For a long time, chlorine or ozone treatment has been the most commonly used method for water treatment in swimming pools, but UV water treatment systems are becoming more and more popular, on the one hand because the UV water treatment systems are compact in structure and occupy a small area without civil construction. On the other hand, it is because they significantly reduce the consumption of chlorine and save more costs for operators.
For secondary ultraviolet disinfection systems for swimming pools and hot springs, chlorine and ozone are still the main forms of disinfection used in swimming pools and spas. However, the use of ultraviolet radiation and other technologies to supplement chemical disinfection is becoming more and more popular. Depending on the selected system, these disinfection methods can provide the following benefits:
1. Reduce the level of fungicides
2. Reduce bacterial levels and inhibit chlorine-resistant microorganisms
3. Chloramine oxidation (chlorine by-product)
5. Avoid the health and safety issues involved in handling hazardous chemicals
Ultraviolet UV water treatment systems are divided into two categories: low pressure (LP) and medium pressure (MP). LP and MP refer to the internal pressure of the gas in the lamp rather than the water pressure of the system, and each has different uses and benefits.
LP Low Pressure UV Water Treatment System
The UV treatment system uses a cylindrical stainless steel cylinder with a UV lamp protected by a quartz sleeve.
Using a low-pressure UV water treatment system, the core goal is disinfection. The LP lamp emits ultraviolet light with a specific wavelength (254nm), which is very effective for inactivating bacteria. The “dose” of UV light is measured in mj/cm2, and the critical minimum dose maintained is 40mj/cm2. This dose is equal to drinking water standards and will reduce the bacterial level of the most common bacteria found in swimming pools by 99.99%.
MP Medium Pressure UV Water Treatment System
The MP lamp emits ultraviolet light in a wider wavelength range. Compared with the LP low-pressure system, it has a higher dose and band, which leads to the oxidation and disinfection of chloramines in the water.
When water passes through the UV system, part of the UV spectrum decomposes chloramines through the process of photochemical reactions. Shorter UV wavelengths will cause water to produce hydroxyl radicals, which are strong oxidants that can attack chloramines in water and decompose them.
Ultraviolet radiation can also be used as a highly effective natural disinfectant to inactivate microorganisms by destroying DNA.
Ultraviolet rays can only treat water as it passes through the lamp, so there must still be a residual amount of biocide (such as chlorine) to provide continuous protection in the rest of the system.
However, the amount of chlorine used is reduced by about 50-80% relative to the normal level of the pool, which means that the disinfectant level can be reduced to 0.5 ppm. This means that the UV treatment tank uses less chemicals and therefore requires less backwashing, which helps reduce overall costs.
The Swimming Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) updated their guidelines in 2018 to incorporate MP UV systems into all commercial applications. The guidelines now stipulate that when the UV transmittance (the amount of UV light that can pass through the water) is 94%, MP UV with a dose of 60mj/cm2 should be used to treat all water streams. Proper use of UV treatment equipment can produce a cleaner and more comfortable water environment than using chlorine alone, and the air in the swimming pool or enclosure will be better without unpleasant chloramine odor or eye irritation.
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