter, a chlorometer, a pH meter, or to any other device designed to control the characteristics of the water (e.g. conductivity, temperature, redox potential).

Where can it be used?

The eBooster is WaterMark certified up to a temperature of 50 °C, which means that it can be installed in both the drinking water supply network (cold water) and in warm water systems.

What kind of maintenance is required?

While no regulatory body will ever accept the idea of a “set and forget” device (especially in the context of drinking water treatment), the eBooster comes very close. The device is self-cleaning as the control board manages the periodical inversion of polarity to the electrodes to remove the scales that can form on electrodes due to water hardness.

How can I monitor the operation of the system?

The control board allows remote monitoring through a dedicated private network (VPN) that relies on the 4G mobile network; if the system is installed in an area with poor network coverage, a connection to the ethernet network is required.

Connection to SCADA or BMS systems is supported; furthermore, the possible occurrence of problems or errors is communicated by sending SMS text messages to up to 3 different mobile phone numbers.

How is an overdose avoided?

Regardless of the chosen working mode, overdosing is avoided by setting a maximum value for the current. When the system is connected to a chlorometer, it is possible to set the variability window (minimum and maximum values) for the free chlorine produced.

How does the system work ‘in practice’?

The system can operate in three different modes:

  1. at constant current (a flow switch is used to stop the system in the absence of water flow)
  2. at variable current, depending on water flow rate (the system adjusts the current aiming to maintain a given active chlorine production – a water flow meter is required, as well as an initial “calibration” of the system, which will periodically be verified)
  3. by using a chlorometer and targeting a set value of free chlorine (a flow switch is however recommended, for safety reasons)
What warranty is provided by the manufacturer?

The system comes with a 2-year warranty, both on the cell and the control board. The lifespan of the electrodes depends on the working conditions (time, current intensity, temperature, level of salts in the water). Ecas4 is pleased to work with customers to define the most appropriate system, to achieve lifetimes of 4 years or more.

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GLOSSARY

Relevant words and their definitions

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Acceptable level of risk

The level of risk a facility is prepared to accept for a hazard and/or hazardous event. Risk levels range from low to very high. A facility should determine its acceptable level of risk for each identified hazard and/or hazardous event before performing a risk assessment.

Approved provider

An entity for which an approval is in force under the Aged Care Act 1997 (Commonwealth).

Backflow prevention device

A device used to prevent reverse flow within a water distribution system which could draw contaminated water back into the system.

Biofilm

A slimy three-dimensional structure made of organic materials (sugars, proteins, lipids, and cellular molecules) secreted by different microorganisms. A biofilm is a biological system that can metaphorically be described as “a city for microbes”; biofilm bacteria share nutrients and are sheltered from harmful factors in the environment, such as desiccation and chemical disinfectants.

BMS system

A building management system (BMS) is a computer-based control system that enables the control and monitoring of the mechanical and electrical equipment of a building such as ventilation, lighting, power systems, fire systems and security systems.

Bypass

A bypass is a system of pipes and valves that allow divert the flow from a pipe section that is under repair or rehabilitation. This diversion allows the flow to continue when the primary line is blocked.

Calibration

Comparison of measurement values delivered by a device under test with those of a calibration standard of known accuracy. Calibration may be required for the following reasons:

  • a new instrument
  • after an instrument has been repaired or modified
  • when a specified time period has elapsed
  • when a specified usage (operating hours) has elapsed
  • before and/or after a critical measurement
  • after an event, for example after an instrument has been exposed to a shock, vibration, or physical damage, which might potentially have compromised the integrity of its calibration
  • whenever observations appear questionable or instrument indications do not match the output of surrogate instruments
  • as specified by instrument manufacturer recommendation.
Chemical disinfectants

Antimicrobial agents applied to non-living objects to destroy microorganisms that are living on the objects. Disinfectants target and destroy the cell wall of microbes or interfere with their metabolism, but are not necessarily able to kill all microorganisms, such as resistant bacterial spores.

Chloramines

Derivatives of ammonia by substitution of one, two or three hydrogen atoms with chlorine atoms (monochloramine NH2Cl, dichloramine NHCl2, trichloramine or nitrogen trichloride NCl3) and all chlorinated derivatives of organic nitrogen compounds.

Chlorine dioxide

Chlorine dioxide is an exceptionally reactive gas, which is not stored due to its instability but rather needs to be manufactured to meet requirements at its place of use in special systems.

Chlorine dosing

Chlorine dosing is intended to establish a free chlorine residual in a water distribution system. A free chlorine residual is effective against most bacteria (including Legionella) but harmless to humans (when within guideline values).

Chlorometer

A device used to measure the amount of chlorine in a solution.

Combined chlorine

The fraction of total chlorine present in the form of chloramines (mono-, di-, or tri- chloramine) and organic chloramines.

Control measure

An action/activity undertaken to reduce or prevent a hazard.

Control point

Location within a water distribution facility at which a hazard may be reduced or prevented (e.g. point-of-entry into a facility, water leaving a storage tank within the facility).

