Study: UV Disinfection A Safer Choice for Pools

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August 17, 2010 by   - () Leave a Comment

Photo illustration courtesy of Aquionics

A study published by Environmental Science & Technology magazine found that chemicals commonly used to disinfect pool water can pose serious health risks for swimmers.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois (Champaign, Ill.), shows that exposure to byproducts of chemical disinfection can cause early aging, birth defects, asthma and bladder cancer, according to a news release. The findings suggest that the best method of pool disinfection is a combination of ultraviolet (UV) treatment and chlorine, rather than the traditional method of chlorine treatment alone.

Aquionics, based in Erlanger, Ky., offers a safer method of non-chemical pool water disinfection with its UV systems. Water circulating through the pool is exposed to a specific spectrum of UV light, which is absorbed by microorganisms’ DNA. The UV energy prohibits replication and causes permanent, irreparable inactivation of the microorganism. Chlorine is still required for total disinfection, however, pools using a UV system require up to 90% less chlorine than pools without UV.

In addition, UV light initiates photo-chemical and photo-oxidation reactions that destroy chloramines, the byproducts of chlorine disinfection. This reduces the associated health risks along with unpleasant odors, eye and skin irritation and corrosion to pool equipment.

Aquionics systems use UV monitors and state-of-the-art photon controllers to measure and adjust lamp output to appropriate levels. Automatic wipers keep the quartz sleeves surrounding the UV lamps clean and power switching ensures UV output varies according to demand, ensuring optimum performance at all times. The systems are compact and can usually be installed within existing pipework. The only regular maintenance required is changing the UV lamp every six months – a simple operation that can easily be carried out by on-site staff.

For more information about Aquionics and its family of products, email, visit the company’s website at or call (800) 925-0440.

Aquionics, a Halma Company, is the market leader in the manufacture, application and development of UV technology for progressive, non-chemical disinfection and microbiological control. The company’s systems are used in a wide variety of applications including wastewater treatment, pharmaceutical manufacture, food and beverage production, microelectronics, pool disinfection and specialized industrial settings.

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