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Alternate Sanitation

Ozone Gas

Ozone is a gas, a modified highly reactive form of oxygen (chemical formula O3) that is one of the strongest oxidizers and disinfectant available. It is stronger than chlorine, bromine, hydrogen peroxide and hypochlorous acid. In fact, against a bacterium called E.Coli (commonly used to measure the effectiveness of sanitizers), ozone kills 25 times more powerful than hypochlorous acid and about 500 times faster.

Baquacil and BaquaSpa

Although Baquacil and BaquaSpa aren't true oxidizers they are a for of sanitizer and some info on the product are as follows: Unlike chlorine which acts as an oxidizer and sterilizer in the water, polyhexamethylenebiqunaide (PHMB) based sanitizers destroy the bacteria cell by locating and binding to bacteria cell surfaces. It then attacks and overcomes the outer bacterial cell wall. Once this wall has been compromised, the  membrane, the inner cell membrane, is destroyed. This destruction allows the cell contents to disperse into their surroundings where they are likely broken down into their elemental parts by a non-chlorine oxidizer or shock (Baqua Shock), which is a hydrogen peroxide based compound. It should be noted that this system is very incompatible with standard systems including chlorine and bromine, and can be difficult to convert back to the traditional system.

Enzymes (This product is not approved for use in Canada.)

I will give more details at a later date but this is the just of it at this point. Typically there are many forms of enzymes out there. They are not considered a sanitizer at this point that I know of. Their primary use of these products is to increase the speed at which body oils, contaminants like suntan lotions and certain combined products biodegrade. Reducing the demand on other sanitizers like chlorine or bromine. Enzymes are used in digestion of you stomach, making beer, breaking down composts, cleaning oil spills, etc... They are for the most part completely non toxic, natural and may be a nice addition to many chemical programs.

Magnet Water Conditioners

There are two distinct sides to this one. Although relatively new in the pool and spa industry magnet have been used for more than 60 years to prevent scale formation in industrial boilers. Many pool and spa service technicians are convinced that attaching magnets to the circulation line improves the quality of the water. There are many claims to the abilities of magnetic devices:

Ionizer Maintenance

The residual provided by an ionizer comes from a gradual erosion of the electrodes. This is true for copper/silver, bi- metallic and all copper systems. Depending on the type, electrode life is estimated at one to two years. Scale build up on the electrodes is another question that draws different responses from ionizer manufacturers. One says that high calcium levels will result in scale forming on the electrodes and that applying a mild acid solution and hosing it off will remove the scale. Another says that ionization inhibits scale formation both on the electrodes and the pool wall and equipment. In fact it is useful in removing scale that has formed prior to the installation of an ionizer. If properly maintained and sensibly applied an ionizer system seems capable of satisfying basic sanitation needs. Unfortunately too many systems have been marketed in the past by firms that ignore the total needs of the pool and spa water. By itself an ionizer is able to deal with algae and bacteria but problems with water balance, disposal of organics and proper filtration are not things that an ionizer can handle by itself. Manufacturers are careful to stress the importance of proper filtration and filter maintenance. They recognize the need to deal with oxidizing organics but differ in their approach to the problem. If you're seriously looking into an ionizer system our advice is to evaluate not only the unit itself but the entire program put forth by the manufacturer.

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