It goes without saying that safety in and around water is of utmost importance however many swim schools fail to remember that poor water quality can be just as hazardous to your health.
The main asset within a swim school ‘is’ the water therefore facility managers should have a thorough understanding of how to achieve and maintain healthy water to protect both staff and patrons alike. Sadly, not all swim schools comply with health standards and in a lot of cases just don’t have the adequate equipment to maintain those standards, especially those that have a high volume of bathers.
Water Chemistry Basics – Chloramines
We all know that chemicals (most commonly Chlorine) are added to the water to protect our health however when bather loads increase, Chlorine by-products are the unfortunate side effect. People are a major source of pollutants (Ammonia from sweat and urine) which react with Chlorine to form chemicals known as Chloramines which are directly responsible for the distinct Chlorine odour as well as eye, nose, throat and lung irritations.
Chloramines can evaporate and are released into the air when water is sprayed or splashed. Staff and swimmers who experience long term exposure may develop allergic sensitivities and will react to even low levels of Chloramines which may force them to avoid the water altogether. Showers prior to swimming are encouraged to help lower the amount of Ammonia entering the water and minimise Chloramine build up risk.
Not only is regular maintenance and water balancing important to avoid health issues, adequate ventilation is also critical in maintaining clean air and a healthy swimming environment.
What else is swimming with you?
In addition to Chloramines, the following ‘unintentional release’ material is typically swimming with you in a public pool:
- 0.14 grams of faecal matter per bather;
- 6 million skin cells per bather after 15 minutes;
- 30mls of urine per bather;
- 1 litre of sweat per bather, per hour; and
- Products such as sunscreen and body lotions/moisturisers.
When you add the urine that ‘is’ intentionally released you can certainly see how hard your sanitation system has to work to maintain water quality.
Chlorine as a primary disinfectant does a good job however it’s not a powerful oxidiser. In addition, Cryptosporidium and Giardia have become immune to Chlorine at standard dose rates forcing facilities to look for secondary sanitation options to protect their swimmers.
Ozone or UV?
Both Ozone and UV technologies have a great history within the aquatic industry and are heavily used across Europe. Both technologies break down bacteria and virus in different ways (depending on dose rates) and provide insurance against Cryptosporidium outbreaks however the effectiveness of both can be limited if the basics of primary disinfection aren’t taken care of i.e. – turnover, filtration, accurate dosing to maintain adequate pH and Free Available Chlorine levels.
Ozone is a powerful oxidiser that:
- Will effectively destroy Cryptosporidium, bacteria and virus;
- Is a natural flocculant;
- Oxidises Chloramines;
- Works 3500 times faster than Chlorine;
- Works in cloudy water; and
- Leaves only Oxygen as a residual following oxidation of contaminants.
It is important to understand that UV is an in-activator, not an oxidiser:
- UV will inactivate Cryptosporidium, bacteria and virus;
- UV will break down Chloramines;
- UV will inactivate micro-organisms;
- UV systems only treat water that is passed through a UV reactor; and
- UV systems are not effective in cloudy water as cloudy water will absorb UV light.
Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP)
Why choose one when you can combine the two?
Brauer Industries award winning Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) systems (combining both Ozone and UV) have been helping Australian swim schools achieve pristine water quality. When combining Ozone and UV the end result is Hydroxyl Free Radicals, one of the most reactive agents known to chemistry. These reactive species can virtually oxidise any compound found in water, maximising disinfection whilst killing all types of bacteria, fungi, virus and Chlorine resistant parasites such as Cryptosporidium. More importantly, these AOP systems will dramatically lower combined Chlorine levels to keep your water within health regulations.
AOP systems are suitable for:
- Learn to swim pools;
- Aquatic centres;
- Water parks;
- Hydrotherapy pools; and
- Resort and Hotel pools.
The benefits of an AOP system are:
- Effectively destroys Chloramines;
- Kills Cryptosporidium and Giardia;
- Reduces Chlorine demand;
- Enhances water clarity;
- Ensures bather comfort;
- Improves air quality;
- Reduction of total Chlorine; and
- Energy efficient.
If you would like to know more contact the experts at Brauer Industries today on 1300 696 631.