Swimming Pool Chemical Technology Automation

The increasing awareness of recreational water illnesses has led to the prolific advancement and acceptance of swimming pool chemical treatment equipment. Today there is a wider acceptance of automatic chemical controllers, and a tremendous movement to install electrolytic chlorine generators, ORP controllers, ozonators and UV generators. This change is a leading indicator of the mind-shift occurring with aquatic professionals, who are rapidly embracing industry research and investing in newer technologies.

Electrolytic Chlorine Generators

Electrolytic chlorine generators (ECGs) were introduced to the swimming pool trade in the early 1980s and regarded initially as very expensive, and awkward to install and use. Manufacturers of ECGs listened to the aquatic managers’ concerns, and incorporated technology to create a user-friendly device. Recent statistics indicate an emergence of acceptance throughout the aquatic industry. One of the main reasons for the growth is the ability of the ECGs to deliver 100% chlorine by simply adding salt to the pool. These devices generate chlorine by separating ordinary salt (NaCl) into its basic chemical elements through a process called electrolysis. Most manufacturers advise that the salt content in pool water be 2,500 to 3,500 ppm. This mild saline solution is so low that it is almost impossible to taste the salt. By comparison, the ocean’s salt content is approximately 35,000 ppm, human tears contain 4,000 to 9,000 ppm, and human taste level of salt is approximately 3,500 ppm.

Aquatic professionals who are using chlorine generators say that their customers experience a smooth, silky feeling on their skin, no longer have red eyes, and complain less about skin irritation.

For an aquatic facility manager, storage and handling are major safety concerns. ECGs provide a huge benefit because there is no longer a need to store chlorine on-site, thus eliminating the dangers of fire and explosions. Risk managers appreciate the reduced trauma and liability from these types of accidents.

The Process Is Simple

Chlorine generator cells are installed inline. Under electrolysis, the salt water passes through the cell and is broken down into chlorine gas, sodium hydroxide and hydrogen gas. There is such a high concentration of chlorine as the pool water passes through the cells that superchlorination actually occurs, thus eliminating the buildup of chloramines. Once the chlorine is generated, it reverts back to salt, and the process repeats itself.

Additional salt needs to be added if you see many bathers splash out, you are backwashing the filtration system, or you are draining the pool. Due to a slight increase in pH residuals with ECGs, advanced technology by some of the ECG manufacturers now incorporates a small acid pump to neutralize the pH. Of course, you must still adhere to the water balance parameters and maintain total alkalinity between 80 to-120 ppm and calcium hardness from 200 to 400 ppm. Cyanuric acid levels in outdoor facilities should be within 30 to 50 ppm.

Sizing parameters are of utmost importance and necessary to obtain maximum performance. One mistake many aquatic professionals make is to purchase a generator solely based on volume (gallons) of pool water. To properly size a generator, you must consider additional information, such as bather load, indoor vs. outdoor facilities, the pump run-time, additional water features and water temperature.

Oxidation Reduction Potential (ORP)

The level of disinfectant can change rapidly in an aquatic facility. For over 30 years automatic sensors have been available to constantly monitor the fluctuations in chlorine residuals. The ORP probe is designed to indicate the oxidizing/reducing capability of pool water by measuring its electron activity. The ORP test is expressed in millivolts (mV).

Here’s how it works:

Page 1 of 3 | Next page

Related posts:

  1. Swimming Pool Chemical Technology Automation
  2. Swimming Pool Filtration
  3. SMART Pool Operations
  4. Water Park Chemistry – Test
  5. Water Park Chemistry – Answer Key
  • Columns & Features
  • Departments
  • Writers