With the summer swimming season less than two weeks away, the public expects the water at commercial pools and water parks to be properly sanitized. A primary factor in meeting this expectation is the proper operation of chlorinating equipment.
NSF International and the ACCU-TAB® system commercial pool water treatment experts of Axiall Corporation (NYSE: AXLL) are reminding aquatic health inspectors, pool owners and pool operators about the importance of using properly specified chlorine tablets in approved systems. They have co-published a free guide, “For Safety’s Sake,” explaining how to spot improper operation and warning about the dangers of using substitute tablets.
“As Memorial Day pool openings approach and recognizing that May is National Water Safety Month, this is an ideal time for NSF and for health inspectors to educate pool owners and operators on the importance of using only chlorine tablets specified on the nameplate of the feeder for use as part of an NSF-certified feeder system,” said Dave Purkiss, general manager of the water treatment and distribution products program at NSF International. “Failure to use tablets specified in the Certification of the NSF Standard 50 chemical feeder system can not only put swimmers’ health at risk, but it can also place the pool out of compliance with state and local health codes that require or follow NSF/ANSI Standard 50 certification.”
Substituting generic, or “knock-off,” tablets may create health and safety risks for patrons that could lead to health code violations and shutdowns. It can result in the under- or over-chlorination of water due to varying delivery rates, and it can lead to formation of noxious fumes and even fire or explosion caused by mixing incompatible chemicals.
“This is also an excellent opportunity to reinforce the need to regularly monitor stabilizer (CYA) levels in pool water,” according to Dr. Stan Pickens, Senior Research Associate at Axiall. “While stabilizer helps protect chlorine from rapid degradation due to the sun’s ultraviolet rays, too much CYA (even just 50 ppm) can also slow the intended actions of chlorine in water. This becomes acutely important should a recreational water illness (RWI) outbreak occur within a pool. Such outbreaks require immediate remediation with large quantities of chlorine.