Problem Solver - August 2007
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Saving on Pool Chemicals

The high costs and maintenance requirements for maintaining chlorination in our aquatic facility have gotten out of hand. Is there any solution that can help us save resources?

With chemical and maintenance costs on the rise, it's no wonder that many aquatic facility managers find themselves in your situation. Luckily, there are solutions out there that can help you cut costs and provide better-quality water to your swimmers as well. Saltwater chlorinators provide significant savings and water quality benefits that have facilities of all kinds—from resorts and waterparks to schools and health clubs—sitting up and taking notice.

Salt chlorinators produce clear, purified water that is free of viruses and bacteria. What's more, they do it without packaged chlorine, harsh chemicals or the shock treatments that must be performed on pools that rely on traditional chlorination methods.

Bathers will rave about the improved water quality in your pool. The saltwater pool is just one-tenth as salty as seawater and one-third as salty as saline solution. Salt chlorination virtually eliminates skin and eye irritation and creates softer-feeling water that can break down the greasy residues from sunscreen and body oils.

In addition to pleasing your patrons, you'll be able to save resources—both budgetary and time—with a salt chlorinator. The price of packaged chlorine has soared more than 300 percent in recent years, but you can effectively stabilize the price of chlorine with a saltwater chlorinator, since you'll be creating your chlorine on site. In addition, you can eliminate on-site chlorine storage, which will help reduce your insurance costs and make your facility safer from fire and accidental chemical spills. Your operating costs and maintenance fees will go down as well.

As you're considering salt chlorinators, there are some important factors to take into account. This is no small decision, so you want to vet your choices carefully and choose the most appropriate solution for your body of water.

An experienced manufacturer should be able to steer you toward a solution based on the size of the application, which is a combination of the size of your pool, the number of bathers and other environmental conditions. For example, one manufacturer offers various-sized solutions, including a single-cell application capable of destroying chloramines in facilities of up to a half-million gallons. Look for a system that has high chlorine output, in addition to monitoring controls that can help ensure your water will never be over-salted.

You also should ask about warranty information, as well as maintenance requirements. Choosing the right chlorinator can help you drastically reduce maintenance requirements. With annual inspections to ensure the chlorinator is operating properly, the cell can last as long as eight years, and you may be able to go as long as four years between cell cleanings, depending on the bather load at your facility.

By making the right choice, you'll be able to keep bathers happy with top-quality water, and you'll reduce the strain on your facility's budget by keeping chlorine and maintenance costs from denting your wallet.

Balboa Instruments Inc.: