Copper is a metal that occurs naturally in environmental waters and can come from natural or human activities. Copper at low doses is not damaging to human health, and is in fact essential, however high levels of copper in the body can cause depression, fatigue and other symptoms.
Copper in water can be classified as insoluble, dissolved (free and complexed), and total recoverable. All copper in solution is known as dissolved copper, including Cu+ (cuprous) and Cu2+ (cupric) ions and copper complexes such as Cu/EDTA.
Copper levels are monitored in drinking water networks, as an increase in copper levels can indicate there is damage to the pipe network which is either causing leaching of copper from the pipes into the water, or alternatively that there is an ingress of water from somewhere else.