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Warning over ‘ticking time bombs’ in handling and storing pool chemicals
As the peak summer swimming season looms, Australian Innovative Systems (AIS Water) Chief Executive Elena Gosse is calling for increased awareness about the dangers of handling and storing swimming pool chemicals.
Criticising the aquatic facility sector’s dependence on hazardous chlorine dosing, Gosse explains “in my opinion, any facility that stores chlorine in liquid or gaseous forms for pool water disinfection is a ticking time-bomb and great risk to public health and safety.
“This year we have seen numerous media reports of public and home pool chemical leak incidents and no doubt there are hundreds more that go unreported. Then there’s the additional hazard of transporting these chemicals on our public roads and highways.
“Of course, when used properly, chlorine is safe and is still the most effective form of water disinfection.
“When it comes to chlorine or chemical spills however, most of these incidents could have been prevented by adopting safer, simpler and smarter inline chlorine generation technology such as the kind our company manufactures.”
AIS Water's multi-award-winning technology produces chlorine within the pool water (rather than adding it afterwards) in fresh, salt or mineral water pools. Sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine) is produced from minerals and salts dissolved in water passing through electrolytic cells. This process, known as electrolysis, then disperses the chlorine directly into the water, keeping it clean and bacteria free.
Gosse points to a 2017 report published by the U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) entitled Inhalational Chlorine Injuries at Public Aquatic Venues in California (2008–2015). The report states that equipment failure and human error at public aquatic venues can lead to toxic chlorine gas releases and have negative health impacts on bathers and aquatic staff members.
She explains “the report recommends sensible actions to lower chemical incidents such as regular testing of chemical control failsafe features and proper staff training etc but what it fails to recommend is the important additional opportunity to switch to disinfection by electrolysis and end the dependence on storing, handling and dosing chlorine in liquid, granular or gaseous forms.”
Gosse believes that many commercial pool facilities have over-looked the opportunity because they are simply unaware of it, or associate chlorination via electrolysis with salt water pools.
She adds “disinfection by electrolysis is possible in water with TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) levels as low as 1,200 parts per million (ppm).
“Most ‘chlorinated pools’ - as distinct from salt water pools - will have elevated TDS levels because chlorine dosing raises the TDS of the source water. In fact, many pools dilute their water by dumping large quantities and replacing it with town water to keep within the recommended TDS level guidelines.
“This is why we launched our EcoLine commercial chlorine generator for fresh water swimming pools* which is successfully operating in a range of national and international aquatic facilities, including FINA-standard competitive pools.”
Gosse is calling on the swimming pool industry and consumers to band together to minimise chemical storage and handling risks.
She concludes “whether you own a backyard swimming pool or a large-scale aquatic facility we can all help to improve safety when it comes to water disinfection.”
*Fresh water swimming pool is a pool containing water with a TDS level of 1,200 ppm (AISystems definition), which is over 75% less saline than many standard salt water pools.
Click here to contact AIS Water via their entry in the Australasian Leisure Management Supplier Directory.
Editor's note: To avoid confusion with the Australian Institute of Sport - also known by the AIS acronym, Australasian Leisure Management refers to Australian Innovative Systems as AIS Water. Previously we referred to the business as AISystems.
5th April 2017 - ECOLINE TECHNOLOGY SELECTED FOR 2017 SEA GAMES AQUATIC CENTRE
19th August 2016 - AISYSTEMS CLAIMS ITS TECHNOLOGY COULD HAVE PREVENTED RIO’S GREEN POOLS
18th January 2015 - NO SECOND CHANCES WITH POOL WATER DISINFECTION
24th February 2014 - WARRINGAH AQUATIC CENTRE BIDS FAREWELL TO CHLORINE DELIVERIES
27th January 2012 - ATTORNEY GENERAL CALLS FOR SUBMISSIONS ON POOL CHEMICALS SECURITY
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