Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™

Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, "Creating Water as Art."™
Pools as an art form - the way it should be!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Chlorine Free Pools - Totally Possible... at a cost.

There has been a lot of interest in chlorine free pools.  Chlorine has been given a bad rap and is not usually to blame for the public's health concerns.  Regardless, the quest for chemical free pools continues.  And, yes they can be achieved.

Chlorine Free

There are two concerns with keeping swimming pools clear and healthy for bathers.  

The first is a sanitizer - something to kill germs and bacteria.  What ever is used, it must remain present in the water 24 hours a day, every day.  There must be enough already in the water or available for injection to handle spikes in temperature and bather loads.

The second is something to function as an algaecide.  The most effective algaecides are heavy metal ions such as nickle, copper and silver.  In microscopic doses, they work well and are safe for the environment.  However, there is no easy means to measure the levels of these metals.

Ionizers

There are a number of ways to get heavy metals into your pool water.  

Pouring in an algaecide that contains these metal compounds is the fastest.  There are many on the market.  However, they result in a large dose of metals.

Erosion ionizers are cartridges that contain heavy metal compounds that gradually emit metals into the water as the water passes through them.  Cartridge balls can be placed in the skimmers or pump baskets, or in-line cartridge dispensers can be plumbed into the pipes (like an oil filter). 

Active ionizers are electronic devices that use electricity to emit metal ions into the pool water.  These are always plumbed into the pipes at the equipment pad.

Contrary to manufacturer's claims, metal ions do very little to kill bacteria and germs.  They work so slowly on killing germs and bacteria, they are only relied upon to keep algae and plant life at bay.

Ozone

Ozone is the best form of germ and bacteria killer used in swimming pools.  Ozone also breaks down contaminates that bathers introduce into the water - fabric softeners, cosmetics, suntan lotions, soap and shampoo residues, etc.  

A properly sized ozone side stream system can cost $10,000.  As the size of the pool increases, the cost rises exponentially, as they are sized to match the size of the pool and the bather load. 

Ozone is gas that is very reactive and therefore has a very short half life.  Because it does not last, it cannot be bottled and must be manufactured on site. 

Ozone is thousands of times more effective at killing microorganisms that chlorine.  Due to it's short half life, ozone only remains in the water while it is actively being produced.  Shut off the ozone generator and within minutes, the ozone in the water is gone.

Ultraviolet Light (UV)

Ultraviolet light kills germs and microbes using the radiation that exists in UV light.  It does not emit any residual sanitizer into the water.

Because it requires a light source, a device is plumbed at the equipment pad.  The water passing through the device is exposed to the UV light, killing the organisms.  The pumps must be operating for the UV lamps to operate.  And only that amount of water that can pass by the lamps is treated.  

Truly Chlorine Free

To truly achieve a chlorine free pool requires that an OVER SIZED corona discharge ozone system be ran 24/7.  If complemented by a UV system, a chlorine free pool could be achieved.

But it requires that the circulation pump be operated 24 hours a day, everyday.  And it has associated costs - the equipment, maintenance and electricity.

Ultra-Low Chlorine Pool

By contrast, one could operate a properly sized ozone system with UV for 6-8 hours per day... provided that they maintained a very low level of chlorine.

That chlorine level could be so low, say 0.5 ppm (parts per million) and still maintain clear sanitized water.  To keep the chlorine precisely at such low levels would require an ORP/pH controller to micro-dose the chlorine.  As demands increased or decreased, the controller would adjust it's output to maintain 0.5 ppm.

0.5 ppm of chlorine is approximately the level in found in drinking water.  

Safe for human consumption and even for watering plants!

Paolo Benedetti, SWD, Principal 
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa 
 www.AquaticTechnology.com 
International Swimming Pool Consulting and Design, Aquatic Consulting, Watershape Consultants, Expert Witness, Hydraulic Design, Landscape Architecture, Construction Management 
Office: 408-776-8220 
Email: info@aquatictechnology.com 

Major Markets Serviced: 
San Francisco, Palo Alto, Atherton, Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Clemente, Pacific Palisades, Escondido, Scottsdale, Seattle, Phoenix, Tempe, Portland, Aspen, Vail, Park City, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Austin, New Orleans, Madison, Detroit, East Hamptons, South Hamptons, Cape May, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Cherry Hill, Toms River, Salt lake City, Boise, Denver, Santa Barbaara, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Monterey, Pebble Beach, Oceanside, Big Sur, Napa, Sonoma, Sausalito, Danville, Belvedere, Montecito, Palm Springs, Midland, Manhattan, Greenwich Village, Osaka, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Seoul, Sydney, New York, Tokyo, Cairo, Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Lisbon, Bonn.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Residential Energy Efficient Swimming Pool Rating System ANSI/APSP-15

The proposed ANSI/APSP-15 American National Standard for Residential Swimming Pool and Spa Energy Efficiency is nothing more than another misguided attempt at justifying improper hydraulic designs.

The "Residential Energy Efficient Swimming Pool Rating System" will assign points a pool or spa hydraulic system for the size of the pipes, style of elbows used, type of pump installed and size of the filter.  These points will be applied towards the energy efficiency rating of the vessel.  Vessels will be rated Gold, Silver or Bronze.

Separate the forest from the trees

On a properly designed hydraulic system all of the components are already compatible and in balance with each other.  This includes the pipe sizing, fittings, filter sizing, pump style and flow rating, flow rates, turn over rates, line velocities, pump curve and the total dynamic head.

The Bottom Line

Properly designed plumbing systems that operate within the acceptable line velocity standards and in the center of a pump's efficiency curve (pump curve) ARE AS EFFICIENT AS THEY WILL EVER GET.

Only utilizing alternative energies to heat and operate a pool will reduce the operating expenses and energy consumption.  Using pumps equipped with Energy Star or VFD motors will also reduce electrical consumption.

True Energy Efficiency Ratings

Energy ratings for a vessel should be calculated by a formula of it's hydraulic efficiency, gallons per minute flow rate and actual kilowatts consumed to move that water.

Poorly designed hydraulics, undersized pipes and filters, substandard plumbing and workmanship, inefficient motors and mismatched components will have a detrimental effect on the calculation.  Assigning "brownie points" for doing things correctly should not factor into the equation.

Vessels should be PASS/FAIL based upon a set standard (around the 80-85 percent level).


Paolo Benedetti, SWD, Principal 
Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa 
 www.AquaticTechnology.com 
International Swimming Pool Consulting and Design, Aquatic Consulting, Watershape Consultants, Expert Witness, Hydraulic Design, Landscape Architecture, Construction Management 
Office: 408-776-8220 
Email: info@aquatictechnology.com 

Major Markets Serviced: San Francisco, Palo Alto, Atherton, Hollywood Hills, Beverly Hills, Malibu, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Clemente, Pacific Palisades, Escondido, Scottsdale, Seattle, Phoenix, Tempe, Portland, Aspen, Vail, Park City, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Austin, New Orleans, Madison, Detroit, East Hamptons, South Hamptons, Cape May, Ft. Lauderdale, Orlando, Raleigh, Chapel Hill, Cherry Hill, Toms River, Salt lake City, Boise, Denver, Santa Barbaara, Carmel, Carmel Valley, Monterey, Pebble Beach, Oceanside, Big Sur, Napa, Sonoma, Sausalito, Danville, Belvedere, Montecito, Palm Springs, Midland, Manhattan, Greenwich Village, Osaka, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, London, Seoul, Sydney, New York, Tokyo, Cairo, Istanbul, Athens, Rome, Lisbon, Bonn.