top of page

How to Use Copper Sulfate

Lake treated with Copper Sulfate

Let Your Lake or Pond Shine by Using Copper sulfate to kill algae.  This product can be applied in lakes, potable water reservoirs, ponds (golf, farm, fish, and fire), fish hatcheries, crop and non-crop irrigation conveyance systems, ditches, canals, and laterals.  Copper sulfate will kill filamentous and planktonic algae in water.

Copper Sulfate Application For Algae Control

Apply at a rate of 3 to 6 pounds per acre foot of water (0.27 ppm to 0.54 ppm copper in the treated water). Apply as a uniform surface spray dissolved in at least 3 to 5 gallons of water using boat, plane or other pressurized spray device. Apply twice yearly or as needed. Determine the number of acre feet of water to be treated.


An acre foot of water is equal to one acre of water one foot deep which equals 328,000 gallons or 2,720,000 pounds.  An acre foot can also be defined as an area of water 660 feet X 66 feet X 1 foot depth.

Calculate Water Volume As Follows


1. Obtain surface area by measuring regular shaped ponds or mapping of irregular ponds or by reference to previously recorded engineering data or maps.


2. Calculate average depth by sounding in a regular pattern and taking the mean of these readings or by reference to previously obtained data.


3. Multiply surface area in feet by average depth in feet to obtain cubic feet of water volume.


4. Multiply surface area in acres by average depth in feet to obtain total acre-feet of water volume.


Calculate Weight Of Water To Be Treated As Follows:


1. Multiply the volume in cubic feet by 62.44 to obtain total pounds of water, or


2. Multiply the volume in acre feet by 2,720,000 to obtain pounds of water

Calculations of active ingredient to be added:

Calculate The Amount Of Product Needed To Achieve The Recommended Concentration:

Multiply the weight of water by the recommended concentration of the product. Since recommended concentrations are normally given in parts per million (ppm), it will first be necessary to convert the value in parts per million to a decimal equivalent. For example, 2 ppm is the same as 0.000002 when used in this calculation. Therefore, to calculate the amount of Copper Sulfate Pentahydrate to treat 1 acre-foot of water with 2 ppm Copper Sulfate, the calculation would be as follows: 0.000002 x 2,720,000 = 5.44 lbs. Copper Sulfate.


Calculation Of Water Flow In Ditches, Streams, and Irrigation Systems:


The amount of water flow in cubic feet per second is found by means of a weir or other measuring device.  NOTE:  If treated water is to be used as potable water (after further treatment), the residual metallic copper content must not exceed 1.0 ppm (4 ppm copper sulfate pentahydrate).



Copper Sulfate Application to Water Bodies











1. Application by Dragging Under Water: By placing Copper Sulfate in a burlap or finer mesh bag, apply by dragging the bag attached to a boat or float so that bags are suspended in the top foot of water until the crystals are dissolved. Drag the bag of copper sulfate first near the shoreline and continue outward by moving as the boat travels in parallel lines about 20 to 100 feet apart until area has been treated or until 1/3 to 1/2 of the surface area has been treated. Continue dragging bag over treated area until the required minimum dose is applied and all copper sulfate is dissolved. Determine the quantity of copper sulfate needed to treat the problem area following directions and precautions on the label.


2. Application by Spraying Solution on Water Surface: Dissolve the minimum required dose of  Copper Sulfate in water and spray the solution uniformly over the body of water. When spraying a solution of copper sulfate, mix copper sulfate in sufficient water to thoroughly spray the water surface. While the volume per surface acre depends on the type of spray equipment being used, spray volume should be approximately 20 to 500 or more gallons per acre of surface water. Several types of solutions and spraying equipment may be used. Observe previous cautions on the effect of copper sulfate solution on various metals in spraying containers.


3. Application by Slug Method: Make a dump of Copper Sulfate into the irrigation ditch or lateral at ¼ to 2 pounds per second of water per treatment. Repeat about every 2 weeks as needed. A dump is usually necessary every 5 to 30 miles depending on water hardness, alkalinity, and algae concentration. Copper Sulfate becomes less effective as the bicarbonate alkalinity increases. Its effectiveness is significantly reduced when the bicarbonate alkalinity exceeds about 150 ppm as calcium carbonate (CaCO3).


