Consider the Birds When Doing Cistern Water Treatment

By: Larry Couture

Rainwater or catchment systems have come into vogue with the greening of America. Often overlooked are bird droppings directly into the cisterns or on the roofs that collect the rainwater.

“Our initial experience with cisterns was with properties that depended on the rainwater in MT, CA, Hawaii, Belize and the Virgin Islands. These sites have been willing to invest in residual bacteria control using Apollo technology our system is based on,” Bob Yonke, SR. VP. of Water Treatment at ECOsmarte in Minneapolis, MN.

Yonke added very few catchment systems exist in his home market of Minnesota although a strong local interest has developed in both rainwater and stormwater waste management.

Birds have long been known to be the global carriers of both animal and human viruses. Ionization has been accepted as a valid microbe control method since the 1960’s when NASA implemented ionization in the Apollo Lunar Program with the three week missions initially engineered in fear of moon microbes.

NASA originally paid Honeywell in Minneapolis over $1 Million each for a vacuum tube system that needed over 12 cubic feet and did not include filtration. Today the ECOsmarte equipment uses 11” of replaced pipe, a 10” control box hung on the wall and configures with any water treatment filter available from Culligan, Kinetico, ECOwater, General Ionics, Rainsoft and Hague to name several.‍

“The key is to begin with a pharmaceutical grade carbon tower (backwashable) with a flow switch or valve that talks to the ECO controller. ECOsmarte offers fully configured systems in areas where no dealer is present,” Yonke added.

Apollo satellite

ECOsmarte technology has been taken from NASA's three week missions to the moon - where moon microbes were the concern.

Technical Specifications

Mechanical Specifications

Operating Press. Max. 150 PSIG
Operating Temp. Max. 120° F
Tank listing and structural integrity requirements only

Proprietary composite material

100% Pure Copper


Input Voltage: 110to267 Volts, Specify
Output Voltage: 100 VA Class UL CSA
                     Compliance Power Supply
GPM: Each Unit 22 GPM to 200 GPM

Irrigation Systems May require more than one electronics package

Microbe Control

- Coliform
- Pseudomonas
- Fusaria

- Legionella
- Other viruses

ECOsmarte control panel.
Grey ECOsmarte chamber
Glass Pack media logo