As commercial aquatic facilities begin to slowly reopen post-shutdown and try to re-attract and welcome patrons, many managers are looking for solutions that will help improve both the water and air quality of their facilities. One of the most effective ways to quickly to do this is to add an ultraviolet (UV) system to the equipment room. Not only do UV systems help improve both the air and water quality of swimming pools, but they also reduce chemical usage, which helps commercial aquatic facilities save money. Service professionals working with commercial pools should proactively offer to upgrade these facilities with a UV unit, whether the pool is an HOA, HMAC or large municipal pool.
Indoor aquatic facilities often suffer from poor air and water quality, especially with high bather loads. Recommendations from the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) suggest the use of a secondary sanitation system in these cases. One of the most common forms of secondary sanitation in aquatic facilities is a UV system, which uses light to destroy microorganisms.
Service professionals who upgrade a commercial aquatic facility with medium- and low-pressure UV systems will not only help eliminate chloramines, but will also provide the facility with a secondary sanitation system that provides clearer water, not to mention reduce the chlorine required to keep the water sanitized.
Benefits of UV
There are many benefits associated with the installation of a UV system, not only to the aquatic facility and bathers, but also to the pool professionals.
Ease of installation & service
One of the often-missed benefits is installation. Relatively simply, UV systems can be added onto the pool’s existing circulation system after the filter, and before other accessories such as heaters or chlorinators.
Units come with tailpieces that plumb into the pipes, completing the circulation system with the UV sanitizer by using a few elbows and valves to bypass the unit. This is helpful because it makes winterizing, servicing and maintenance easier by separating the UV unit as needed. The only maintenance required is periodic cleaning of the quartz tube inside the UV unit and replacement of the UV lamp when it reaches the end of its life. This procedure typically takes five to 10 minutes to complete, and can be accomplished using a screwdriver and crescent wrench.
Improved water/ air quality and reduced chemical usage
UV secondary disinfection systems like Pentair’s NSF-certified BioShield® UV Disinfection Sanitizers provide an alternative to many of the chemicals normally purchased to ensure clean, clear swimming pool water. UV also helps provide instant protection against water borne, chlorine-resistant micro-organisms. In addition, ultraviolet light reduces the combined chloramine levels that typically cause poor air quality in aquatic facilities and lead to red eyes, dry skin and other unpleasant side effects for bathers.
Once the UV system is installed, chloramines are reduced, and the air can be clearer usually within 24 hours. In addition, the unit provides savings to swim schools and aquatic facilities by reducing the formation of chloramines and alleviating chlorine ppm swings.
In the long term, for example, the reduced chloramines also lessen corrosion to the equipment. Therefore, as part of the improvement process, the installation of an automatic controller is paramount. The device provides automated control of the pool’s pH and oxidation-reduction potential (ORP) levels, which help to stabilize the water and reduce the overconsumption of chemicals. By monitoring and treating water 24/7, facilities avoid excess use of chemicals caused by high and low chemical levels and dosing. Further, by ensuring proper chemical balance and treatment, the facility will also benefit, indirectly, from better air quality.
Aquatic facilities can even promote the addition of the UV unit to their patrons as a way to re-attract swimmers, touting both the sanitation benefits as well as the air and water quality benefits. Offering UV could be a win-win for aquatic facilities as they re-open for business as well as to service professionals who sell and install the units.