4. Application by Broadcasting: Dry Copper Sulfate can be broadcast on the water surface using a properly equipped boat. An air blower can be used to discharge these crystals at a specific rate over the surface of the water. When using this method, the wind direction is an important factor. Do not use this method unless completely familiar with this type of application.


5. Application by Spraying from Airplanes and Helicopters: Professional personnel licensed by the State Agricultural Extension Service are allowed to apply dry Copper Sulfate in some states. Rate may not exceed 6 pounds per acre foot of water.


6. Application by Injection in Water: A solution can be made with Copper Sulfate that can be injected in the water via a piping system.


Copper Sulfate Application to Irrigation Conveyance Systems, Ditches, Canals, and Laterals



This product controls potamogeton pondweeds, leafy, and sago.


1. Continuous Application Method: Using a continuous feeder, apply 1.6 to 2.4 pounds per cubic foot per second per day. These rates will produce 0.074 to 0.11 ppm copper in the treated water.


Note: For best control of leafy and sago pondweed, it is essential to begin copper sulfate additions when water is first turned into the system or ditch to be treated and continue throughout the irrigation season. Copper sulfate becomes less effective as the bicarbonate alkalinity increases. Its effectiveness is significantly reduced when the bicarbonate alkalinity exceeds about 150 ppm as calcium carbonate (CaCO3). Should copper sulfate fail to control pondweeds satisfactorily, it may be necessary to either treat the ditch with a suitable approved herbicide or use mechanical means to remove excess growth. In either case, resume copper sulfate addition as soon as possible.



Copper Sulfate Application to Waterscapes, Decorative Pools, and Fountains
















Apply in the spring or early summer when algae and bacteria first appear. The dosages are variable and depend upon algae/bacteria species, water hardness, water temperature, amount of algae and bacteria present as well as whether the water is clear, turbid, flowing or static. Preferably, the water should be clear with temperatures above 60º F. Higher dosages are required at lower water temperatures, higher algae and bacteria concentrations and for hard waters. For each 7,500 gals. of water, dissolve ¼ lb. Copper Sulfate  in one gallon of water. Pour the solution into the water to be treated. Several application points speed up dispersal. Static water requires less chemical than does flowing water. If uncertain about the dosage, begin with a lower does and increase until control is achieved or until the maximum allowable level of copper has been reached.



Copper Sulfate Application To Swimming Pools













Apply 1 to 2 lbs. of Copper Sulfate Crystal per 60,000 gals. (8,000 cu. ft.) of water. This will result in a concentration of 0.5 to 1.0 ppm of dissolved copper. Dissolve the required amount of copper sulfate in a plastic container and pour the solution into the pool. Use the higher rate where visible algae are present. For maintenance dosages, use the lower rate. Repeat the lower rate to control the recurrence of algae and avoid the buildup of copper. Copper Sulfate may be used to help control pool odors and algae during the winter months. Apply the higher rate while the pool is not being used during the winter. Treated pool effluent should not be discharged where it will drain into lakes, streams, ponds, or public water.


Copper Sulfate Application For Roots

SEWERS: Use 2 pounds of Copper Sulfate every 6 to 12 months, applied into each junction or terminal manhole as a preventative measure.  Add copper sulfate during periods of reduced flow; however, some flow is essential. If reduced flow due to root masses is observed, but flow has not completely stopped, add the copper sulfate in the next manhole above the reduced flow area. If completely blocked, use a rod to penetrate the mass so some flow begins before treatment.


STORM DRAINS: Use 2 pounds of Copper Sulfate per drain per year. Apply during a period of light water flow. In dry weather, introduce a flow with a hose. If storm drains become almost plugged, repeat treatment 3 or 4 times at 2-week intervals.


SEWER PUMPS AND FORCE MAINS: Place 2 pounds of Copper Sulfate in a cloth bag at the storage well inlet. Repeat as needed.


RESIDENTIAL AND HOUSEHOLD SEWERS:  Make treatment when the reduced flow rate thought to be caused by root growth is first noticed. Do not delay until stoppage has occurred because some flow is needed to move copper sulfate to root growth. When roots accumulate sufficient copper sulfate to cause death, root decay will begin and flow rate should increase in 3 to 4 weeks. Since copper sulfate treatment usually kills only those roots in the pipe, roots will regrow, requiring follow-up treatments. Generally make a treatment in the spring after plants begin to grow, with a second treatment during late summer or early fall each year, and/or any time when reduced flow possibly caused by root growth is noted.


