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The water in a swimming pool or spa is nearly always treated by some means or other. The prime purpose of the treatment is to ensure that the water is clean and not detrimental to the health of the bathers.
Invariably, water is taken from the pool and filtered. This process removes any solid pollutants in the pool.
This cleaning is, however not sufficient. Bacteria, viruses, cysts and organic pollutants are invariably introduced into the pool water from the air and by the bathers themselves. These microorganisms and pollutants are microscopic or are dissolved in the water. Since these are extremely hazardous to bathers, they must be neutralised or removed from the water.
To achieve this, the most common method employed throughout the world is to treat the pool water with chlorine or a chemical that releases chlorine into the water.
Chlorine is a fairly effective disinfectant. It eliminates a large number of bacteria and some viruses. Chlorine is also a fairly strong oxidising agent, reacting with organic matter in the swimming pool water.
However, chlorine does have its limits and has several disadvantages.
There are a considerable number of micro-organisms that remain unaffected by chlorine. These micro-organisms (such as Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia) are extremely dangerous to health, causing severe gastrointestinal infections and other complaints.
When chlorine oxidises organic matter in the water (such as urea), amongst the by-products that are formed is a family of chemicals called chloramines. Chloramines are highly substances that have highly undesirable effects:
- They cause the very unpleasant "swimming pool" smell experienced in many pools.
- They irritate the nose, throats and eyes of bathers and are responsible for the "red eyes" experienced by bathers in many pools.
- They irritate the skin.
- They affect the respiratory system, particularly of small children. They at best aggravate respiratory conditions, such as asthma.
- They attack the fabric of the swimming pool and the building in which the pool is located. Over time, damage is caused to wood, ceramics, steel, concrete and plaster.
Many efforts have been made to replace chlorine, but few of these have gained substantial ground. This is because they have been found to have the same drawbacks (e.g. bromine), or are expensive (e.g. hydrogen peroxide) or are less effective (e.g. metal ion based processes, hydrogen peroxide).
Ozone is a gas that is that can be very loosely described as a concentrated form of oxygen. It is responsible for the "fresh air smell" that is experienced after a thunderstorm or at the beach or in a room containing a photocopier.
Ozone is generated by passing a stream of air through an electric arc (called a corona discharge). It can also be generated by passing air over a specially dosed ultra-violet lamp.
Ozone is not a stable compound and quite rapidly decomposes to oxygen. For this reason, it cannot be manufactured and stored; it must be generated at the location where it is used.
Ultra-violet (UV) light is light of a particular frequency range. It is commonly encountered every day, being a constituent of natural sunlight. In concentrated form, UV light is also used in sun beds and in discotheque lights. UV light is generated using a special electric lamp similar to a fluorescent tube. In water treatment, two types of lamp are commonly used: low pressure lamps and medium pressure lamps.
Ozone gas and UV light, when used to treat water, have very strong biocidal effect: they kill or render harmless microorganisms that are unaffected by chlorine. This means that in swimming pools, both ozone and UV are extremely powerful disinfectants when applied at the correct dose. They are even effective against Cryptosporidium parvum and Giardia lamblia, for example.
In addition to their biocidal effects, ozone and UV light are extremely strong oxidising agents. This means that they effectively remove organic pollution from the swimming pool water. In addition, when either ozone or UV is used in conjunction with chlorine in a swimming pool, the undesirable chloramines are destroyed and their undesirable effects (see above) are largely eliminated.
To summarise, the benefits of using either an ozone or UV system in a swimming pool are:
- Protection of bathers against illnesses caused by microorganisms that are unaffected by chlorine.
- Virtual elimination of the eye, nose, skin and respiratory system irritation caused by chloramines in the water.
- Elimination of the unpleasant "swimming pool smell".
- Assist in preserving the fabric of the pool and pool hall by virtually eliminating chloramines.
- Water clarity improvement (with ozone only)
In the case of ozone, ozone gas is generated in an ozone generator. This gas is then intimately mixed with water from the pool filter, and the water/ozone mixture is held in a tank for a predetermined time. This time allows the ozone time to react with the impurities in the water and also allows any excess ozone to separate from the water. The excess gaseous ozone is destroyed (it is converted back to oxygen) and discharged to atmosphere. The cleaned water is returned to the pool.
In the case of UV treatment, the pool water from the filter flows through a stainless steel chamber in which a UV lamp is located. The time that the water spends in the chamber is calculated so that it receives the correct dose of UV light.
The equipment for ozone or UV treatment is usually located in the pool plant room, directly after the pool filter(s).
