What is UV disinfection?

UV technology has been used for many years in water purification applications. It is a technology that is commonly used in the food industry, the hospital industry and in water purification applications.

The principles of UV light is a precise type of light. All known type of lights are classified in the electromagnetic spectrum, UV can be found between visible light and x-rays. UV is one form of energy coming from the sun. This invisible radiation is beneficial for us with reasonable natural exposure, it is for example the best natural source of vitamin D. However, too much exposure of UV will lead to sunburn, premature ageing, eye damage and skin damage.

It is the destructive power of UV that is used in the water treatment process.



A UV sanitiser is a device that exposes water to a UV lamp, bombarding all microorganisms passing-by with UV. UV energy penetrates the outer cell membrane, passes through the cell body and disrupts its DNA preventing reproduction.



UV sanitisation is a great complement to any traditional treatment, and the next few sections of this guide will discuss the various chemical treatments available, how they work and the benefits of combining them with Elecro UV, for an optimised solution.


Combining Chlorine and UV :

What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is the most commonly used chemical to treat swimming pools. It is effective, has been used for decades, and is also one of the most economic treatments available for swimming pools.

How does it work?

Chlorine releases two chemicals to destroy waterborne organisms, hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hypochlorite ion, OCI. Both kill micro organisms and bacteria by attacking the lipids in the cell walls and destroying the enzymes and structures inside the cell, rendering them oxidised and harmless. The difference between HOCl and OCl is the speed at which they oxidise.

Hypochlorous acid is able to oxidise the organisms in several seconds, while the hypochlorite ion may take up to 30 minutes.
Stabilised chlorine is normally used in an outdoor environment. A measure of these two chemicals is known as “Free Available Chlorine” or FAC. Pool owners have to manage the FAC level to ensure the safety of swimmers. 


Chlorine and Chloramines

Chloramines result from the combination of two ingredients: (a) chlorine disinfectants and (b) pollutants that enter the pool on the bodies of swimmers.
As chlorine combines to form chloramines, the FAC (Free Available Chlorine) of pool water is reduced. Lowering the FAC reduces the ability of chlorine to destroy germs. The amount of chlorine that is “tied up” in chloramine compounds, and is therefore unavailable as free chlorine, this is known as combined chlorine (CC). The sum of FAC and CC is the total chlorine (TC).

Free chlorine = FAC for Free Available Chlorine

Chloramine Level = CC for Combined Chlorine

Chlorine + Chloramines = TC for Total Chlorine

The challenge of pool owners comes from the necessity to maintain the balance between FAC and CC!

Chlorine must be controlled

• Under-chlorination: Water left without enough treatment will quickly become a thriving environment for microorganisms and algae. Swimming pool treatments are used as a preventative measure not a cure, and therefore shock treatment will be necessary if the water becomes stagnant.

• Hyper-chlorination: Hyper chlorinating the water also has negative consequences, exposure to over-chlorination can provoke asthma, lung irritation, and potentially skin and eye irritation. It is also damaging to the pool, as a hyper concentration of chlorine will lower the level of pH making the water more acidic, this results in corrosion of metal piping, pool equipment, and concrete surfaces.

• Chloramine level: The Chloramine level also has to be monitored carefully. If the pool contains too high a concentration of them, a strong and unpleasant chemical-like odour will be created. Chloramines are the main cause behind red and itchy eyes.


Dosing

The generally accepted concentrations for chlorine is as follows:
- FAC: 1 to 2 mg/l
- CC: <0.6 mg/l
- pH: Between 7.2 and 7.5
- Isocyanuric Acid*: - Ideal: 20 to 30 mg/l
- Tolerable: 30 to 60 mg/l - Overdosed:>75mg/l
*Isocyanuric Acid: Natural light degrades chlorine quite quickly, therefore Isocyanuric Acid is used to stabilise it in order to be able to use the chlorine in a slow diffusion dispenser at the water surface. The acid is inoffensive for humans but a high concentration and it will take away chlorines sanitising power.


