Pool ownership isn’t all fun and games. Okay, it mostly is, but as a pool owner you learn the importance of water balance and chemistry as well. In order to ensure you and your loved ones are safe from harm whilst splashing around, you need to take precautions to maintain that crisp, clear water. Disinfection is said to be the primary mechanism for the inactivation/destruction of harmful pathogenic microorganisms in preventing waterborne diseases. Amongst the plethora of pool disinfection methods lies ultraviolet sanitation.
THE HISTORY OF UV SANITIZATION
In 1903 UV-C was first used in Marseille France to disinfect the municipal water supply. In 1930 Westinghouse developed the first commercially available UV-C Germicidal Lamp. UV Sanitizers have been used to even clean air in buildings which became a major concern during the recent covid epidemic. Flash forward to the early 2000's and UV Sanitizers have been implemented in Olympic swimming pools to help reduce the use of chlorine and is now the leading secondary sanitizing option for residential swimming pools.
HOW DOES IT WORK
Ultraviolet sanitation is a secondary disinfection process (paired with a primary disinfectant, usually chlorine) to aid in killing and preventing microorganisms in the water. A UV sanitation system works by transferring electromagnetic energy from a potent UV lamp to an organism's genetic material (DNA and RNA). In doing so, the ultraviolet radiation penetrates the cell wall of an organism and hinders its ability to reproduce. Ultraviolet sanitation is a physical process rather than a chemically based one, so it eliminates the need to store and handle toxic and hazardous materials. In addition, there is no residual effect that is harmful to human or aquatic life. Given adequate intensity and exposure time, this method works well in inactivating most algae, bacteria, and viruses.
Ultraviolet sanitation is a physical process rather than a chemically based sanitizing process, so it eliminates the need to store and handle toxic and hazardous materials. In addition, there is no residual effect that is harmful to human or aquatic life. It also makes maintaining you water chemistry easier.
IMPROVED CHLORINE EFFICIENCY
By destroying combined chlorine molecules and ultra violet sanitizer allows the chlorine in the pool to work more efficiently, leading to the use of lower amounts of chlorine to properly sanitize your pool
COST / MAINTENANCE
The cost of an ultraviolet system varies. It can range anywhere from $1200 - $3000. But, if you want a quality system that will last for decades to come, expect to pay around $2000. Factors to consider before purchasing a UV system are bulb size and amount of water the system will be handling per minute. So be sure to compare different systems features as a higher output one will cost more up front. Although it will be paired with a primary disinfectant, having a UV system will require less chemicals to be used for optimal water balance, and can save you money in the long run. Ultraviolet systems are low maintenance. Simply clean and inspect the bulb and the system every 3 - 4 months, and replace the bulb every 1-2 seasons as needed. Due to its physical rather than chemical disinfection process there is no chance of staining and or scaling or water chemistry issues that are commonly seen with salt water pools. This is a huge bonus especially for fiberglass pools.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY
To sum it all up, an Ultraviolet sanitation system is an excellent choice if you would like to be more environmentally friendly and reduce the amount of chemicals used in your pool. UV Systems are very low maintenance and do an excellent job in neutralizing most pathogens as a secondary disinfection system and are a great replacement for Salt Chlorine Generators. Which is why at Pool Pros we currently include the Pentair Bioshield UV Sanitizer in all of our Standard Pool Packages.