Ozone is an unstable gas: it very quickly decomposes to oxygen. This means that once the ozone treated water is returned to the pool, it disappears very rapidly. As a result of this, although the water in the pool has been disinfected, it is not disinfectant. So, any pollution instantaneously introduced by bathers in the pool would not be effectively treated until the water arrives back at the ozone treatment unit.
The same reasoning applies to UV treatment: once the water leaves the UV treatment chamber, no further treatment occurs. Although the water is disinfected, it is not disinfectant.
For the above reasons, it is usually necessary to maintain a small residual concentration of a secondary disinfectant (such as chlorine) in the pool. For public pools, this is in any case a requirement imposed by the regulatory public health authorities in most countries.
For small domestic pools used by a single family, it may well be possible to dispense with the use of chlorine, except when visitors are using the pool to reduce the risk of cross-infection. This is particularly the case if the pool is going to be subject to an exceptionally heavy loading (e.g. a children's party).
In general, though, when using ozone or UV, the concentration of free chlorine in the pool water can usually be significantly reduced (in public pools to the minimum legally allowable). Most of the disinfecting and oxidising load will be borne by the ozone or UV system. In particular, the destruction of harmful pathogens and the near elimination of unpleasant chloramines would be handled by the ozone or UV system.
In summary, although it is usually necessary to maintain some use of chlorine in an ozone or UV treated pool, the free chlorine concentration can be significantly reduced due to the higher disinfectant properties of ozone and UV and elimination the potentially dangerous microorganisms that remain untouched by chlorine. The use of ozone and UV systems in conjunction with some residual chlorine also virtually eliminates the unpleasant and harmful side effects of the chlorine.
Once running, the equipment can be left to operate automatically. Unlike chemical dosing systems, the Triogen systems do not need regular checking and a yearly maintenance program is enough for a long term operation. In the unlikely event of a breakdown, Triogen has a service and maintenance centre.
Spas are enjoyable and thera-peutic if installed and main-tained correctly. However, due to the increase in spa use, more and more cases of water borne infections are being reported.
In reality, it is far more difficult to maintain proper hygiene within a spa than it is in a conventional swimming pool due to the small water volume, higher temperature and high bather loading. Spa water can easily and rapidly become a breeding ground for bacteria, including strains such as Legionella or E. coli.
Contamination in swimming pools is mainly introduced by the bathers themselves, consisting of urea, sweat, body oils and cosmetics. When chlorine based chemicals are used to kill bacteria and eliminate contaminants, by-products called chloramines are produced.
It is this by-product that is responsible for eye and nose irritation, skin troubles and the familiar “swimming pool smell”.
Apart from being extremely effective in killing bacteria and viruses and eliminating organic contaminants, ozone does not produce these undesirables side-effects. And last, thanks to the flocculent power of ozone, an ozone-treated simming pool will have a significant better clarity and higher brightness.
Ozone treatment is the ultimate choice for large municipal and competition pools where chloramines can be produced in larger quantities and can reach unpleasant levels.
Some studies carried out on municipal pools also suggest a link between high levels of chloramines and childhood asthma.
The Triogen Compact ozone generating system are specifically designed to make this same technology available and affordable for hotel or club pools and domestic pool users.
Also, the use of ozone reduces the requirement for chemicals, increases the stability of the pool water pH and virtually eliminates pool smell along with eye and nose irritation. It also tends to produce clearer, more sparkling water, all of which greatly enhances the bathing experience.
The appropriate system can be chosen from the selection tables available in data sheets of products that states the volume of pool that each unit can treat, taking into account the pool size and expected bathing loads. Our team of experts will assist you on product selection for large facilities.
Diagrams and schematics in our brochures show how a Triogen ozone generator and its accessories integrate into a standard swimming pool plant room.
The generator and its accessories are simple to install and can be fitted by any pool installer or maintenance company.
The contact tank / degasser system sould be designed to ensure that adequate contact time is provided for the ozone to react with the contaminants in the water and to vent off excess gas prior to the treated water returning to the pool. Triogen offer pre-designed tanks for small pools and provide assistance in sizing tanks for large pools.
The installation of a degasser system is recommended to eliminate air bubbles and residual of ozone at the pool inlets.
The production of ozone gas is dependent on the temperature and humidity of the air that is used as a feedgas to the ozone generator. The addition of an air dryer has the effect of increasing the ozone output that is achieved when operating with normal ambient air.
Many indoor family pools use a Triogen ozone system as the only source of water disinfection but ozone has no persistent effect in the water. An occasional dose of compatible algaecide is all that is required to prevent algal growth in the pool. It is recommended that a little chlorine-based disinfectant be added to avoid cross contamination.