Combining Bromine and UV:

What is Bromine?

Bromine is similar to chlorine. It is an effective oxidiser that has been around for a long time. It is more expensive to use than chlorine, but more resistant to high temperatures and pH imbalance.

How does it work?

Bromine combines with bacteria in pool water to neutralise in the same way that chlorine does, however a good portion of the bromine stays active even after combining with the bacteria. The weekly shock treatment will burn off the bacteria and harmful contaminants, and leave the bromine behind in the pool water to sanitise the pool again.


HypoBromous Acid and Bromamines

Just like chlorine, bromine will dissolve in water. When reacting, it creates HypoBromous Acid; this acid will react with any organic matter that it touches. When bromine reacts with organic matter and becomes a Bromamine molecule, it retains some sanitising effectiveness. Bromamines suspended in the water will be able to attack and kill bacteria, at a reduced activity rate. However, the level of Bromamines must be controlled as they can become a nuisance, just like chloramines.

Free Available Bromine = FAB Free Available Bromine

Bromamine Level = CB Combined Bromine

Bromine + Bromamines = TB Total Bromine

The challenge of pool owners comes from the necessity to maintain the balance between FAB and CB!


Bromine must be controlled

The generally accepted concentrations for Bromine is as follows:
- Bromine: Between 3.5 to 5.0 ppm
- pH: Between 7.2 and 8

• Under-brominating: Water left without enough treatment will quickly become a thriving environment for microorganisms and algae. Swimming pool treatments are used as a preventative measure, not a cure, and therefore shock treatment will be necessary if the water becomes stagnant.

• Over-brominating: Over brominating the water also has negative consequences, exposure to over bromination can provoke asthma, lung irritation, and potentially skin and eye irritation. It is also damaging to the pool as a hyper concentration of bromine will lower the level of pH making the water more acidic; this results in corrosion of metal piping, pool equipment, and concrete surfaces.

• Expensive Chemical: Although similar, Bromine is typically 40% more expensive than Chlorine. Incorrect management of Bromine can become very costly for the user.

• Bromamine level: Although less aggressive and more useful than chloramines, bromamines need to be controlled. Too high a concentration in a swimming pool will lead to strong odours and irritation. It is also important to efficiently control the bromamine level.


Benefits of using UV with Bromine:

Naturally compatible with UV: Bromine is naturally resistant to sunlight and does not require a stabiliser to work in conjunction with UV.

• Increased level of security: Bromine is a slightly weaker oxidiser than Chlorine for which 17 microorganisms are already naturally more resistant. UV will add another layer of health and safety for the swimmers by limiting the proliferation of potentially harmful bacteria like Cryptosporidium and Giardia.

• Smaller Bromine concentration: UV neutralises bacteria and microorganisms by removing their capacity to reproduce. By reducing their proliferation, Bromine’s oxidising work is lessened: less bodies to dissolve, less Bromine needed.

• Level of Bromamines: Used in conjunction with Bromine, UV will be able to remove Bromamines in the swimming pool without affecting its level of free Bromine. Bromamines are used for their sanitising properties but are prevented from proliferating.

• Increased comfort and water quality: With a controlled level of Bromamines and a reduced concentration of Bromine, the swimming pool offers a much more inviting and healthy environment. Problems with itchy skin, burning red eyes, smells and corrosive condensation are greatly reduced.

• Aesthetic: Water treated with UV shows superior clarity and colour. The purity is not matched by treating the pool with Bromine alone.

•Less treatment: With a Bromine only treatment, the only way to effectively destroy Bromamines is through shock treatment. UV will drastically reduce the need of shock treating the pool by naturally controlling the Bromine level. UV neutralises algae and has no effect on pH, the use of peripheral chemicals is also reduced with no extra complication on pH control.

A 45% to 60% chemical reduction can be expected by placing an Elecro UV in the filtration line.



Combining Salt Chlorination and UV:

What is Salt Electrolysis?

