Moss Basics

Moss bog in New Zealand
Moss bog in New Zealand

Flight of good fortune!

David was flying back from Germany and ran out of work over Canada. A nice flight attendant on Northwest Airlines responded to a request for something to read by bringing 3 magazines – Golf Digest, People and the Atlantic. David doesn’t golf (Vance does) and he doesn’t read People very often. He chose the Atlantic and read a short article about the use of Sphagnum moss as a wound dressing in WWI. Both the English and the Germans discovered that packing soldiers’ war wounds with Sphagnum moss resulted in higher survival rates than packing their wounds with cotton. The article attributed this observation to the absorbency of dried Sphagnum moss. The hypothesis that the Moss had to effect bacterial infection to have the documented results stimulated laboratory study in the effect of Sphagnum moss on bacterial growth.

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Sphagnum Moss

Sphagnum moss has been conditioning and purifying water in nature for millennia. We were exposed to the history of Sphagnum moss in a magazine article about its use as a wound dressing, by both the English and the Germans, in WWI. Wounded soldiers survived in higher numbers when their wounds were dressed with Sphagnum moss instead of cotton. After years of extensive laboratory study and ten years treating water in residential and commercial pools and spas, we started developing Sphagnum moss for cooling tower and industrial water treatment.

Harvesting and Processing

We studied over 40 of the 120 species of Sphagnum to determine the desired properties. The moss is harvested by hand in a manner that does not harm the bog. The same bog can be harvested every three to five years, providing a totally natural and sustainable product. We have an independent expert microscopically examine random samples of each shipment to assure they contain over 95% of the proper species.

Effects of Sphagnum Moss

The water conditioning effect of the correct species of Sphagnum moss were tested at Embro Corporation laboratory and in field studies. They have the following properties:

  • Removes Positively Charged Metal Ions
  • Inhibits and Removes Organic Contamination
  • Reduces and Inhibits Scale Formation
  • Reduces and Inhibits Corrosion
Key Benefits


  • Reduced Chemical Usage
  • Reduced Water Usage
  • Reduced Energy Usage
  • Reduced Corrosion in the Tower and Downstream
  • Longer Equipment Life
  • Reduced Maintenance