In household sewers use 2 to 6 pounds of crystals twice yearly. Add Copper Sulfate to sewer line by pouring about ½ pound into the toilet bowl nearest to the sewer line and flush, repeating process until recommended dose has been added, or remove cleanout plug and pour entire recommended quantity directly into the sewer line, replacing plug and flush toilet several times. Do not attempt to flush Briquette size down the toilet as blockage may result.


If system is equipped with a septic tank, copper sulfate will be precipitated in the septic tank and little will pass into the absorption drain field. To treat drain field pipes, add 2 to 6 pounds of Copper Sulfate to distribution box located between the septic tank and the drain field. If distribution box does not have an opening, it would be advisable to install a cleanout plug opening into the outlet pipe from the septic tank leading to the drain field for effective root control in the drain field pipes.


NOTE: Do not apply Copper Sulfate through sink or tub drains as it will corrode those metal drains.


NOTE: Laboratory studies have shown that copper sulfate added to an active 300 gallon septic tank at 2, 4 and 6 pounds per treatment temporarily reduced bacterial action, but it returned to normal 15 days after treatment. Trees and shrubbery growing near a treated line normally will have only a small portion of their roots in contact with the copper sulfate that primarily kills only those roots inside the pipe, thus not affecting the growing plants.


NOTE: State law prohibits the use of copper sulfate in sewage systems in the State of Connecticut and in the following counties of California:  Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, and Sonoma

Copper Sulfate in Metal Etching

ready etch 50lb.jpg

We are offering a cheap and effective solution for artists using copper sulfate for etching metal.  We have developed a product that combines coppers sulfate and the catalyst needed.  No more searching for two products anymore.  We have it all in one stop.  We offer Ready Etch, which is the product you see above that contains copper sulfate and the catalyst. The READY ETCH can be used as a universal etching solution for all five metals: zinc, copper, brass, mild steel, and aluminum.   We also are offering a preppers plate to make things even more easy for you.  The improved Copper Sulfate Metal Etching product with an added catalyst to enhance performance, sharpen etching detail and extend the working life of the solution. READY ETCH is now in stock and available for purchase on our shop page,


How Ready Etch Works:

Research and experimentation has led to a better solution for those who use straight copper sulfate for a metal etching solution. The traditional (non-copper sulfate) etching process uses harmful acids which release toxic vapors and require special handling and practices. The use of a copper sulfate solution for etching has always been safer than the alternative and copper sulfate use for metal etching is steadily growing.  However, READY ETCH provides what many feel are practical improvements over using plain copper sulfate in a metal etching solution. A saturated solution of plain copper sulfate crystals is an excellent mordant for zinc, aluminum, copper, brass and mild steel, but due to lack of a catalyst, etching is somewhat slow and the solution becomes exhausted quickly. The use of READY ETCH instead of plain copper sulfate enhances the electrolytic eroding potential of copper sulfate to be harnessed more fully. We offer this outstanding alternative solution, READY ETCH, pre-mixed and measured - Just add water!

The READY ETCH solution activates the etch by diminishing the bond with water. Our READY ETCH for etching zinc, aluminum, copper, brass and mild steel is about three times more active than a straight copper sulfate solution; it also produces a very crisp etch. During biting a coppery sediment of metal hydroxides and oxides floats to the surface, thus keeping the bitten work from clogging up. Etching can also be aided by occasionally brushing the plate surface with a soft brush; delicate marks, such as a spray aquatint or soft ground should, however, be etched without brushing. READY ETCH works more effectively if floating solids are regularly skimmed off with a brush or strainer and removed from the bath. This keeps the solution from turning alkaline and extends its usable life. 


Materials Needed To Improve Your Etching:


  • supply of hot water

  • heavy-duty gloves

  • safety goggles

  • dust mask

  • wooden stick or stiff plastic brush for mixing

  • bucket

  • etching tray

 Mixing Instructions For Ready Etch:


*Note: Mix Ready Etch as follows. (This example is for 4 pounds of Ready Etch.)

*Note: As always put on gloves, dust mask, and safety goggles when handling even the safest of chemicals.

  1. Place READY ETCH powder into a bucket or straight into the chosen etching tray.

  2. Add 1 gallon of hot water and stir with a wooden stick or a stiff brush. The solution turns into a green sludge.

  3. Then add 1 gallon of warm water stirring continuously. Most of the crystals should dissolve within 5 to 10 minutes of mixing, producing a dark green liquid.