Simply put, a salt chlorine generator (also known as a salt system or a salt chlorinator) is a swimming pool chlorination system that creates chlorine from sodium chloride (salt). The process is to create a chemical reaction with an electrical activation.

How does it work?

As salt water travels through the swimming pool circulation system, it passes through the salt chlorine generator's cell. A low-voltage direct current is applied to flat, rectangular plates inside the cell, initiating electrolysis. Salt and water break up into hydrogen gas and hypochlorous acid (or chlorine). The hydrogen gas simply leaves the swimming pool water in the form of small bubbles. The hypochlorous acid sanitises the swimming pool water and ultimately reverts back into salt, and the process repeats.

Chlorine and Chloramines are also critical Dosing

Salt chlorinators must be controlled Salt chlorinators disinfect swimming pools by creating chlorine; the management of chlorine and chloramines is the same as a traditional chlorine treatment. Three variables must be checked in order to have an effective treatment:

Free chlorine = FAC Free Available Chlorine

Chloramine Level = CC Combined Chlorine

Chlorine + Chloramines = TC Total Chlorine

Chloramines are less of a problem with salt chlorination as they are part of the salt reformation process. However, there is still a necessity to maintain the balance between FAC and CC.

• Under-Chlorination: Water left without enough treatment will quickly become a
thriving environment for microorganisms and algae. Swimming pool treatments are used as a preventative measure, not a cure, and therefore shock treatment will be necessary if the water becomes stagnant.

• Cost: Replacement cells are expensive at 350.00€ to 600.00€ on average for a new cell. Equipment must be maintained correctly in order to perform well for a long time.

• pH must be monitored: The Lye produced by the electrolysis has a great influence on pH: if not controlled the pH will rise quickly. When the pH level in the water is above 7.5 chlorine becomes ineffective.

• Chloramine level: The Chloramine level also has to be monitored carefully. If the pool contains too high a concentration, a strong and unpleasant chemical like odour will be created. Chloramines are also one of the main causes behind red and itchy eyes.

• Salt concentration: Using a salt chlorinator will alter the natural taste of the water just as any chemical treatment will do. Although ten times lower than the concentration of sea water, the water will taste slightly salty (about the same as a human tear); it can be a downside for some and the salt concentration must be checked to avoid unpleasant water.

In order for the salt chlorinator to perform well, the accepted concentration of salt is generally between:
- 3 to 5 g/l (1/10 of sea water concentration).
- pH is also critical and must be controlled to remain within the 7.2 – 7.4 limit.


Benefits of using UV with salt:

• Less work for chlorine: UV neutralises bacteria and microorganisms by removing their capacity to reproduce. By reducing their proliferation, chlorine’s oxidising work is reduced, with fewer bodies to dissolve the chlorine concentration can be lowered.

• Prolonged cell life: Using a UV will significantly increase the cell life as the chlorinator will not have to produce as much chlorine as a swimming pool without UV treatment.

• UV plays a key role in salt reformation: One of the key elements to reform salt after the electrolysis process is UV exposure. Having a UV sanitiser placed before the salt chlorinator will ensure that a flow of abundant salt is always supplied to the electrolysis process and that any chloramines that have not bonded back with the salt are removed.

• UV has no influence on pH: The efficiency of the chlorine produced by the salt chlorinator is highly dependent upon the pH level. UV has strictly no effect on pH and will therefore integrate into the pool environment very easily and without additional complications.

• Increased level of security: UV protects against 17 known chlorine resistant micro-organisms, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia, increasing safety and limiting the risk of hazardous and costly outbreaks.

• Removes chloramines: Any chloramines that have not bonded back with the salt are removed, ensuring an optimal bathing experience.

• Aesthetic: Water treated with UV shows superior clarity and colour.


Combining Active Oxygen and UV:

What is Active Oxygen?