Critical limit

Maximum and/or minimum value set for a particular parameter, measured during monitoring (operational and verification) that indicates controls are effective.

Dead leg

Section within a water distribution system that does not allow the flow of water.

Disinfection residual

The level of disinfectant remaining in a water distribution system after the disinfectant has been dosed.

Distal outlets

Those outlets in a water distribution system located furthest from the water source. For a cold water system, the source could be the inlet to the facility and for a warm/hot water system the source could be the heater or the warm/hot water storage tank.

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Potable

Drinkable; safe to drink.

Dosing point

The location in the water distribution system where small amounts of chemical disinfectant are injected (sometimes at intervals).

Drinking water service provider

All councils or businesses involved in treating, storing, distributing, and reticulating water for drinking purposes. They must be registered under the Water Supply (Safety and Reliability) Act 2008 to provide the drinking water service and are subject to state government regulation.

Electrochemical

An electrochemical device allows to either generate electrical energy from chemical reactions or to use electrical energy to cause chemical reactions.

Electrocution

Death or severe injury by electric shock, electric current passing through the body.

Electrode

An electrode is an electrical conductor used to make contact with a non-metallic part of a circuit (e.g. a semiconductor, an electrolyte, a vacuum or air).

Electrolysis

It is the passing of a direct electric current through an electrolyte producing otherwise non-spontaneous chemical reactions at the electrodes.

Electroporation

Also referred to as electropermeabilization, it is a microbiology technique in which an electrical field is applied to cells in order to increase the permeability of the cell membrane, allowing chemicals or drugs to be introduced into the cell.

Facility

Building(s) sharing plumbing connections under the control of the facility manager, even when not used for clinical purposes.

Flow restrictors

A device designed to limit the flow of water that comes out of a tap or other dispenser.

Free chlorine

Chlorine present in the form of hypochlorous acid (HOCl), hypochlorite ion (ClO) or dissolved elemental chlorine gas (Cl2).

Free chlorine residual

Concentration of residual chlorine in water that is present as dissolved gas (Cl2), hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and/or hypochlorite ions (ClO).

Hazard

An agent (microbiological, chemical or physical) that has the potential to cause harm to patients/residents (e.g. Legionella pneumophila or water above 50°C).

Hazard source

A location or condition that can give rise to, or increase, a hazard (e.g. a dead leg in the plumbing which is a source for stagnant water and hazard proliferation, under suitable conditions).

Hazardous event

A situation that can lead to the presence of hazard or hazardous source (e.g. a decrease in temperature in a hot water system can provide conditions suitable for Legionella growth).

Heterotrophic colony count / Heterotrophic plate count

A method that measures colony formation, on culture media, of heterotrophic bacteria in water. This gives an indication of the total microbial load in a water supply, but does not indicate the safety or otherwise of the water.

Hot water heaters/system

A heated water system that delivers heated water through the majority of a water distribution system at a temperature equal to or greater than 60°C. May include thermostatic mixing valves.

Hydrogen peroxide

A reactive oxygen species with the formula H2O2 and the simplest peroxide, a compound having an oxygen–oxygen single bond. It decomposes slowly when exposed to light, and rapidly in the presence of organic or reactive compounds. It is typically stored with a stabilizer in a weakly acidic solution in a dark bottle to block light.

Hypochlorite (ClO−)

An anion with the chemical formula ClO; it combines with a number of cations to form hypochlorite salts. Common examples include sodium hypochlorite (household bleach) and calcium hypochlorite (a component of bleaching powder, swimming pool ‘chlorine’). Because of its negative charge, it is not able to penetrate pathogens’ membranes.

Hypochlorous acid (HOCI)

A weak acid that forms when chlorine dissolves in water, and itself partially dissociates, forming hypochlorite (ClO). HOCl and ClO are oxidizers, and the primary disinfection agents of chlorine solutions. Hypochlorous acid is found naturally in white blood cells of mammals, including the human body. HOCl is non-toxic and has been used as a safe wound care solution for many years. It has been identified as a disinfectant effective against COVID-19, backed by clinical studies.

Because of its ability to penetrate pathogens’ membranes, it is also used as a commercial deodorizer.

Immune response

In response to infection, the human immune system generates minute quantities of hypochlorous acid within special white blood cells, called neutrophil granulocytes. These granulocytes engulf microorganisms (e.g. viruses or bacteria) in an intracellular vacuole called the phagosome, where they are digested.

Interruption to supply

Scheduled or unscheduled, temporary break in supply of drinking water to a facility.

Legionella

Bacterium which causes Legionnaires’ disease, some species of which thrive in water distribution systems.

Legionellosis

An illness caused by exposure to Legionella

Lifespan

The average length of life of a material object, especially in a particular environment or under specified circumstances.

Mixer tap

A tap for controlling the flow of water enabling hot and cold water out of the same pipe. It ensures the flow of each is controlled separately so that the temperature of the water coming out can be adjusted.

OHS risks

Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) risks are those hazards that can lead to the harm, injury, death, or illness of a worker in a determined workplace