At the Wayne YMCA in Wayne, NJ, efforts to prove a "Simple Truth" about Chlorination and Chloramine reduction are underway.  This High Use Aquatic Facility (Its a YMCA Pool, remember?) is being scrutinized over the next 60 days to track Free & Total Chlorine, ORP and pH readings, as well as Particle Counter readings to gauge filtration efficiency.  

For the first 30 days, it will be operating with its current Water Quality Control system:

  • A Link Automation Model 1100 Controller
  • Stenner 85M5 Pump
  • CO2 Feed Unit.

After the first 30 days, a High Capacity Feed Chlorination System (Model HCF-Feed5, seen below) will be installed by Treatment Specialties of Ramsey, NJ. It is comprised of:

The purpose of these changes is to upgrade the Feed System to coincide with a recently developed specification for High Capacity Feed Chlorination.  A pH Feeder Switch will also be utilized to easily switch from CO2 to Acid feed, as Alkalinity Levels fluctuate.

The same parameters will be measured for the remaining 30 days after the installation.

The goal of this study is to collect data that proves that the HCF specification can:

  1. Lower Chloramines in a pool, without the need to superchlorinate (does this mean I don't need to buy an expensive UV system?)
  2. Maintain Consistent Levels of ORP through a period of time, no matter the kind of bather demand its given (in this case, a heavily used YMCA Pool with Chloramine issues)
  3. Improved pH/Alkalinity Control
  4. Improved Filtration and Water Clarity

Data collected over the 60 day period will be recorded by an additional controller, a Chemtrac HydroAct 600 Chlorine Analyzer utilizing Amperometric Free & Total Chlorine Sensors, as well as ORP and pH Sensors, and a Particle Counter to gauge any improvements in filtration and Water Clarity (A High Rate Sand Filter is used there).

I will keep you all posted as developments arise.  For more information, check out the HCF SYSTEM PAGE at the Treatment Specialties Website, www.treatmentspecialties.net

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Comment by Clemente J. Rivera on June 24, 2013 at 4:15pm

So, chlorine is being increased to 2.0 ppm instead of the 1.3-1.5 that it was maintaining.  We are confident that this plate count issue will be corrected by the higher chlorine level...by the way, ORP is a whopping 835 mV!  According to a paper written years ago by our old friends at Strantrol (in its days at USFILTER), that level is within the parameters they set for optimum sanitation...with HCF in place, we expect to see results that they couldnt achieve (that study was the precursor for the development of their failed ECS System)...

Be on the lookout for a 7/15/2013 install date for the HCF system!

Comment by Clemente J. Rivera on June 23, 2013 at 12:09am

Well, pool readings stable, with no discrepancies, but they got yet ANOTHER Plate count!

Im betting its human error; the tech probably didnt wear gloves when taking his water sample or something, and contaminated it.  How to explain a plate count when you just super shocked your pool???

Comment by Clemente J. Rivera on June 9, 2013 at 9:38pm

As week 4 commences, I just wanted to point out something that was brought to my attention:

Last week's closure came just after the weekly bacteriological test on Tuesday... the results came on friday, NO PLATE COUNT.  just another week for the Local DOH.  anyways, the game plan is as follows:

-pool to be dechlor'ed over next day or so, and flowcells will be re-started.  calibrations will be made after 24 hours, then the pool will be monitored again, until chloramine levels are back to pre closure levels; at that point, the HCF system will be installed.  30 days of monitoring will resume from there.

Comment by Clemente J. Rivera on June 6, 2013 at 9:54pm

Week 3:  Couldnt have ended in a worse way...

The Local DOH closed the pool due to consecutive plate counts on bacteriological readings...

Yes - Pool at 1.5 ppm SOLID with good pH, and we find ourselves with a BIOFILM issue.

Pool is being shocked to 40ppm, as per health Inspector.  To protect sensors, flowcells are closed off during this process.  Monday, the pool will undergo chlorine reduction (yes - 4 days on High chlorine) which will take another full day, before the pool is useable again.

A setback, but hey - If we were going to find a problematic pool for THIS STUDY - I think we got a HANDS ON FAVORITE...remember, we are tracking the pool PRE - HCF INSTALL, so the worse things get, the better for the study, correct?

I will delay the installation, until the pool is running long enough to give us the chloramine levels we have been seeing all along...then we will make the change.

As always, be on the lookout for regular updates...YOUR COMMENTS ARE APPRECIATED - BIOFILMS are a tough nut to crack...

Comment by Clemente J. Rivera on May 30, 2013 at 7:58pm

So - Tonight I got to the bottom of the cause of the craziness in the pool log readings from last week...the Pool Manager had bad test tablets!  I got a call this evening for a low chlorine reading, and when I got there, the pool was fine...as a matter of fact, my Palintest reading was SPOT ON with the Amperometric sensor's reading!

I would have been going nuts if a repeat from last week occurred...I informed the manager of her mistake, and she now knows to retest if she gets a bad reading...

Comment by Clemente J. Rivera on May 28, 2013 at 8:42pm

So - I have uploaded the first 2 weeks of Data, and generated a graph for you all to see:

After the first week of monitoring - the measurements took a dive in the latter half of this graph because the operator screwed up a program setting...ORP control was affected, and the correction could not be made until earlier today - the upside - you can see the clear difference when a pool is controlled automatically, and when it is operating manually.

The first half shows how most controlled pools may look.  ORP and pH levels are keeping things level, but the Free & Total chlorine levels tell a different story.  Combined Chlorine (Chloramines) is relatively high, and even though ORP is pretty steady, no breakpoint is occurring in this pool.

2 more weeks, and then the switch to HCF Feed.

Any questions?

Comment by Joe Andrews on May 25, 2013 at 11:25am

This is a very interesting study. Looking forward to seeing the results.

Comment by Clemente J. Rivera on May 24, 2013 at 11:38am

Week 2:

We are taking test kit readings weekly to corroborate the PPM/pH readings during this study with a Palintest Pooltest 6 Photometer.  A few items to mention:

  • DPD Free Chlorine tests are tested immediately after completely mixing the reagent.
  • DPD Total Readings are taken A) Immediately after the reagent as mixed, and B) 2 minutes  after the reagent was first tested.  Palintest requires a 2 minute hold time to allow for the reagent to completely react with as much chloramine concentration as possible.
  • pH readings are taken immediately after reagent is completely dissolved in the sample.

With this in Mind...we are seeing Free/Total readings of about 1.5/2.5 ppm respectively, while pH is holding within 7.6 - 7.65. (the Customer is testing 7.4 in his testkit, while the Link Controller is holding between 7.43-7.46 - Palintest contends that this discrepancy in readings is due to an interference in the conventional kit's reading due to the chlorine residual, and that Palintest's Phenol Red test has a thiosulfate buffer to remove up to 25 ppm of free chlorine from the test sample, to ensure accuracy.  this has been proven: when residuals have been lowered in a pool to below 1.0 ppm - the test kits then agree with each other.)

Particle counter testing shows 5-10 micron counts at around 84 - showing us a standard operation of a High Rate Sand Filter.

Next week, I will download the readings from the controller and provide a look at the pools trends, before the install of the HCF system.

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