Saturday, January 28, 2012
Better Control, Less Work, Less Worries
With new advances in technology and research available in our industry, we are now able to automate our pool controls and ensure better water quality. Automation of controls minimizes operator error and can adjust water chemistry to maximize our sanitation control. This is especially helpful in a managed aquatic facility or large pool setting.
Sanitation of the pool water is the most important task for a pool operator. A trained pool operator also knows that just adding chlorine is not enough to accomplish the job of disinfection. The operator must know what the demand on the sanitation is according to bather load, temperature, pH, and many environmental and chemical factors. Up to now the operator used breakpoint chlorination calculations and a fair amount of guesswork based on the gallons and flow rate of the pool. With the introduction of ORP control units (Oxidation -Reduction Potential) we are now able to measure with sensors the quality of the pool water. Quality of pool water is a measurement to oxidize contaminants. This is measured in millivolts which is the count of the electrical charge available by the chemical molecules. When you oxidize (oxidation) microbes and organic material you reduce (reduction) the contaminants in the water. The level of measurement is the potential the water has to be able to oxidize and reduce contamination.
If we are constantly monitoring and adjusting the potential of the water then we are using dependable and accurate analysis and adjustments so that a build-up of contaminants such as chloramines does not occur. The reduction of chloramines prevents swimmer discomfort and creates a pleasant swimming environment. It also allows continuous control of bacteria, virus and parasites that can contribute to Recreational Water Illness.
As the effectiveness of sanitizer is dependent on pH then it is helpful to have a pH sensor in the ORP system. As the pH rises then there is less oxygen associated with the sanitizer available to work. The opposite would be that if the pH was low then there would be more oxidation. However, this is not a measurement of sanitizer level and we need to establish a protocol of adjusting the pH first before adjusting the sanitizer. Automatic adjustment of pH by using a sensor and dispensing unit that is working simultaneously with the ORP system establishes the protocol of pH adjustment first then addition of oxidizer second if needed.
We are only using the amount of sanitizer and acid needed to maintain a properly sanitized pool with ORP and pH automation. There is no over dosing or under dosing of the pool chemicals by the operator, which can increase operating budgets. Also, the pool operator does not have to manually make adjustments as often. This allows a shorter exposure time to handling dangerous chemicals by the operator.
We can be assured of quality control that is dependable and accurate, resulting in better sanitation that requires less work on the part of the pool operator.