Has anyone compared the two systems to see which one is a better choice. We need a system that will not increase our operating cost but will elimate the chlorimine problems that we have in our indoor pool.
I need technical advise on this issue.
Thank you

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Nanette,
We had big issues with turbidity and chloramines at my facility. (8 lane lap pool, 3,500 sqft detached leisure pool and 10 x 10 ft spa) To the point that our guests would call the health department often. This was back in 2001, so UV hadn't really made the big surge just yet. We decided on an ozone system for each pool. The results were amazing, within 2 days after firing up the system, there was a noticeable difference in the clarity of the pools. The chloramine smell was greatly reduced. Over the course of a year, we tracked our chlorine use, and we saw a 1/3 reduction in our chlorine consumption. Pretty amazing to me. The drawback....very maintenance heavy system. It got to the point where we had the tech support out so much, that the city sent 2 of our maintenance staff to the manufacturer's plant to get specialized training. I no longer work at that facility, but I know they have upsized the lap pool unit, taken the lap pool unit, put it on the leisure pool, and put the leisure pool unit on the spa. After talking to the current staff, it has made a world of difference. So, in a nutshell, if you decide to go with ozone, make sure is it sized properly....there is no point in putting in a system that is undersized.

Scott McDonald, an associate of mine actually has both UV and Ozone on his pools, his email is: scott@southdavisrecreation.com I know he would be happy to answer any questions you have about either system.

UV is now the hot item with regard to chloramine control. Here in Utah, after the large crypo outbreak, the majority of facilities put in UV, and talking to my associates, they all really like it. Pretty easy install, if you have the right company doing it. Again, sizing is everything.

Me personally? I am an ozone girl, but that's my personal opinion...I like the oxidation that is enjoyed by ozone. Hopefully this helps!
I am now at my second facility with UV. Worst case scenario my combined chlorine tests (both manual and photometer) read 0.2 ppm but more often 0ppm. The UV manufacturers claim that bulb should be changed close to every 6 months or when the effectiveness of the light starts to drop. My bulbs have all lasted much longer (1-2 years) before I see a decrease in the effectiveness of the lights. The bulbs are pretty pricey on a regular basis but worth not having to over chlorinate.

I had an ozone system on a spa that seemed to do a fairly good job, but like Terri said, maintenance intensive. The ozone system also had a much larger footprint in the mechanical room due to the contact chamber.

Either way, I feel that the piece of mind of keeping the swimmers healthy is worth the capital expence.
Did your chlorine cost go up after you used the UV system?
The UV lights were part of the orignial facilities, so no the cost did not go up. I imagine that chlorine usage is higher than a pool without UV, but I also keep my ppm setpoints a little lower. I do not have a price comparison for chlorine with UV versus without.
The problem with Ozone is that is has a very large footprint, very costly to install, and from what I hear, maintenance intensive. The problem with UV is the high initial cost for a system that is properly sized for your pool, is dependent on the turbidity of your pool, and bulb replacement is pricey and will be a repeatable expence that needs to added to your budget.

Both strategies will do a very good job on chloramine control. Ozone has the added benefit of being able to oxidize, while UV can't oxidixe anything. Both have an effect on moderating some of the DPB"s were finding in our pool enviroments, although some of these claims are being over-exagerated, based on Chip Blatchley's findings in some of his on-going research on UV. None the less, both are viable strategies for prevention of, or to solve an existing problem...period.

But as good as they are, they are considered to be secondary lines of defence only. You still have to have primary lines of defence in place, such as proper chlorination, good filtraiton, and adequate ventilation first. There are many approaches we can take – all of them having a cost to benefit ratio to consider, as well as trade offs and consequences.
Let’s explore just as one of them here, that is not that well known, but highly effective in taking back the control of our pools. It’s simply based on a concept of meeting demand in a timely fashion – accomplished by using feeders with very large capacities to feed in a very short time. It’s called Hi-Capacity Feeding, and it’s re-defining how some of us in the industry are utilizing cutting edge chlorination as a 1st step approach in protecting the patrons of our pools. I am of course, assuming that the facilities filtration and ventilation systems are working properly. Excuse the following, as they are actually an exert from a discussion I wrote on HCF.

The Premise behind the Concept
When your pool is at it’s busiest, the feeders, (that the controller turns on and off), should have a large enough capacity to meet that demand in a timely fashion – without causing the resultant overshoot to be excessive when the pool is not busy.

Sounds simple enough, and in itself, this premise makes sense to most of us. Many of us might even pose this question. Isn’t that what we are already doing? …Hmmm…maybe you should decide, and perhaps contemplate if that what we are really doing is truly getting the results we all need. Should we continue to do business as usual, or does it make sense for us to consider that it is time for change?