4 lbs. of READY ETCH is added to 1 gallon hot water, stir and then add to 1 gallon warm water. (Add 1/2 gallon (64 fl. oz.) of water for every pound of Ready Etch!)


In a busy print studio it is advisable to make up a substantial quantity of READY ETCH in a large tray or tank. This may contain even several gallons of solution. The increase in electric charge makes a large volume of the solution longer-lived than a small one. The kind of high-sided plastic trays with lids sold for under bed storage make ideal etching trays. Acid unit manufacturers and other plastics prefabrication companies can manufacture professional trays from welded polypropylene to specification. A deep tray is best fitted with a slatted plastic or wooden grid to elevate plates above the crystalline deposit that builds up in the bath, and to help when removing plates from the bath.

Using Copper Sulfate For Soil & Livestock

Cows Grazing in Field.jpg

Copper, a key mineral for life sustaining organisms.  Copper is needed to sustain life, human, animal or plant. Most living cells in us created by the good Lord himself experiences the benefits of copper or is reliant on copper for proper functionality. The purity of our copper sulfate makes it one of the best supplemental copper additives for soil and livestock. 

If you already know the copper deficiency problems pertaining to soil or livestock and you know your requirements for copper sulfate, you can go to our products page and place your order. All of our fifty pound bags of copper sulfate are the highest purity of  copper sulfate. If you need more information or would like to know more please read on.


Listed below is a brief summary of the information you will find for Copper Deficiency.


Copper Sulfate For Soil:

  • Farmers that observe copper deficiencies are almost always managers striving for optimal yields. Their fertility management often includes manure and above average rates of fertilizer application. In many instances, their first indication of copper deficiency are crops with yield and quality consistently below expectations.

  • A copper deficiency can result in early aging or lowered levels of chlorophyll, which leads to yield reductions that go unnoticed if the deficiency is not severe.

  • Many symptoms of copper deficiency may be confused with frost damage, insect damage, diseases and herbicide injury. Some herbicide/cereal interactions have been documented on copper deficient soils.


Copper Sulfate For Livestock:

  • Marginal to severe copper deficiency in cattle is widespread across the United States.

    • Forage surveys conducted across the United States overwhelmingly reveal forage samples that are marginally to severely deficient in copper

  • It is widely known that copper deficiency in cattle results in reduced reproductive efficiency and performance.

    • Reproductive problems cost beef producers about $15.00 per cow per year. This translates into $750 per year for a 50-cow herd.

  • Copper is needed by a variety of key systems in the body.

    •  Some signs are decreased conception rates; increased days open; hoof problems; depressed immunity; anemia; reduced growth rate and, in some cases, diarrhea......

  • Proper copper nutrition is essential for a healthy immune system in cattle.

  • Do not skimp on mineral supplementation during spring and summer months when forage quality is good. Remember that most soils are deficient in copper so the forages grown on those soils will be deficient too.

Copper Sulfate Application For Alage Control.jpg
Copper Sulfate Application to Water Bodies.webp
Copper Sulfate Application to Irrigation Conveyance Systems, Ditches, Canals, and Laterals
Copper Sulfate Application to Waterscapes, Decorative Pools, and Fountains.jpg

Treating Hoof Rot With Copper Sulfate

foot bath for cow using copper sulfate

For a Foot Bath, Copper Sulfate can be used in a 5% to 10% solution (by weight) with immersion 3 or 4 times per week or for a period of time as prescribed by your veterinarian. The Copper Sulfate foot bath solution should be changed every 150 to 200 cows depending on the concentration of copper sulfate, use of a pre-bath, and contamination of the bath.  Determine the volume of the hoof bath and calculate the amount of Copper Sulfate carefully.  Do not use more Copper Sulfate than is recommended by your veterinarian.  By placing a clean water bath in front of the treatment bath, the animals will clean their hoofs to some extent and keep the hoof bath effective for a longer period of time.  If your veterinarian recommends hoof bath, use as an aid in the treatment of foot rot in cattle.  Hoof baths should only be part of an overall program that includes proper nutrition, regular hoof trimming, and hoof injury prevention.  Keep animals out of wet, muddy or stony areas where hoofs can soften and be injured.

bottom of page