Rehabilitating Rehab Pools & Spas

Ultraviolet peroxide system restores water quality, eliminates chloramines

The Desert Pain Institute of Mesa, Ariz., wanted an ecologically sound disinfection option for the therapeutic pools and spa in its new facility. Ultraviolet (UV) systems from Aquionics were paired with peroxide disinfection to provide a sanitary pool environment for the facility's aquatic rehabilitation services.

The facility wanted to protect bathers from the risk of skin and respiratory tract infections while avoiding excessive use of hazardous chemicals. A UV-peroxide system met this requirement better than traditional chlorine or ozone systems. Peroxide systems generally are considered to be less environmentally damaging. Like chlorine systems, they can leave unpleasant chemical byproducts in the water. However, the addition of the UV system provides further disinfection and activates hydroxyl radicals that break down these byproducts.

Aquionics' systems were chosen for each of the facility's therapy pools and spa. The main therapy pool and deep therapy pool have flow rates of 450 gpm and 125 gpm, respectively. Both pools have a turnover of approximately two hours. The spa has a flow rate of 36 gpm with a turnover rate of 20 minutes. Approximately one 55-gallon drum of 35 percent grade peroxide is consumed by the system each month. Sodium bisulfate is utilized to maintain optimum pH levels.

The Aquionics systems were selected because of their high intensity, medium pressure UV lamps, direct monitoring of actual dose and variable power control. The self-cleaning quartz sleeves would keep the lamps free of organic deposits from the pool water, resulting in more consistent system performance with little maintenance.

The units were installed in August of 2002 and have provided the facility with several benefits due to the unique design of the system compared to traditional chlorine pools. Equipment life is increased as there is no degradation of exposed metal material due to chloramines, a natural byproduct of the interaction of chlorine and bodily fluid.

The facility also has enjoyed an overall healthier pool environment due to the lack of eye and skin irritation or pungent chemical smell also associated with chloramines.

Finally, the systems have a fast turnover rate for quicker recovery after a contamination event, reducing pool down time.

"Air quality and reduced skin sensitivity are the two greatest benefits of the system," says Lynette Jamison, director of Rehabilitation and Aquatics. "This is especially important in our rehab facility where bathers often are more susceptible to irritation and therapists work in the treated water for extended periods of time."

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