Copper+O2 Purification

Why ECOsmarte is preferred by Pool Owners Over Salt-to-Chlorine Systems

  1. Swimmers prefer the feel and taste of water treated with the ECOsmarte system over water treated with salt-to-chlorine generators by an overwhelming margin.
  2. ECOsmarte systems work within a calcium hadnress range of 200-2,000ppm. Because it converts calcium to bicarbonate, the ECOsmarte system will eliminate and prevent calcium scaling on pool walls and rock features. Salt-to-chlorine generators do not control calcium csaling and will only work within a calcium range of 200-400ppm.
  3. Since salt-to-chlorine systems produce chlorine, the sanitizing effectiveness of the system is impacted by changes in temperature, bather load, sunlight and rainfall. Changes in any of these factors may require additional “shocking” of the water to prevent an algae outbreak. ECOsmarte’s effectiveness is not significantly affected by these factors. An ECOsmarte owner does not have to be concerned about doing anything different to treat their pool if they have 20 kids in the pool all day. The pool water will still provide bacterial and algae protection for a full week or more.
  4. Vinyl liners, automated pool covers and solar covers may become damaged from the use of chlorine or salt-to-chlorine generators. Since the ECOsmarte system does not require the use of harmful oxidizing chemicals, these expensive pool components can be expected to last their normal life expectancy.
  5. Salt-to-chlorine generators will use an average of 500 watts of AC power for a 20,000 gallon pool. ECOsmarte systems will use an average of only 40 watts of DC power to treat the same amount of water.
  6. Salt-to-chlorine generators and the ECOsmarte system both use a chamber in their process. The difference is that a salt-to-chlorine generator cell may need to be replaced in 3-5 years at a cost of over $400. The copper bars in the ECOsmarte chamber cost $150 to replace and they should last 2-4 years. The ECOsmarte chamber is warranted for 5 years and should last indefinitely.
  7. The backwash discharge from an ECOsmarte treated pool is safe for use on lawns and in a garden since it does not contain any salt or sodium. Backwash from pools treated with salt-to-chlorine generators can kill plant life, sterilize soil preventing plant growth and is prohibited in many municipalities in the United States and Australia (where salt-to-chlorine systems were invented).
  8. ECOsmarte offers six days per week of toll-free support at 1-800-ION-SWIM to consumers, dealers and service personnel. No such support is available by any manufacturer of salt-to-chlorine generators being sold in the United States.
  9. If you have an attached spa the results with ECOsmarte will be dramatic with hot water. No odor with ECOsmarte, salt systems have noticeable and unpleasant odors when water is heated.

    ECOsmarte uses low level DC voltage, salt systems and ozone use high amperage AC voltage.

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    <a href=”…-a054710060″>Swimming pool disinfection: efficacy of copper/silver ions with reduced chlorine levels.</a>

Swimming pool disinfection: efficacy of copper/silver ions with reduced chlorine levels.


    Pathogenic micro-organisms such as bacteria, protozoa, and viruses may occur naturally in recreational waters (1,2). In addition, they may be introduced into swimming pools by bathers or through faulty connections between the filtration system and the sanitary sewer (3,4). Proper treatment of swimming pool water is essential for prevention of diseases spread by micro-organisms.

    Traditionally, chlorine and chlorine compounds have been used to disinfect To remove the virus code that has attached itself to a legitimate file. Sometimes, the antivirus program cannot untangle the code, and the infected file has to be deleted. See quarantine.  swimming pool waters (5). Free available chlorine (FAC FAC – Functional Array Calculator. An APL-like language, but purely functional and lazy. It allows infinite arrays.

    [“FAC: A Functional APL Language”, H.-C. Tu and A.J. Perlis, IEEE Trans Soft Eng 3(1):36-45 (Jan 1986)]. ) levels of 1.0 parts per million parts per million

    mg/kg or ml/l; see ppm.
    ….. Click the link for more information. (ppm) or greater are usually maintained to ensure effective control of micro-organisms and to make acceptable the general sanitary quality of swimming pool waters. Although an effective disinfectant, chlorine has several disadvantages. The lifetime of the FAC residual varies with climatic conditions and bather load (chlorine demand). When chlorine reacts with organic compounds and nitrogen compounds present in the water, it forms objectionable by-products such as trihalomethanes (THMs) and chloramines. FAC levels of 0.6 ppm or greater have been associated with irritation of eyes, nasal passages, and skin, as well as with objectionable odors in the pool environment (6). Also, chlorine has a corrosive effect on pool structures, necessitating expensive maintenance work.