It is mandatory to maintain a disinfectant residual in the pool as a safeguard against cross infection. Most of the organic contaminants are oxidised by the ozone treatment and therefore the residual disinfectant is able to give protection. In addition, the consumption of the secondary disinfectant is significantly reduced.
Our systems are absolutely safe as they have been designed to operate at negative pressure, this being created by the use of a venturi injection system that introduces the ozone gas into the water.
This vacuum operation of the Triogen generators ensures that ozone gas does not leak out, thus increasing operational safety.
A pool using a Triogen ozone system will be safe and far more pleasant to use than a conventional “chemical only” pool and should give improved air and water quality with years of trouble-free operation.
The purpose of treating the water used in spas and swimming pools with UV light is twofold:
- to disinfect the water by destroying the bacteria and viruses introduced by bathers
- and to remove organic pollutants (e.g. sweat, urea, grease, cosmetics, chloramines) in the water by oxidising them.
The polluting micro-organisms in spa and swimming water are bacteria, viruses, protozoa and spores. Provided that the intensity of the light is high enough and the duration of exposure is long enough, the UV light interferes with the molecular structure of the nucleus of the organisms, inactivating them. This disinfecting effect of UV treatment is particularly potent against such resilient pathogen species such as Cryptosporidium parvum and Gardia lambia.
Chlorine in the water reacts with organic pollutants to form substances called chloramines. Chloramines cause skin/mucuous irritation, sore eyes in bathers and difficult breathing. They are also responsible for the unpleasant “swimming pool smell” in pools treated with chlorine only. UV radiation destroys chloramines in the water by oxidation of these compounds and the organic impurities present. This virtually eliminates skin and eye irritation and enhances the bathing experience.
Despite the extreme effectiveness of UV treatment in destroying pathogens and oxidising organic pollutants, once the treated water is back in the pool, it is no longer exposed to the UV light and is vulnerable to pollution introduced by the bathers themselves. For this reason, a small residual concentration of a primary disinfectant (such as chlorine) must be maintained in the pool. This is particularly important in the case of spas and jacuzzis, which characteristically have high bather loading, low water volume and often, higher water temperatures.
The use of UV treatment in conjunction with a small residual of a chemical disinfectant (such as chlorine) has many advantages over using the chemical disinfectant on its own. Amongst these benefits are:
- A reduction in the consumption of chemical disinfectant, reducing operating costs
- The elimination of eye and skin irritation due to the destruction of chloramines
- The elimination of “swimming pool smell” caused by chloramines
- The air and water environment in the swimming pool building is greatly enhanced, causing less threat to its fabric and affording a safer and pleasanter environment for bathers and staff.
Triogen UV swimming pool and spa water treatment equipment uses two technologies of lamps: low pressure UV lamps (LP) and medium pressure UV lamps (MP).
LP UV lamps have a higher effective output of UV light at the wavelength most beneficial for pathogen destruction and organics oxidation (i.e. 253nm), but have a lower power density. Since Triogen UV units are designed to operate at a UV dose rate of 60 mJ/cm2 at the end of lamp life a larger number of lamps would be required for high flow rates. This would result in larger and more complex equipment.
MP UV lamps have the same effective output of UV light at the desired wavelength as LP UV lamps (i.e. 253nm) but they have a higher power density, thus requiring fewer lamps. Nowadays, MP UV lamps technology is widely recognised to be the most efficient lamp technology to use for swimming pool water treatment: disinfection and oxidation.
The UV systems units are designed for swimming pool water tretament, simple to install and user firendly.
The design of the reactor allows easy withdrawal of the thimble assembly for periodic manual cleaning of the external surface of the thimble. A quick-release power head enables quick and easy replacement of the UV lamp at the end of its life. Medium pressure (MP) lamps are expected to last a minimum of 8,000 hours and low pressure (LP) lamps around 12,000 hours. The cleaning and lamp replacement operations do not require any special tools and can be carried out by pool operators.
Apart from routine maintenance, Triogen UV system is very nearly “fit and forget”. The control panel is fitted with a HMI and all necessary indicators.
Although ozone and UV treatment are very different processes, the overall effect of each is similar. There are however some noticeable points of comparison between the two processes. The following table sets these out:
|Disinfection power:||Extremely High||High|
|Oxidation Power:||Extremely High||High|
|System Capital Expense:||Higher||Lower|
The above is a very general and rough guide. Individual situations can affect the choice between ozone and UV. Indeed, the most appropriate system in many cases may be a hybrid ozone + UV system, such as Triogen's UVAZONE system.