This is what most of us are doing now.
Be honest… How many of our controllers are on for hours playing catch up? Hey, it would be nice if they shut off sooner, but that’s just not practical. We are secure in our belief that our controllers are working just fine – our security blanket is in knowing they will be off in the morning when we get there, and that our PPM’s will be just where we want them. Most of us have come to realize this: Expecting anything more is wishful thinking. It just isn’t going to happen.

What happens when the pool gets real busy, and our chlorine levels drop below code requirements? This should be easy for you, as it is a very common approach that we see time and again. Either on our own, or from a recommendation from our installers, or from the Health Dept, the recommendation is to simply maintain a higher level of chlorine. For most of us, our security blanket is to raise the set points higher in order to have an initial elevated level of chlorine in the pool in the morning, in hopes of it being enough of a buffer, or reserve, when the pool gets real busy. Unfortunately, everything has trade-offs, and the trade-off of this approach is a little bit more than the cost of using more chlorine. The real trade-off is something that most of us haven’t really heard before.
There is a rule of chemistry that is based on the “Square of the Concentrations of the Reactants”. What it basically says is: “If we double the chlorine level, we stand to get four times the yield of chloramines”. That’s not good…is it? More chlorine = more chloramines…Interesting, huh?

The question is:
Is that the way we really want to run our pools? Are we dealing with the root cause of the problem…about why our controllers aren’t keeping up, about why the chlorine levels drop so low…or are we just putting a band-aid on the symptoms we see? Band-aids that simply cover up symptoms have their own set of consequences. It’s a trade-off, and you have to decide if it is an acceptable one for you and your facility.

So, what if we take this a step further?
What happens if we put a timeframe as to what “timely fashion” is to mean? Let’s revise the above premise to include this statement. Your feeders should be big enough to have the capacity to meet that demand in minutes of actual feed time.

What happens now is that one’s past experiences ree-ally begins to overpower this statement’s ideology. For all practical purposes, our gut feeling tells us that feeding chlorine in this time frame would just be asking for trouble. For sure, the end result would always be the same…failure and frustration.

The underlying reason for this is deeply embedded in our training. For most of us, we view feeder-sizing issues as an area that is considered to be a constant, and one that we have little or no control over. It falls in the realm of this rational – It simply is, what it is. This is one area, where it appears; we have all really learned our lessons well.

Big Feeders = Massive Overshoots when the pool is not busy.
Been there…done that

Nonetheless, the reality of this rational doesn’t change the overall importance of having feeders with sufficient capacity to meet demand in what truly is a timely fashion.
The real reality is that our patrons deserve more. Isn’t it our responsibility, particularly in this economy with budget restraints the way they are, to give your patrons the best bang for the buck? It’s a balancing act of safety vs cost. Every facility has to balance this equation out for themselves…right? Maybe now is the time to make a change that has some common sense behind it?

Continuing on...
Chlorination – Now, chlorination is most often considered as our first line of defense, and should handle most of these assaults through a process of oxidation and disinfection. This process is not immediate, as it is often a multi-step process that takes time to reach an endpoint. By its nature, this process will inevitably create certain chlorinated byproducts, the vast array of DBP’s, which takes even more chlorine and more time to eliminate. It’s these interim stages that wreak havoc on the many venues of both water and air quality.
So, if you think the answer to this might be to just keep chlorine levels at higher concentrations, to insure that there is enough in the pool at all times, then you would be wrong. Remember, as the “Square of the Concentrations of the Reactants” has shown us that doubling the concentration of residual chlorine, poses the threat of creating 4 times the amount of byproducts. Increasing chlorine PPM’s isn’t the answer.

Constant levels of High ORP – This approach is not well known, and sounds well on paper. It is an approach that many thought was a good idea theoretically, but again, not really achievable with relatively low levels of chlorine. Years ago, a noted Danish virologist, Dr Ebba Lund, showed us that redox potential, (also commonly known as ORP), can play a very effective role in the inactivation of Crypto.
These studies by Dr Ebba Lund, showed that there is a strong linear indication that maintaining a continuous level of ORP above 800 mV, (irregardless of the actual chlorine PPM concentration), can inactivate Crypto in a fairly short period of time…a couple of hours rather than the long “ct” times based solely on PPM of chlorine and pH, as is now recommended by the CDC, and mandated for all of us to follow by many state codes.

So with that said, let’s combine these 2 talking points of chlorination, specifically, using the “Square of the Concentrations of the Reactants” for the argument of keeping chlorine levels low, and tie them in with Dr Ebba Lund’s findings of cashing in on the benefits associated with the maintenance of a constant high ORP, and you tell me how this sounds to you. What would this mean for our pools…if?
What if we were able to maintain relatively low levels of chlorine, maybe 1.5 to 2 PPM’s, with the capability of replacing it fast enough to keep up with demand?