    Other studies have documented the use of copper/silver ions in conjunction with low levels of chlorine to inactivate in·ac·ti·vate
    1. To render nonfunctional.

    2. To make quiescent.

    in·acti·va micro-organisms (7,8). In addition to controlling bacteria and viruses, metal ions in part per billion (ppb) concentrations are effective in controlling algae algae (ăl`jē) [plural of Lat. alga=seaweed], a large and diverse group of primarily aquatic plantlike organisms. These organisms were previously classified as a primitive subkingdom of the plant kingdom, the thallophytes (plants that  and fungi (6,9). Copper and silver ion disinfection disinfection,
    n the process of destroying pathogenic organisms or rendering them inert.

    disinfection, full oral cavity,
    n a procedure used to reduce active periodontal disease, usually completed within a certain short time frame.  has several advantages over chlorine. The ions are chemically stable and do not undergo the destructive reactions of aqueous chlorine, nor do they escape from the water by volatilization volatilization /vol·a·til·iza·tion/ (vol?ah-til-i-za´shun) conversion into vapor or gas without chemical change.

    See evaporation.  as chlorine does. In addition, the metal ions do not form objectionable byproducts such as chloramines or THMs, and they do not exhibit the corrosive properties of chlorine.

    Electrolytic e·lec·tro·lyt·ic
    1. Of or relating to electrolysis.

    2. Produced by electrolysis.

    3. Of or relating to electrolytes.

    e·lec generation of copper/silver ions in swimming pool water allows ppb concentrations to be maintained in a convenient and reproducible manner. Regulating the current to the metal electrodes that generate the [TABULAR DATA FOR TABLE 1 OMITTED] ions, as well as the flow rate of water passing between the electrodes, enables precise control of metal ion concentrations. Studies by Gerba and co-workers indicate that the use of 300 to 400 ppb of copper and 40 ppb of silver combined with 0.1 to 0.4 ppm of chlorine is more effective than higher levels of chlorine in limiting a number of micro-organisms, including coliform coliform /col·i·form/ (kol´i-form) pertaining to fermentative gram-negative enteric bacilli, sometimes restricted to those fermenting lactose, e.g., Escherichia, Klebsiella, or Enterobacter. . These studies suggest a synergistic effect Synergistic effect

    A violation of value-additivity in that the value of a combination is greater than the sum of the individual values.  upon micro-organisms subjected to copper or silver ions in the presence of low levels of chlorine (7,10).

    To the authors’ knowledge, no field studies have been conducted to show the efficacy of copper/silver ions in combination with low levels of chlorine. The primary objective of this study is to demonstrate that, in a municipal swimming pool with a usual bather load, copper and silver ions produced by electrolytic ionization ionization: see ion.


    Process by which electrically neutral atoms or molecules are converted to electrically charged atoms or molecules (ions) by the removal or addition of negatively charged electrons.  and used with low levels of chlorine provide a level of disinfection for total-coliform bacteria that is equivalent to or better than that obtained with higher levels of chlorine alone. A secondary objective was to determine whether the use of ionization with lower levels of chlorine would adequately control other bacteria, such as heterotrophs. This article reports the results of the bacteriological bac·te·ri·ol·o·gy
    The study of bacteria, especially in relation to medicine and agriculture.

    ….. Click the link for more information. testing.

    Materials and Methods

    The Municipal Swimming Pool in the town of Brookline, Massachusetts, was selected as the site for this study. The pool is well operated and maintained by the staff of the Brookline Recreation Department. Residents of the town and surrounding communities use the pool year round, as do organized high school swimming programs. The pool complex was constructed in 1958 and comprises three separate pools: a diving pool, a wading pool, and a lap pool. The three pools have a total volume of 245,880 gallons. The water for the entire complex is filtered through low-pressure sand filters with a capacity of 520 gallons per minute, corresponding to a turnover rate of eight hours. Sodium hypochlorite sodium hypochlorite
    An unstable salt usually stored in solution and used as a fungicide and an oxidizing bleach. , in 10 percent aqueous solution is metered through a system that senses the FAC level in the pool and maintains it at a value set by the operator.