On first examination there would seem little advantage in choosing an ozone system. However, experience does not always bear this out. Along with its other properties, ozone has the desirable property of acting as a flocculent. This causes it to have an effect on very fine colloidal particles suspended in the water. These particles are so fine that they would normally pass straight through the pool filter. The flocculating effect of the ozone tends to collect the small particles to form larger particles that can easily be removed by the filter.
As a result of this, pool water treated with ozone has highly superior optical properties: it is clearer, bluer and more sparkling. Ultraviolet treatment does not have this property. Water exiting the UV unit will have virtually the same optical properties as the water entering it.
In addition to this, purely anecdotal evidence suggests that water treated with ozone has a “silkier”, “smoother” feel and is kinder to the skin and hair. Although this subjective assertion from users has not been substantiated, a large number of clients affirm it. In Olympic and other competition swimming and diving pools where water clarity and appearance is extremely important, ozone treatment is almost always selected.
In pools that have water features (such as wave pools and pools with cascades or rapids), there is a higher tendency for any undesirable chloramines to diffuse into the surrounding air. In these cases, ozone treatment is very often chosen over UV because of its higher oxidation capability.
In summary, the choice between ozone and UV is a balance of often conflicting requirements after examination of the various factors involved. However, around the world it is a fact that in the most prestigious, high-end, luxury pools, ozone is definitely the treatment of first choice.
AOP stands for Advanced Oxidation Process. Triogen's AOP is a combination of ozone gas and UV light to form highly reactive hydroxyl free radicals, which enhances the decomposition of organic pollutants, and offers excellent pathogen control through the inactivation of chlorine resistant organisms. The UV light will photochemically destroy any residual ozone in the water, thus removing the need for deozonation equipment. The Triogen AOP process is a unique and chemical free technology, operating under full vacuum, a result of 30 years expertise in water treatment.
Triogen UVAZONE systems utilise a combination of ozone and UV to form highly reactive hydroxyl free radicals, which enhances the decomposition of organic pollutants, and offers excellent pathogen control through the inactivation of chlorine resistant organisms.
For example, Cryptosporidium and Legionella, are both chlorine resistant micro-organisms, which are instantly inactivated by hydroxyl radicals. Further, ozone has a flocculant effect, which aids the filtration system to enhance the optical quality of the water, which results in brighter, clearer water.
Triogen's AOP design greatly reduces the plantroom space required and the complexity of the installation. These range of system is “Plug&Play” and can fit most of the existing plant rooms. The AOP process means that the UV light will photochemically destroy any residual ozone in the water, thus removing the need for large carbon deozonation filters. All Triogen systems operate under negative pressure (vacuum) venturi injector system to ensure complete safety and no possible ozone leakage during operation.
The reasons for choosing or specifying a Triogen ozone or UV system are many. Amongst these are the following:
- Triogen has over 30 years of experience in the design and manufacture of ozone systems and over 15 years of experience in the design and manufacture of UV systems.
- Triogen manufactures ozone systems, UV systems and combined ozone + UV (AOP) systems. This means that Triogen can exhibit more impartiality in the choice of the most appropriate process for a particular application than a single technology manufacturer.
- Triogen's ranges of ozone and UV systems are arguably amongst the widest of any manufacturer. This means that Triogen usually can find a solution to suit most customer requirements. There is nearly always a Triogen ozone, UV or AOP system for every application from the small family pool to the largest Olympic pool or aquatic park.
- Triogen systems are safe, reliable and user friendly. Main features are designed into the systems to make life easier during installation, commissioning and use.
- Triogen systems are in operation across the globe and have been for many years. Triogen develops long-term relationships with its customers and is always on hand to offer advice and technical support.
Triogen General Brochure
Triogen ensures that customers have access to the most trusted water treatment approaches and helps to choose the technology which perfectly suits all their requirements. All the ozone, UV and AOP technologies offered to customers deliver these three core benefits: comfort, safety and economy. Download our General Capabilities Brochure here to learn more about our offer.
COMPACT OZONE GENERATORS
UV OZONE GENERATORS
TOGC8X, 13X & 45X Ozone Package
OZAT® CFS Series Ozone Package
M6 Ozone Generators
M7 Ozone Generators
TR2 Ultra UV DISINFECTION SYSTEMS
Uvaspa SS Medium Pressure UV Disinfection Systems
Uvalite Medium Pressure UV Disinfection Systems
Uvaray Medium Pressure UV Disinfection Systems
Integra UV Disinfection System
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