March 9, 2016
UV Sanitation Systems: The Basics

Have you ever walked into an aquatic facility, and right from the entrance you could smell chlorine, even if the pool isn't directly in front of you? Often times that strong "pool smell" is believed to indicate that the pool is clean; however, it is the opposite. This smell is caused by something called chloramines, or combined chlorine which are formed in the water when bather introduced chemicals are combined with chlorine. These chemicals produce the strong, unpleasant odors that are encountered in swimming pools. They can also cause “red eye”, skin irritation, cloudy water, and can be corrosive to metal components within the pool natatorium. One of the most effective solutions to getting rid of an unpleasant pool smell is to install an Ultra-Violet (UV) System. 


Ultraviolet systems are installed in the pool return piping (downstream from the filtration equipment, before the heaters/dehumidifiers and chemical injection points are connected). As water passes through the ultraviolet chamber, it is attacked by an ultraviolet ray. This UV ray destroys more than 60 waterborne pathogens, including bacteria, algae and viruses!

There are two types of UV lamps available; low pressure lamps and medium pressure lamps. Low pressure lamps produce monochromatic light at 254nm and medium pressure lamps produce polychromatic light between 200nm and 300nm. 
 
One of the added benefits of UV Systems is they allow you to maximize mechanical room space. UV chambers are available in a variety of different shapes in order to suit different pool mechanical room layouts, but they all work the same way. Some of these shapes include "U" shaped; "Z" shaped or end style connections. UV systems are sized according to the pool flow rate, and can be incorporated into most pool recirculation systems.  

Cost savings are another added benefit of installing a UV system. A facility’s savings will depend on a number of factors:
 
Size of the pool
Number of users
Quality/condition of HVAC system
 
For most facility’s, the most noticeable savings an owner will see when a UV system is installed is the cost of maintenance. UV systems drastically reduce chloramines in the water, which without a UV system can damage the swimming pool, deck and pool equipment.
 
From extending the facilities lifecycle to creating a more comfortable environment for swimmers, there are several benefits to using a UV system at any aquatic facility. Here are some other benefits to installing a UV system:
 
Provides outstanding water clarity
Can reduce the amount of chlorine being used, resulting in fewer chlorinated by-products forming
Destroys chloramines, bacteria, molds, spores and viruses 
Increases bather comfort
Reduces pool and deck equipment corrosion and extends the lifecycle of the building
Easy to install
Minimal space required
Less chemical storage and handling
Cost savings
 
For many reasons, Ultraviolet systems are a very safe option for your facilities patrons, staff and the life of your equipment and swimming pool itself. For starters, the ultraviolet lamps are housed in chambers that prevent any harmful UV rays from escaping. This helps maintain a healthier and safer swimming environment for pool patrons. 

Ultraviolet systems use a physical process, rather than a chemical process, decreasing chemical usage by an average of 20% making this option one of the most environmentally friendly.
 
UV lights destroy chloramines and decrease the amount of air-borne chloramines present in the facility, creating a healthier environment not only for patrons, but also for the pool staff. 

Ultraviolet systems are great additions to any type of aquatic facility including swimming pools, spas, splash pads and more. Whether it’s a brand new facility, or a renovation to an existing system, an Ultraviolet system can be used to improve the health, comfort and safety of the facility.
 

Michael Golubovic
Project Coordinator
Mike is a Project Coordinator at Acapulco Pools and is responsible for project specific tasks including site instructions and the coordination of all information with the Project Manager and construction team.
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