In Italy the use of ozone in swimming pools is governed by the agreement between the Government and Regional Authorities published in the Official Gazette no. 51 of 03/03/2003. Ozone may be used to treat both water in pools and to disinfect areas, floors and surfaces.
Water can easily reach any area of the bodies immersed in it, by direct contact. Thus, ozone generation systems find their ideal use in swimming pools.
Ozone dissolved in the water of swimming pools reduces the quantity of chlorine normally used by an average of 90%, and, as a result, decreases risks for swimmers;
In fact, in the presence of ammonia or organic liquids (urine and sweat), chlorine can give rise to trihalomethanes and other substances capable of attacking the layer of protection on the pulmonary alveoli, causing bronchial hyperactivity, a disorder typical of asthma.
In addition, chlorine does not carry out any clarifying action on water, meaning that operators must inject other chemical substances to complete the range of action.
Ozone is a very powerful oxidant, with a very wide range of action. It can be used to eliminate algae, bacteria and viruses, as well as to oxidize numerous organic and inorganic contaminants.
Ozone's germicide activity is based on its high specificity as a direct oxidant. As a result of this chemical characteristic, all macromolecular microscopic cell structures such as bacteria, fungi, mold, spores and viruses, and larger cell structures such as insects and their eggs are profoundly altered, broken down and thus rendered inactive. Ozone's action does not release significant secondary residues.
The use of ozone ensures excellent results in the fight against legionella and many species of bacteria, including Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Haemophilus Inf., e.coli, shigella, salmonella, and micro-organisms with more or less high resistance against chlorine.
In addition to being a powerful germicide, ozone, different to chlorine, is also a powerful antiviral agent. Laboratory tests show that a concentration of ozone of 0.3 ppm dissolved in water, with a contact time of 4 minutes, inactivates 99.99% of viruses.
The disinfectant action of ozone is not limited to bacteria and viruses. As a result of its considerable oxidizing power it can reduce highly poisonous aromatic compounds or destroy heteroaromatic compounds.
Ozone can be used in drinking water to:
- Improve flocculation
- Eliminate odors, colors, flavors, iron/manganese/ammonia, TOC, and endocrine substances
- Disinfect the water
- Improve the clearness of water
The use of ozone in the treatment of water in swimming pools thus provides numerous sanitary, financial and general advantages, such as:
- Total elimination of: legionella, pseudomonas, staphylococcus aureus viral agents, mycoses (some strains are resistant to chlorine, but not to ozone)
- Elimination of skin and eye irritations and reduction of the risk of asthma attacks
- Reduction in costs for water management and management of the complete cycle of all products used for sanitation (chlorine, quaternary ammonium cations, etc.), their purchase, use and disposal
- Increase in safety for customers, especially for children, with a definite effect on the swimming pool's business
- Reduction in environmental impact, as no chlorine is disposed of in the sewers, rather, oxygen loaded water is disposed of, with advantages for purification plants
- Integration of new sanitation technologies into existing plants
Disinfectin Of Areas, Floors And Surfaces
The disinfection procedure is crucial for preventing pathogenic agents of bacterial, fungal and mycosal origin, such as fungus (ex. "athlete's foot") and plantar viruses (ex. warts), which can be caught and retransmitted simply by walking barefoot, from taking root, growing and disseminating; All the more so must the disinfection process be accurately carried out in the footbaths along the mandatory routes for accessing the pool.
Chemical products and machines such as high pressure water jet machines and "washing/drying" machines are currently used to sanitize pool areas. However, these cannot guarantee effective cleaning/sanitizing action. On the contrary, with ozone technology, these results have been widely proven.
The SANITARY advantages found are as follows:
- Limitation of the possibility of favoring transmission of bacterial and viral infections among users of the facility
- Elimination of the development of mold and algae, especially in the shower area, changing rooms, the area before entering the pool, and in standing water
- Elimination of organic odors (body, putrefactive, fermentative, etc.)