It is a well-known fact that animals living within water enclosures are regularly bombarded with disinfecting agents, to ward off contaminations and diseases. “On a visit to the zoo, I noticed that the sea lions were suffering from cataract,” says Owen.

He asked the zookeeper for an explanation, who “was sure that it is the chlorine they use to keep the water clean that causes the problem. I found this unacceptable. The sea lions were suffering. We knew why. And yet there was no alternative available to keep the enclosure clean,” Owen remembers.

Fuelled by this frustration, Owen embarked on seeking an alternative. The aim was to find a non-chlorine and non-ozone based water sanitisation solution while being at least equally effective, safe to animals, humans and the environment, with none of the adverse effects of chlorine or ozone.

Owen’s research branched in several directions. “One of them was focusing on understanding the impact of electrical charge, frequency and light on living organisms,” he explains. Through this research, Owen came across the sci­entif­ic prin­ciples of elec­tro-chem­ic­ally ac­tiv­ated solu­tions (ECAS).

Through the application of electrical current to saline water, it becomes electrochemically activated. It is in a meta­stable state. Char­ac­ter­ised by ex­cep­tion­al an­ti­mi­cro­bi­al activity – based on the in­ter­ac­tion of the ox­id­at­ive ions, the high redox po­ten­tial (> 1,100 mV) and the low pH – ECAS are su­per­i­or to com­mon chem­ic­al dis­in­fect­ants.

“Advanced ECAS are effective against a wide range of pathogens upon contact – removing viruses, bacteria, germs, fungi and their spores. It is an environmentally friendly, fast-acting disinfectant solution with no petrochemical ingredients,” says Owen.

In Russia, ECAS were used for the treat­ment of drink­ing wa­ter in their na­tion­al space pro­gramme and hos­pit­als for dis­in­fect­ing pur­poses since the 1970s. In the 1980s, ECAS be­came pop­u­lar in Ja­pan as well, used to ster­ilise med­ic­al in­stru­ments, fol­lowed by ap­plic­a­tions in the cul­tiv­a­tion of plants and live­stock farm­ing.

#Explained 1|4 with Prof. @Reynolds_UWE, @UWEBristol
Interested in the #Science behind #ECAS | #ESOL? Let’s look at the historic development and use of Electro-Chemically Activated Solutions (ECAS) first.

— Global Ecology Group (@gegecology) June 30, 2020

After some time has passed, the so-called re­lax­a­tion time, ECAS re­acts back into its ori­gin­al state. Thus, only wa­ter and salts re­main. “The ECAS principle seemed feasible for the problem of the sea lions in the zoo, and I founded Pure Water Science and developed a ‘free radical’ generation chamber for commercial applications in the United Kingdom,” says Owen.

Since then, Owen has been fully committed to researching and developing a wide range of eco-technologies – alternative environmentally friendly solutions for water, soil, air and waste remediation. Owen’s know-how has been instrumental in meeting real-world disasters with ethically responsible countermeasures.

Up to now, Owen promotes and furthers the use of affordable and versatile ECAS. Amidst the global COVID-19 pandemic, he developed and advanced an ECAS fogging system, keeping surfaces in our homes, offices, hospitals, stores and vehicles safe at all times, with no adverse effects on humans or the environment.

Meanwhile, the ECAS technology has also evolved. With new high-per­form­ance ma­ter­i­als for elec­tro­lys­is sys­tems, the in­dus­tri­al ap­plic­a­tion of ECAS has be­come more es­tab­lished as an eco-friendly and user-friendly tech­no­logy in many dif­fer­ent fields all over the world.

And the sea lions? They can attest to the positive effects of ECAS: systems installed in water parks and zoological centres prove to be highly effective at replacing chlorine dose systems in zoological water enclosures and significantly reducing the occurrence of cataracts in sea lions and penguins.


→ To maintain best practice animal husbandry and staff and visitor hygiene, Zoos Victoria rely on a range of chemicals for cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting. For better environmental outcomes, Zoos Victoria plans to reduce their dependence on chemicals by using electrolysed water [page 43].