Supplement Feature - January 2022
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Calmer Waters

The 2022 Aquatic Trends Report

By Emily Tipping

Water & Resource Management

Survey respondents were asked about the various kinds of systems used to maintain water quality at their aquatic facilities, as well as their use of secondary disinfection methods such as UV.

Sand filters have been a dominant method of pool filtration for some time, and this year's survey shows little change. More than two-thirds (67.5%) of respondents said they currently use sand filtration, up from 66.2% in 2020. D.E., or diatomaceous earth, filters are used by 17.5% of respondents, up from 16% in 2020. And regenerative media filters (RMFs) were used by 10.2% of respondents, up from 9.2% in 2020. (See Figure 12.)

Representing no change from last year, 80% of respondents said they currently use chlorination systems at their facilities. Another 6.9% use bromination systems, down from 11.7% in 2020. More than one-third (36.5%) said they currently use a tablet chlorination system, and 6.7% are using salt chlorine generators.

Looking forward, 13.1% of respondents said they had plans to add new systems or update existing systems at their aquatic facilities over the next three years, up from 11.6%. Respondents from rec centers and Ys were the most likely to have such plans, with 18.2% of rec center respondents and 15.9% of Y respondents reporting they had plans to add or update systems.

When it comes to filtration systems, respondents were most likely to be planning to add RMFs. Some 20.9% of those with plans for updates said they would be adding RMFs. Another 16.4% were planning to add D.E. filters, and 9% were planning to add sand filters.

The number of respondents planning to add salt chlorine generators has also been on the rise over the past few years. Some 13.4% of those with plans to add or update equipment at their facilities said they would be adding salt chlorine generation, up from 12% in 2020 and 10.5% in 2019.

Secondary disinfection is recommended by the Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) as a way to improve water quality and better prevent recreational water illnesses. More than one-third (35.2%) of respondents said they currently employ some form of secondary disinfection at their facilities, representing virtually no change from 2020, when 35.8% said they used secondary disinfection. UV systems were the most common form of secondary disinfection by far, with 88.5% of respondents who use secondary disinfection indicating that they rely on UV systems, up from 78.8% in 2020. Another 6.9% are using ozone systems (down from 10.8% in 2020), and 2.9% are using AOP (advanced oxidation process) systems, down from 4.1%. Some 1.7% said they use some other form of secondary disinfection system. (See Figure 13.)