While the addition of chlorine and chloramines to water may control bacteria levels – they also have certain undesirable effects, including the generation of by-products and changes in water chemistry.
Typical chlorine and chloramines treatment methods include carbon beds or chemical injections. However, carbon beds are excellent breeding grounds for bacteria to thrive and proliferate, and the addition of chemicals such as metabisulfite involve removing one chemical with another and isn’t always a viable or desirable solution.
As an alternative, UV technology can be utilized to reduce chlorine and chloramines, eliminating the need for chemical handling and possibility of bacteria breeding.
UV Technology on Chlorine Removal
Research studies have demonstrated conclusively that free chlorine residuals or chloramine residuals up to 2.0 ppm can be successfully reduced by the application of UV light.
UV Applications in Recreational Water
Swimming pool water must undergo treatment in order to remain free of harmful substances and microorganisms to be suitable for use by swimmers.
Of particular concern in swimming pool waters are the formation of chloramines and chlorinated organic compounds that are known to give rise to swimming pool smell and eye, nose and throat irritation.
For most pool operators, chlorine is the treatment of choice, although there is growing awareness regarding the negative health effects of chlorine and its by-products. On the other hand, unlike bacterial microorganisms, Cryptosporidium oocysts are resistant to chlorine treatment and can survive for days in treated recreational water venues.
The popularity of recreational water venues, the number and geographic distribution of recent cryptosporidiosis outbreaks, and the resistance of Cryptosporidium to chlorination suggest that treatment strategies for recreational water facilities need to be improved.
UV and Chlorine
UV light represents a powerful technology that has been successfully deployed in swimming pools for several years. UV treatment of pools and splash parks is a complementary way of providing an effective method of inactivating a wide range of waterborne microorganisms including Cryptosporidium.
UV treats and simultaneously reduces chloramines and chloro-organics instantly as the water passes through the treatment chamber. The use of UV treatment for pools is particularly suitable for bathers who are sensitive to the usual swimming pool treatment or are allergic to chlorine.
UV is not designed to completely replace chlorine, but through an elimination of the need for periodic shocking, well-maintained pools can see significant reductions in chlorine usage.