Active Oxygen (also called Hydrogen Peroxide) is a powerful oxidiser that is used to sanitise swimming pool water. The product dissolves and saturates the water with Oxygen. It is very effective with organic matter (viruses, bacteria, algae, fungus) and will also attack the waste that they feed on, limiting their post treatment development.

Active Oxygen is a powerful oxidiser and will leave clear water behind after treatment. However, it is a short lived treatment that will evaporate within 20 minutes of being released into the water. It leaves the water with no trace and is used frequently for health installations and
sensitive skin applications.

How does it work?

Active Oxygen is a treatment technique that involves products rich in Oxygen. It can come in a liquid (Hydrogen Peroxide) or solid (Potassium Monopersulfate) state and is combined with synergetic products such as quaternary ammonium, silver salts, polymer. The molecule of Active Oxygen: H2O2 gains its oxidising power due to the one additional atom it has compared to water H2O.

Potassium Monopersulfate (PM) and Hydrogen Peroxide (HP)

PM and HP is mostly used for disinfection of spas and private and public swimming pools. It is a very good oxidiser that will destroy the chloramines and organic waste, allowing the chlorine or bromine present in the water to reactivate. It is usually combined with an algaecide that will allow the solution to become a complete and effective shock treatment.
Hydrogen Peroxide is often used as a complement to UV treatment, to serve as a shock treatment product that will be injected through a peristaltic pump (at a time when the pool is not in use). It is also compatible with chlorine and bromine and can be used to complement these treatments.

Dosing

For optimal treatment, the concentration of Active Oxygen should remain at a 10mg/l

The user should pay attention to various elements that can influence the effectiveness of the treatment.

Just like chlorine, Active Oxygen is influenced by pH and will drastically reduce in effectiveness if the balance is not maintained. Moreover, Active Oxygen needs the filtration to run continuously otherwise it will also lose its effectiveness.

Finally, the temperature of the water also has an impact on the dosing level. When the temperature rises by 10˚C, the required dose is doubled for the treatment to remain effective.


Benefits of using UV with Active Oxygen:

• Quality of water: UV and Active Oxygen when combined will leave no trace in the water.

• Soft and Gentle: An ideal solution for people with sensitive skin, respiratory or allergic conditions. This kind of treatment is already used in health spas and other therapeutic applications.

•Continuous sterilisation: The UV will greatly help the Active Oxygen to keep the water clean. By constantly sterilising the water that passes through the reaction chamber, the UV will limit the living organism proliferation in the water, and will therefore help Active Oxygen treat the water completely. Active Oxygen alone has a limited effect due to its limited life span; the addition of UV will greatly enhance its performance.

• Reduced chemical consumption: UV will have a great impact in controlling proliferation of microorganisms, algae and fungus, and will therefore help reduce the amount of chemical products necessary to treat the water.


Introducing the next generation of UV treatment :

The purpose of this guide is to show the benefits of how combining UV with traditional water treatment chemicals heightens the sanitising effect on pool water. This combined method offers a satisfactory treatment option, however it is to be noted that it only neutralises the DNA of
harmful bacteria and micro-organisms in the pool, preventing them from reproducing.

Elecro have evolved standard UV technology and designed two new water treatment products: the Spectrum Hybrid and Quantum, which actually kill harmful waterborne microorganisms, and vastly improve water clarity.

The Spectrum Hybrid is the next generation of UV treatment, powerfully combining UV with the natural production of Hydroxyl Radicals, providing an efficiency boost of approximately 45%. Nature provides the inspiration behind the Spectrum Hybrid replicating the sterilising effect in our atmosphere produced by UV light reacting with cloud surfaces to produce Hydroxyl Radicals.

