Whether you dog paddle or have an elegant butterfly stroke, aquatic activities are both fun and great for your health. With millions of annual visits to aquatic facilities around the USA, it is important that as an industry, we work to collectively to ensure a clean and safe environment for bathers and spectators alike.
High bather loads experienced in commercial and competitive pools can easily overwhelm traditional methods of filtration and disinfection. Many aquatic facilities are therefore coupling advanced technologies such as regenerative media filtration (RMF) and ultraviolet (UV) disinfection to tackle various operational, microbiological and environmental challenges, in an attempt to provide bathers with a safe and sustainable experience.
Regenerative Media Filtration - Delivering Clean & Clear Water
Sand and Regenerative Media Filters (RMF’s) both operate on the principle of mechanical filtration. Although, RMF’s trap particulate on the surface of hundreds (or even thousands) of flexible tubes coated with perlite media. Compared to an equivalently sized sand filter, an RMF filter contains nearly 9 to 12 times more effective filtration surface area, thereby making it much more efficient and compact. When the perlite becomes overloaded, the RMF technology regenerates by bumping, a process in which no water is lost to municipal waste. In addition to providing superior and efficient micron particulate removal, as small as one micron in size, RMF technology significantly reduces the amount of water wasted to drain. As a result of all these features, savings can be realized in several key areas:
- Up to 90% in water savings
- Up to 50% in energy savings
- Up to 30% in chemical savings
- Up to 75% in space savings
- Up to 95% reduction in particulate (as small as one micron in size)
*The above savings can be experienced when comparing RMF technology with traditional sand filters.
A Better Disinfection Alternative - A Pool Doesn't Have to Smell Like a Pool
Chlorine is used as a primary disinfection method to keep pools clean and safe – but often at a cost to both bathers and pool operators. Chlorine in pool water reacts with organic compounds to form disinfection byproducts such as mono-, di-, and tri-chloramines. Volatile in nature, chloramines off-gas and concentrate at the water/air interface, where swimmers breathe, causing burning eyes and respiratory issues that can affect both performance and long-term health. Chloramines further dissipate into the natatorium causing corrosion and that offensive “chlorine smell” we are all familiar with. In addition, operators experience storage and handling related concerns. What if it were possible to reduce chemical usage and simultaneously offer improved bather protection than by using chlorine alone?
UV disinfection works in primarily two ways; (1) inactivating chlorine-tolerant pathogens like cryptosporidium and reducing the risk of recreational waterborne illnesses (RWI’s) and (2) destroys the DNA of undesirable disinfection byproducts such as chloramines.
UV light inactivates microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, molds and other pathogens without the use of chemicals. UV light inflicts permanent damage to DNA/RNA contained in all living species. Once damaged, chlorine resistant organisms such as Cryptosporidium are unable to sustain routine cell functions such as respiration, food assimilation and replication. With cells rendered non-viable, the organism quickly dies.
The Ultimate Duo to Tackling Today's Concerns While Meeting Tomorrow's Objectives
Coupling RMF’s capabilities at removing particulate down to 1 micron not only helps create a cleaner and clearer pool, increasing the transmittance of UV light, but increases the effectiveness of the UV technology. Enabling more of the UV light to disable the various microorganism contaminants found in the pool, such as cryptosporidium, and destroying chlorine disinfection byproducts (chloramines). On their own both RMF and UV technology enable improved water and air quality, while also meeting chemical, energy and water reduction objectives. When used together those benefits are multiplied, not only creating a more efficient facility that minimizes maintenance and operation, but also provides more safety and comfort for bathers.