    The copper/silver ion generator used in this study was a Crystal Water System Model CWS CWS Chicago White Sox
    CWS College World Series
    CWS Church World Service
    CWS Child Welfare Services
    CWS Canadian Wildlife Service
    CWS Community Water System (EPA)
    CWS Canada-Wide Standard
    CWS Compressed Work Schedule  3001 that consists of two components: a wall-mounted controller and two flow cells with six copper/silver electrodes each. The ratio of copper to silver in the electrodes is 99:1, which allows the facility to meet the NSF International requirement that the copper and silver ions released into the pool comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), independent agency of the U.S. government, with headquarters in Washington, D.C. It was established in 1970 to reduce and control air and water pollution, noise pollution, and radiation and to ensure the safe handling and  (U.S. EPA EPA eicosapentaenoic acid.

    eicosapentaenoic acid

    EPA, See acid, eicosapentaenoic.

    n. ) Drinking Water drinking water

    supply of water available to animals for drinking supplied via nipples, in troughs, dams, ponds and larger natural water sources; an insufficient supply leads to dehydration; it can be the source of infection, e.g. leptospirosis, salmonellosis, or of poisoning, e.g.  Regulations (11,12). In this study, flow cells were constructed of high-pressure Schedule 80 polyvinyl chloride polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic that is a polymer of vinyl chloride. Resins of polyvinyl chloride are hard, but with the addition of plasticizers a flexible, elastic plastic can be made.
    ….. Click the link for more information. (PVC PVC: see polyvinyl chloride.

    in full polyvinyl chloride

    Synthetic resin, an organic polymer made by treating vinyl chloride monomers with a peroxide. ) and measure 18 [inches] long. The flow cells were inserted in a separate water loop that fed from the main pool line to a dehumidifier Dehumidifier

    Equipment designed to reduce the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere. There are three methods by which water vapor may be removed: (1) the use of sorbent materials, (2) cooling to the required dew point, and (3) compression with aftercooling.  on the roof of the pool complex.

    Chapter V of the Massachusetts Sanitary Code requires swimming pool waters to be disinfected Disinfected
    Decreased the number of microorganisms on or in an object.

    Mentioned in: Isolation  with chlorine at a FAC of 1.0 ppm. Any alternative disinfection method that uses lower FAC levels requires a variance. A test protocol was written by Crystal Water Systems and approved both by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health The Massachusetts Department of Public Health is a governmental agency of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with various responsibilities related to public health within that state.  (MDPH MDPH Massachusetts Department of Public Health ) and by the Brookline Health Department (13). After a public hearing, a variance was obtained from the Brookline Health Department and was subsequently approved by MDPH. The protocol required that total-coliform bacteria levels be monitored during the entire study. The criterion for acceptance of the alternative disinfection method was that it provides control of total-coliform bacteria that was equivalent to the control provided by high levels of chlorine used alone. In addition, so that comparisons could be made between the disinfection methods, heterotrophic heterotrophic /het·ero·tro·phic/ (-tro´fik) not self-sustaining; said of microorganisms requiring a reduced form of carbon for energy and synthesis.  bacteria were monitored by standard plate count during the entire study.

    Under terms of the variance, the protocol specified that Crystal Water Systems would conduct a “baseline period” study, during which samples and physical, chemical, and bacteriological data were gathered for analysis. During the baseline period, which began on June 25, 1996, no changes were made in the operation of the pool, and chlorine dosage was maintained at 1.0 ppm FAC or greater. At the end of the “baseline period,” the copper/silver generator was activated, and the “ramp-up period” began on August 1, 1996. When copper levels in the pool water reached 300 ppb, the level of chlorine was reduced to 0.4 ppm, commencing the “Pilot Test Period” on September 17, 1996. The pilot test period was concluded on December 21, 1996.

