plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Runoff from copper roofing
I am thinking of putting a corrugated copper roof on a barn that I am building. The dimension of the roof is roughly 40' by 125'. Any water that runs off of this roof will eventually flow into my lake, approx. 100 yards away. Is there any risk to the wildlife, plants, fish etc. along the way, or in the lake, of copper toxicity?
Lawalun Cellars - Sonoma, California, USA
Where I work has a copper roof and it is enough to stain the sidewalks green, but the grass and flowers do not show any effect from it. Based on aquatic vegetation research done in LA, I doubt if you will receive enough copper in your lake to affect vegetation. I seriously doubt if it will affect the fish either. Now, oysters love copper and the finest in the world are in a higher copper water. You might look at stocking your lake with clams. They really help keep the water clean.James Watts
- Navarre, Florida
If your lake is big, then you probably don't have a problem but schools breeding fish fry and incubating eggs found out pdq that copper piping carrying the inlet water killed off the eggs ... whereas plastic piping didn't.
If your lake is large, then most probably there's not a problem. But it seems that the schools' experience relates to the larval stage only and they were probably using very small tanks.
Freeman Newton [dec]
(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).