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38-40 CLEAR WATER:SPN Master pages 19/11/08 10:27 Page 3
The Sheffield University research
reveals a bigger commitment to UV Trihalomethanes (THMs) - Within this group mainly chloroform is formed by the
systems that most of the industry were reaction between the disinfectant and organic compounds. THMs can be found in
aware of. Sixty three local authority pools the pool water and in the air above the water. Swimmers are therefore exposed by
confirmed in the research that they had absorption through the skin, by swallowing, and by inhalation. THMs are suspected
opted for UV because they were under to be carcinogenic.
joint pressure to reduce costs and
increase the water quality. Chloramines - Chloramines appear in swimming pools as a result of the reaction
It is clear that there is still confusion between ammonia compounds and chlorine-based disinfectants. Depending on the
about the link between UV and the use of stage of chemical reaction, they can be in the form of mono-chloramines, di-
chlorine. chloramines, or tri-chloramines. Chloramines are responsible for the so-called
Howard Gosling from SPATA’s technical “chlorine smell”, eye and skin irritations. High levels of chloramines also cause
review committee told the association’s corrosion issues inside the pool enclosure.
autumn conference: ”It has always been
accepted that neither ozone nor UV can
be used without a residual oxidising
disinfectant. The official advice of the
Pure Water Treatment Advisory Group is
that with these so called ’alternative
treatments’ a residual disinfectant should
always be present in the water as well. In
the case of SPATA and BISHTA standards,
a residual disinfectant is chlorine or The overwhelming preference when it pool without a chlorine or bromine residual.
bromine based products or a Polymeric comes to maintaining safe water quality in While some smaller domestic pool
biguanide.“ swimming pools is still strongly in favour of owners are switching to chlorine free
Alan Benson in charge of 10 local chlorine based options. alternatives sales are still small
authority swimming pools in West Sussex The growth of chlorine alternatives is compared to mainstream chlorine sales.
on behalf of West Sussex County Council certain to continue but in one industry The local authority and commercial
said: ”Efficient pool water disinfection is estimate they still represent only 10% of pools are however changing direction –
essential for public pools. In order to chemical sales. A double call has been moving to a lower chlorine base with UV
ensure safe bathing water, most public made recently for chlorine free treatment systems.
facilities must follow strict water alternatives to step up and prove their Mark Ramsden, Commercial Director of
disinfection standards and practices. effectiveness against the industry protocol Complete Pool Controls said his feeling
”Chlorine is still the water disinfectant judged for chlorine. was that the domestic consumer has “little
of choice for most public pool operators. One call came from leading authority awareness of chlorine, or more accurately
However, there is a growing awareness Howard Gosling who told the SPATA chlorine by-products, and the potential
of the negative effects caused by annual meeting in Oxford in September linkage to asthma”.
chlorine and its by-products. We have all that the effectiveness of such products had “It is vitally important in my opinion that
been made aware that chlorine not only to be established. those wishing to step in are not just
reacts with the microorganisms in the The UK pool and spa trade is trying to ‘jumping on a bandwagon’, and that
water, but also with any type of organic be more open to chlorine alternatives, their alternatives are also thoroughly
material, thus forming problem by- but the clear message is that it wants investigated for efficacy and indeed
products like chloramines. efficacy tests and it wants the new for their own by product effect.
“I don’t think the consumers are too generation products to be judged in the “At the end of the day, whilst we
aware of the problems of chlorine. I think same way as chlorine. all need to be mindful of any
they are aware that in too many Until then as one chemical supplier reaction or health impact, the
swimming pools the smell of chlorine is told us: “Chlorine is what does the job. prime function of pool
getting worse and people are being It might be getting some questionable sanitisers is to maintain
deterred from swimming because if they press but I don’t think it will stop pool effective sanitisation to
are at all sensitive then chlorine will cause owners turning towards it as a first user bathers.”
some irritation. choice-for the time being anyway. He said he felt there
“We are not alone in looking at Everyone has a priority of providing safe had always been
cheaper longer term solutions. We are in clear water to swim in and I think as an consumers who
the business of encouraging swimming industry we are responsible to try and were concerned
not putting any obstacles up which will find the safest and best way of about chlorine
stop people enjoying our facilities. UV achieving that. The commercial aspects and their
systems in our opinion do offer the of that may change in the years to come dermatological
option of reducing chlorine but not but I sort of think change will be problems.
eliminating it fully. gradual not dramatic.” Complete
“It’s a double whammy that works,“ he There is also a clear strength of feeling it Pool Controls
added. is not possible to run a larger commercial still has heavy
Visit our website at DECEMBER 08 swimming pool news 39
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