Supplement Feature - January 2022
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Calmer Waters

The 2022 Aquatic Trends Report

By Emily Tipping


Respondents from Ys, colleges and parks were the most likely to report that they currently use a form of secondary disinfection at their aquatic facilities. Some 41.3% of Y respondents said they currently used secondary disinfection, while 40.6% of college respondents and 38.5% of park respondents do so. Camp respondents were the least likely to use secondary disinfection, with just 15.4% indicating they do so, up from 9.4% in 2020. (See Figure 14.)

The higher a respondent's average annual operating expenditure, the more likely they were to indicate that they use secondary disinfection at their facilities. Well over half (60.6%) of those whose operating costs are more than $500,000 a year said they currently use secondary disinfection, up from 58.8% in 2020. For those whose annual operating costs fall between $250,000 and $499,999, 40% are currently using secondary disinfection, up from 37.5% in 2020. And for those whose costs are lower than $250,000, 25.4% are currently using secondary disinfection, representing little change from 2020 (25%).

Respondents with indoor pools only are far more likely to use secondary disinfection than those with outdoor-only pools. Some 36.7% of those with indoor pools only said they currently use secondary disinfection, up from 28.2% in 2020. For outdoor respondents, just 5% said they use secondary disinfection of any kind, down from 10.4%.

Looking forward, among those respondents who are planning to add or update their water treatment systems over the next few years, 41.8% are planning to add UV, representing virtually no change from 2020, when 41.3% had such plans. Another 16.4% are planning to add AOP systems (up from 14.7%), and 10.4% are planning to add ozone systems (down from 12%).

Automation systems that help manage chemicals and other pool filtration processes have become increasingly popular. Only 7.2% of respondents in 2021 said they use no types of controller on their pool. More than three-quarters (78%) said they currently use chemical controllers, while 77.2% use chemical feed pumps. Another 38.1% use backwash controllers. (See Figure 15.)

The number of respondents to the Aquatic Trends survey who deploy strategies and tools to conserve resources has been falling over the past few years. In 2019, 71% of respondents were conserving resources. In 2021, 68.1% of respondents were doing so. Nearly half of respondents (49.2%) said they have systems and strategies for conserving chemicals (down from 53.8%), while 47.5% aim to conserve energy (up from 47%), and 42.6% aim to conserve water (down from 45%).

Respondents from schools, colleges and rec centers were the most likely to report that they currently have systems and equipment in place to help conserve resources. More than nine out of 10 (90.5%) school respondents said they do so, up from 84.4% in 2020 and 70.6% in 2019. More than seven in 10 (71.4%) school respondents said they aim to conserve water, while 61.9% conserve energy and 57.1% conserve chemicals. Around three-quarters of respondents from colleges (75.8%) and rec centers (75%) said they currently aim to conserve resources. Camp respondents were the least likely to report that they have systems and strategies for conserving resources, though half (50%) currently do so, down from 78.1% in 2020.