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Similar by nature to any standing water source, swimming Pools, Spa's and Fountains need to be monitored and treated to reduce biological growth.
Monitoring pH/ORP or Chlorine/Bromine levels will help in sanitation, ensuring healthy conditions in swimming pools, hot tubs, plunge pools, and similar recreational water venues. Proper sanitation is needed to maintain the visual clarity of water and to prevent the transmission of infectious waterborne diseases.
Sanitation methods include a water filter to remove pollutants, disinfection to kill infectious microorganisms, swimmer hygiene to minimize the introduction of contaminants into pool water, and regular testing of pool water, including chlorine and pH levels.
Conventional halogen-based oxidizers such as chlorine and bromine are convenient and economical primary sanitizers for swimming pools and provide a residual level of sanitizer that remains in the water. Chlorine-releasing compounds are the most popular and frequently used in swimming pools whereas bromine-releasing compounds have found heightened popularity in spas and hot tubs. Both are members of the halogen group with demonstrated ability to destroy and deactivate a wide range of potentially dangerous bacteria and viruses in swimming pools and spas. Both exhibit three essential elements as ideal first-line-of-defense sanitizers for swimming pools and spas: they are fast-acting and enduring, they are effective algaecides, and they oxidize undesired contaminants.
Swimming pools can be disinfected with a variety of chlorine-releasing compounds. The most basic of these compounds is molecular chlorine (Cl2); however, its application is primarily in large commercial public swimming pools. Inorganic forms of chlorine-releasing compounds frequently used in residential and public swimming pools include sodium hypochlorite commonly known as liquid bleach or simply bleach, calcium hypochlorite and lithium hypochlorite. Chlorine residuals from Cl2 and inorganic chlorine-releasing compounds break down rapidly in sunlight. To extend their disinfectant usefulness and persistence in outdoor settings, swimming pools treated with one or more of the inorganic forms of chlorine-releasing compounds can be supplemented with cyanuric acid—a granular stabilizing agent capable of extending the active chlorine residual half-life by four to sixfold. Chlorinated isocyanurates, a family of organic chlorine-releasing compounds, are stabilized to prevent UV degradation due to the presence of cyanurate as part of their chemical backbone.
Medium pressure UV technology is used to control the level of chloramines in indoor pools. It is also used as a secondary form of disinfection to address chlorine tolerant pathogens. A properly sized and maintained UV system should remove the need to shock for chloramines, although shocking would still be used to address a fecal accident in the pool. UV will not replace chlorine, but is used to control the level of chloramines, which are responsible for the odor, irritation, and enhanced corrosion at an indoor pool.
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