What if the result of doing this was the ability of maintaining relatively high levels of a constant ORP, lets say between 810 mV to 830 mV, that is maintained 24/7 throughout the pool via the set points of your controllers?

The general consensus is that having numbers such as these is usually representative of clean water with low organic loading. But in order to maintain this level of ORP with relatively low levels of chlorine, then you have to use feeders with large enough capacities to keep up with the demand as it is introduced. Have the chlorine lag behind demand, and/or have it meet demand eventually; then all bets are off, and things start to get out of hand. Note: or “if the facilities ventilation system isn’t working properly.”

In all due respect, irregardless of the CDC’s mandate of “ct times”, isn’t having the capability of continuously maintaining a fairly high ORP at low levels of chlorine, throughout the pool basin, a good security blanket in knowing that you have an added layer of protection for some of those incidents that we don’t know about? The point is, it’s all quite possible… simply by doing the basics well enough the 1st time around. Standard practice of eventually meeting demand is just not good enough anymore.

So, why did I have this discussion? The point is this. We all have to deal with the various “alphabet soup” of chemical reactions and biological intrusions that occurs in our pools on a day-to-day basis. To do this effectively, we need a battle plan of sorts that offers multiple layers of protection. Meeting demand in a timely fashion, through Hi Capacity Feeding, is just the 1st layer. However, being the 1st layer, gives it the potential of being the most important layer if done right. It is a tool that can be very potent and very cost effective in terms of control measures.

One technology isn’t going to do it all. Not just a new method of chlorination such as High Capacity feeding, not just some method of enhanced filtration that may get into the sub-micron range of capture, such as regenerative perlite filters, or even other technologies that get into floccing out some of the dissolved organics, and not just UV, whether that be low pressure or medium pressure. Did you notice the order? Meeting demand in a timely fashion through proper chlorination, maybe enhanced filtration into the sub-micron level, and only then and only then, if necessary, the utilization of the band-aid approach of UV, is the order that gives the most safety and best bang for anybodies buck. The inevitable truth for the vast majority of low to moderately used commercial pools is this. Do the basics well, and you might just be surprised in finding out that the band-aid approach may not even be needed.
Don’t get me wrong. I am not against UV Technology. Some heavily used indoor pools and water parks may very well need the additional layer of protection that UV offers in chloramine and crypto control. It’s just that for most other pools, there are other more cost effective approaches that allow some of us some security in these times of budget restraints. Let's face it, the real reality is that not all budgets can afford the luxury of UV or ozone.
I used to operate an indoor facility with an instructional pool which was kept at 89 - 90 degrees, a hot tub and a recreational/lap pool. Both pools had high bather load, and there was no downtime to effectively oxidize the chloramines which were consistently high. After research and talking with several facilities that had a UV system installed, we went with UV. The equipment is minimal, it does not take intensive training to operate, and it was very effective. I would recommend this system. You can contact Teena Smith at tsmith@ymcashr.org if you want to find out how it is working for them.
Was the pool water checked with a total dissolved solids meter?
When the TDS gets over 500ppm it is going to produce chloramines.
High Capacity Feeding is a Relatively new Concept that is getting the attention of Aquatics Professionals Worldwide.

Did you know that there are pools out there running less than 0.3ppm Chloramines with JUST their primary sanitizer? (NO OZONE, NO UV, Just Chlorine?)

Here is a quick analogy: I bought a BMW roadster, got my BMV Pro Driver's Series Certification, and filled my car with REGULAR unleaded Gas. Am I going to enjoy this drive? I think not.

Same with a Pool: You purchased a High end Chemical Controller, for an Olympic Natatorium, and installed stenner pumps that only get 1/2 the chlorine you actually need to overcome the organic demands of your pool. is that pool going to remain clear and safe? I dont think so either.

The fact of the matter is, the Majority of swimming pools are undersized in their chlorination capabilities. High Capacity Feeding, as it is stated, is the answer to all your pool's sanitation AND oxidation needs.

The concept is simple - Get the chlorine in the pool at high feed rates (under the control of a properly configured ORP controller) and you can achieve Ultra Low Chloramine levels, while maintaining Health Department sanctioned levels.

For more info - Contact me at aquaticenterprisesllc@hotmail.com. Forget the Expensive Lightbulbs and Ozone systems that are Ultra expensive to MAINTAIN. Let us show you the most efficient method to kill chloramines, and make your pools ULTRA clean. You'll thank me later!

By the way - TDS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CHLORAMINE BUILDUP!!! Meet your ORGANIC DEMAND, and Chloramines are a thing of the past!

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