Supplement Feature - February 2020
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A Deep Dive Into Aquatic Facility Trends

By Emily Tipping

Systems & Resources

We asked respondents to indicate the various types of systems used to maintain water quality in their pools, as well as their use of secondary disinfection and their resource-conservation goals.

When it comes to pool filtration, sand filters are still dominant, with nearly 68.1% of respondents indicating they currently use sand filters. This is down from 72.2% in 2018. Another 20.1% use diatomaceous earth (D.E.) filters, up from 18.1%, and 9.4% are using regenerative media filters (RMFs), up from 9%. (See Figure 12.)

Comparing filtration in indoor vs. outdoor pools, respondents who have indoor pools only are more likely than those with outdoor pools to use sand filters or RMFs, while outdoor pools are more likely to use D.E. filters. Some 62.1% of indoor pool respondents said they use sand filters, compared to 55.1% of outdoor pool respondents; and while 6% of indoor respondents use RMFs, 4.2% of outdoor respondents use them. Conversely, 22.9% of outdoor pool respondents said they rely on D.E. filters, compared with just 12.9% of those representing indoor pools.

A majority of respondents—78.1%—said they currently use chlorination systems at their aquatic facilities, while 8.8% are using bromination systems. Tablet chlorinators are used by 35.2% of respondents, and 7.7% are using salt chlorine generators.

Looking forward, 14.7% of respondents said they had plans to add new systems or update existing systems at their aquatic facilities over the next three years. In regard to pool filtration, RMFs are the most commonly planned addition, with 24.8% of those respondents indicating they planned to add RMFs (up from 23.5% in 2018). They were followed by sand filters (20%) and D.E. filters (18.1%). In addition, 10.5% of those respondents said they plan to add salt chlorine generation, and another 10.5% are planning to add tablet chlorination.

When it comes to secondary disinfection—recommended in the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) as a way to improve water quality and prevent recreational water illnesses—36.4% of respondents indicated that they currently use some form of secondary disinfection. This is up from 32% in 2018. The majority of these—84.7%—are using UV systems, while another 6.5% use ozone systems. Some 4% said they use AOP (advanced oxidation process) systems, and 4.8% are using some other form of secondary disinfection. (See Figure 13.)