    The pool was shut down twice during the course of this study. The first shutdown, for the annual maintenance program, lasted from August 25 to September 10, 1996. The second shutdown, which lasted from October 19 to October 28, 1996, resulted from five days of record rainfall that flooded the water treatment room and caused all pumps to fail. The filtration system pumps were replaced on October 28, and the pump servicing the ionizer ionizer,
    n See electrolyzer.  was replaced on November 14. Thus, the pilot test period was split into two periods, which were referred to as “Pilot Period I” and “Pilot Period II.” The period of time between the two pilot periods (October 28 through November 18) will be referred to as “flood interruption” in this article. During flood interruption, elevated chlorine dosages were used while the pump for the ionization system was being repaired.

    Following standard protocol, pool staff tested the FAC and recorded the bather load four times a day. The testing and records were reviewed by the local board of health. During the ramp-up and pilot test periods, pool staff measured copper levels four times a day, on average, using a colorimetric col·or·im·e·ter
    1. Any of various instruments used to determine or specify colors, as by comparison with spectroscopic or visual standards.

    2. test kit (La Motte Copper Test Kit EC-70, from La Motte Chemical Products Co., Inc., Chestertown, Maryland). For FAC, copper, and microbiological tests, samples were taken directly from the pool. A certified laboratory (G&L Labs, from Quincy, Massachusetts) collected and analyzed water samples for total-coliform bacteria and heterotrophic plate count three times a week during all three test periods. Throughout the study, the Brookline Health Department visited the site daily to monitor the operation of the pool, as well as to collect samples for pool water chemistry and microbiological tests.


    Table 1 shows the mean values, standard deviations, and ranges for FAC, copper ion concentration, heterotrophic plate counts, and bather load for the three periods. The total-coliform results are given as number of positives relative to the total number of samples tested in each period. The mean FAC levels during the pilot periods were 0.50 ppm and 0.57 ppm. The NSF International standard for copper/silver ion generators requires that they be used in conjunction with no less than 0.4 ppm FAC. Average chlorine usage during the baseline period was 9 to 10 gallons per day During the pilot period, chlorine usage was reduced to approximately 2.7 gallons per day.

    As indicated in Table 1, daily bather loads varied over a considerable range, especially during the baseline period. Bather load has a significant impact on chlorine demand, and the authors investigated its effect on FAC by using linear regression Linear regression

    A statistical technique for fitting a straight line to a set of data points. . The correlation coefficient Correlation Coefficient

    A measure that determines the degree to which two variable’s movements are associated.

    The correlation coefficient is calculated as:  for FAC versus cumulative bather load (total bather load up to the time that FAC was sampled) was calculated for the baseline period and the two pilot periods. Correlation coefficients were -0.43, -0.19, and -0.50 respectively, showing a weak trend. In addition, the individual FAC levels, with few exceptions, were close to the mean FAC level for each period. These results indicate that the chlorinator is capable of maintaining an adequate FAC during conditions of high bather load.

    The mean copper levels during the two pilot periods were 287 and 300 ppb, respectively, and the low standard deviations indicate that the levels are in a fairly narrow control range. According to NSF International, the optimum copper level for use with 0.4 ppm FAC is 250 to 300 ppb. The ionizer was able to maintain this level. All copper levels measured during this study met the U.S. EPA Drinking Water Standard of 1.3 ppm or less, which is also an NSF International requirement for swimming pools (11,12). During the ramp-up period, it took the ionizer 22 days to bring the copper level to 300 ppb from an initial concentration of 0 ppb. During flood interruption, the copper level gradually fell from 300 ppb to 250 ppb and remained there until the pump servicing the ionizer was replaced 25 days later.

    Silver ion levels are not routinely monitored, because their concentration is low. Typically, silver ion concentration is 0.7 percent of the copper ion concentration and must be measured with sensitive methods such as graphite furnace atomic absorption Graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrometry (GFAAS) (also known as Electrothermal Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (ETAAS)) is a type of spectrometry that uses a graphite-coated furnace to vaporize the sample. . Silver ions are a more potent biocide biocide (bī`əsīd’), synonym for pesticide.  than copper; however, silver is more expensive and can cause staining in higher concentrations. Silver ion is thought to be more strongly adsorbed than copper to surfaces in contact with pool water, where it acts to inhibit the formation of biofilms.