Hydroxyl Radicals are exceptionally mobile molecules that are highly volatile and possess the power to oxidise; once they have reacted with the pollutant it then converts back into water. The compact polished titanium reaction chamber increases the intensity of the UV light, thus increasing the dose and power of UV sterilisation The Quantum offers the latest advanced technology in water sanitisation in the form of photocatalytic oxidisation and nano crystal technology – tested and proven in other prestigious industries where hygiene is of paramount importance such as hospitals and water treatment plants. UV light striking the inner lining of the catalyst assembly (ionically bonded with a coating of anatase, silver and platinum Nano crystals), creates a reaction that obliterates all bacteria in its path; simultaneously generating an abundance of Hydroxyl Radicals. It kills what other treatment methods such as chlorine, UV and ozone cannot touch (such as Naegleria Fowleri and Adenovirus). Astonishingly this technology has the power to break down organics and will even convert sun tan oil and urea back into their original harmless molecular form. As a real life example, due to these properties, it is also one of the methods used to help clean up the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


The Quantum



Takes pool hygiene and water clarity to the ultimate level

• Combined Photocatalytic and Nano crystal technology; most powerful, proven sterilising oxidiser
• Two power options:
    o 55 Watts for flow rates up to 14m³/hour (65m³ pool volume)
    o 110 Watts for flow rates up to 28m³/hour (130m³ pool volume)

• The only technology available with the ability to instantly destroy viruses, bacteria and pathogens; and uniquely breaks down organic pollutants such as urea and sun tan oil converting them back into their harmless molecular form
• Safest solution: reaction is contained within the reaction chamber, and unlike other methods such as ozone, no harmful gases are released into the environment, only pure fresh water is returned back the pool.
• Comes pre-assembled with all necessary sensors and control components.
• Ultimate sterilisation without compromise to health; eliminates sore eyes, itchy skin, discoloured hair, strong odours whilst creating no risk to the health of pool users.
• Sea and salt water compatitable
• All Quantum units are supplied complete with flow switch and the choice of:
    o Lamp life indicator (long-life 14,000 hour lamps) and reset switch
    o Digital lamp life countdown and peristaltic dosing pump

Not Available Online


Spectrum Hybrid 



Two power options:
    o 55 Watts for flow rates up to 12m³/hour (50m³ pool volume)
    o 110 Watts for flow rates up to 24m³/hour (100m³ pool volume)

• Polished titanium reaction chamber produces Hydroxyl Radical oxidisers, and increases the sterilising efficiency by up to 45% compared to traditional UV’s
• Destroys micro-organisms, bacteria, viruses, and pathogens and provides a safe swimming environment in clear water
• Costs no more to run than a common light bulb
• Salt and sea water compatible
• Reduces chemical requirement
• All Spectrum Hybrid units are supplied complete with flow switch and the choice of:
    o 9,000 hour lamp life indicator and reset switch
    o Digital lamp life countdown and peristaltic dosing pump


Pro Pool PLUS



Two power options:
    o 55 Watts for flow rates up to 12m³/hour (50m³ pool volume)
    o 110 Watts for flow rates up to 24m³/hour (100m³ pool volume)

•Polished titanium reaction chamber produces Hydroxyl Radical oxidisers, and increases the sterilising efficiency by up to 45% compared to traditional UV’s
•Destroys micro-organisms, bacteria, viruses, and pathogens and provides a safe swimming environment in clear water
•Costs no more to run than a common light bulb
•Salt and sea water compatible
•Reduces chemical requirement
•Choice of basic analogue or digital control
    o Optional peristaltic dosing pump ( digital version)
    o 9,000 hour lamp life with optional lamp life indicator (analogue version


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Comparison Grid:

The following grid provides a comparison overview of the features provided in each unit



Combining Elecro sanitising products to your system:

1) Chlorine and Salt Chlorinators

Combining Chlorine with our products will provide a saving of between 50% to 75% in
Chlorine concentration depending on the sanitiser that is used:
- Spectrum Hybrid: 50%+ chlorine reduction
- Quantum: Up to 75% chlorine reduction


*This data is valid for stabilised chlorine at optimum performance maintenance level.
The above table is based on stabilised chlorine.



2) Bromine

- Spectrum Hybrid: 45%+ Bromine reduction
- Quantum: 60% + Bromine reduction




Chemical Savings: