Supplement Feature - February 2011
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Catching the Wave

Staying Current With the Latest Aquatic Designs

By Kelli Anderson

Safe and Sound

Aquatic designers also see a change from the traditional chlorine-based water treatment systems to more effective and cost-efficient UV systems, salt-chlorination systems and diatomaceous or perlite filters.

With the realization that some viruses and diseases like Cryptosporidium are almost impossible to kill with chlorine, and given that it can be hard to manage corrosive chlorine odors resulting from chloramines in indoor pools, more and more aquatic facilities are turning to UV systems in addition to or in place of more traditional water treatments.

"Something relatively new is ultraviolet treatment," said Kevin McElyea, president of Aquatic Design Consultants Inc. in Louisburg, Kan. "That type of treatment system in indoor pools keeps down chlorine odors and chloramines and will help kill bacteria where chlorine has a hard time doing that. And on spray pads, where little kids have accidents, this takes care of that right away. All of these have been around for a while, but because it takes time to put in new facilities, people like to wait and to watch things in operation."

Having seen the success of these treatments over time, many newer facilities are eagerly getting on board.

At Cascade Falls, new regenerative media filters (RMF) were chosen because they use less water, energy and space. Both diatomaceous earth and perlite can remove Crypto and Giardia pathogens that chlorine cannot kill as effectively. According to Redenius, if RMFs are used, UV is not needed except for those concerned about chloramines.

"Use both where the goal is water quality," Redenius said, "UV and RMFs are getting more refined in their options and if you want to save money with energy."

But as with any new venture, having a good designer is key to understanding the techno-speak to determine what is needed—if you only want to remove bacteria, only want clean water, or want both.