    Total-coliform results were negative except for one sample collected during the baseline period (Table 1). No total-coliform bacteria were observed during any of the periods in which ionization was used. Differences in the mean values for the heterotrophic plate counts shown in Table 1 were tested for statistical significance with the Student’s t-test, and the differences were found not to be significant (r 0.10).


    A method of disinfection that used electrolytically generated copper and silver ions in conjunction with low levels of chlorine was evaluated as an alternative to higher levels of chlorine used alone. Total-coliform bacteria were controlled equally with the two methods: only one positive result was found out of 62 samples tested, and that result occurred during the baseline period before use of ionization. This result is similar to results reported by Gerba et al., who found that low levels of chlorine (0.3 ppm) combined with copper/silver ions (in a ratio of 400:40 ppb) controlled total coliforms as well as did higher levels of chlorine (1.0 ppm) (10). Total-coliform bacteria are a good indicator of the sanitary quality of swimming pool water and the efficacy of disinfection methods.

    Although most heterotrophic bacteria are not pathogenic and no relationship between heterotroph heterotroph (hĕt`ərətrōf’), living organism that obtains its energy from carbohydrates and other organic material. All animals and most bacteria and fungi are heterotrophic.  levels and disease has been demonstrated, their incidence in pool water makes them a significant source of information about the general sanitary quality of the pool. It is instructive to compare the results this field study obtained for heterotrophs with those obtained by Gerba et al. in their laboratory simulation of indoor swimming pool water inoculated with natural body flora and urine (10). Gerba et al. found that water samples from indoor test systems disinfected with 400 ppb copper, 40 ppb silver, and 0.3 ppm chlorine had levels of heterotrophic bacteria equivalent to those in test systems disinfected with 1.0 ppm chlorine. The present study corroborated cor·rob·o·rate
    tr.v. cor·rob·o·rat·ed, cor·rob·o·rat·ing, cor·rob·o·rates
    To strengthen or support with other evidence; make more certain. See Synonyms at confirm.  these findings: The heterotrophic plate counts shown in Table 1 for the baseline period and the pilot periods were equivalent.

    It is also interesting that the range of heterotrophic plate counts for Pilot Period II (zero to 149) was so much narrower than the range for Pilot Period I (zero to 480). The authors theorize the·o·rize
    v. the·o·rized, the·o·riz·ing, the·o·riz·es

    To formulate theories or a theory; speculate.
    To propose a theory about.  that even during flood interruption, when the pumps were off, the copper and silver ions already present in the water continued to have effect. Thus, the lower range of heterotrophic plate counts for Pilot Period II suggests that copper/silver ions have a long-term residual effect in disinfecting pool water; over time the water gets cleaner.

    The conclusion of this study is that electrolytically generated copper and silver ions used in conjunction with lower levels of chlorine can provide control of total-coliform and heterotrophic bacteria that is equivalent to the control provided by chlorine at high levels. Ion concentrations are readily controlled in a narrow range around a set point and form a long-lived residual that protects against microbiological growth.

    After review of this study, MDPH issued a Letter to Boards of Health stating that copper/silver ionization had been demonstrated to maintain a reasonably safe swimming pool environment and that the hazard to the public health is not greater than with other technology approved for the disinfection of swimming pools.

    Acknowledgements: The authors wish to express their gratitude for significant assistance and cooperation to Howard Wensley, director of the Division of Environmental Sanitation, MDPH; Thomas Hennessey of the Brookline Board of Selectmen SELECTMEN. The name of certain officers in several of the United States, who are invested by the statutes of the several states with various powers. ; Dr. Alan Balsam balsam (bôl`səm), fragrant resin obtained from various trees. The true balsams are semisolid and insoluble in water, but they are soluble in alcohol and partly so in hydrocarbons. , commissioner, Patrick Maloney, chief, and Golan Kedan, intern, from the Brookline Department of Health; Robert Lynch, director, and Kathy Cummings, recreation supervisor, from the Brookline Recreation Department; James Locke, pool manager; Sharon Brockhuizen, assistant pool manager; and Lloyd Lovering, of the Brookline Municipal Pool staff.

    Corresponding Author: Thomas J. White, Crystal Water Systems, 146 Hammond St., Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.


    1. Mudgett, C.C., R. Ruden, and C.C. Austin (1998), “A Beach-Associated Outbreak of Escherichia Coli Escherichia coli (ĕsh’ərĭk`ēə kō`lī), common bacterium that normally inhabits the intestinal tracts of humans and animals, but can cause infection in other parts of the body, especially the urinary tract.  O157:H7,” Journal of Environmental Health, 60(9):7-13.

    2. Meinhardt, PL., D.P Casemore, and K.B. Miller (1996), “Epidemiologic Aspects of Human Cryptosporidiosis Cryptosporidiosis Definition

    Cryptosporidiosis refers to infection by the sporeforming protozoan known as Cryptosporidia. Protozoa are a group of parasites that infect the human intestine, and include the better known Giardia. and the Role of Waterborne Transmission,” Epidemiological Review, 18(2):118-136.

    3. Kee, F., P. Coyle, G. McElroy, D. Stewart, and J. Watson (1994), “A Community Outbreak of Echovirus echovirus /echo·vi·rus/ (ek´o-vi?rus) an enterovirus isolated from humans, separable into many serotypes, certain of which are associated with human disease, especially aseptic meningitis.  Infection Associated with an Outdoor Swimming Pool,” Journal of Public Health Medicine 16(2):145-8.

    4. Joce, R.E., J. Bruce, PA. Chapman, W.B. Dempster, P. Gumsley, D. Kiely, N.D. Noah, P. Norman, R. Stalker, J. Watkins, et al. (1991), “An Outbreak of Cryptosporidiosis Associated with a Swimming Pool,” Epidemiology and Infection, 107:497-508 [Medline Abstract].

    5. Kababjian, Richard S. (1995), “Disinfection of Public Pools and Management of Fecal Accidents,” Journal of Environmental Health. 58(1):8-12.

    6. Clarke, N.A., and D. Berman (1983), “Disinfection of Drinking Water, Swimming Pool Water, and Treated Sewage Effluents,” In Disinfection, Sterilization sterilization

    Any surgical procedure intended to end fertility permanently (see contraception). Such operations remove or interrupt the anatomical pathways through which the cells involved in fertilization travel (see reproductive system). , and Preservation, Ed., S.S. Block, Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, pp. 529-534.

    7. Gerba, C.P., S.M. Kutz, L.K. Landeen, and M.T. Yahya (1989), “Swimming Pool Disinfection, An Evaluation of the Efficacy of Copper:Silver Ions,” Journal of Environmental Health, 51(5):282-285.

    8. Gerba, C.P, S.M. Kutz, L.K. Landeen, and M.T. Yahya (1989), “Microbiological Evaluation of Copper:Silver Disinfection Units for Use in Swimming Pools,” Water Science Technology, 21:267-270.

    9. Lukens, R.J. (1983), “Antimicrobial Agents in Crop Production,” In Disinfection, Sterilization, and Preservation, Ed., S.S. Block, Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, pp. 529-534.

    10. Gerba, C.P., S.M. Kutz, L.K. Landeen, M.C. Messina, R. Schulze, and M.T. Yahya (1990), “Disinfection of Bacteria in Water Systems by Using Electrolytically Generated Copper:Silver and Reduced Levels of Chlorine,” Canadian Journal of Microbioloy, 36(2):109-116.

    11. National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (1998), 40 CFR CFR

    See: Cost and Freight  [section] 141.

    12. “Copper/Silver in Copper Iron Generators” (1992), In Circulation System Components and Related Materials for Swimming Pools, Spas/Hottubs, NSF International Standard Section 16, NSF NSF – National Science Foundation  50-1992, Ann Arbor, Mich.: NSF International.

    13. McLoughlin, T.F. (1997), “Town of Brookline Pilot Study: Efficacy of Copper/Silver ton Generation with Reduced Chlorine Levels on Disinfection and Operation of a Municipal Swimming Pool,” Report Including Protocol and Data of Study Conducted Jointly by Crystal Water Systems and Brookline Recreation Department, Available from Crystal Water Systems, Chestnut Hill, Mass.

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