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How Does Ozone Water Treatment Work?

When it comes to water treatment, the most common form of treatment is the chemical kind – through chlorine. This is especially true in public pools. As per the World Health Organization, the allowed amount of chlorination in a pool for recreational use – that is, swimming, water sports, etc. – is 1.4 milligrams of chlorine per liter.

The chlorine breaks down into hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion, the first of which kills organisms in several seconds, and the second of which can take half an hour to oxidize foreign cells (specifically those of hazardous bacteria and algae).

Chlorine levels are regulated through pH – that is, the acidity or alkalinity of the water. Typically, pool water should be around 7.4, where 7 is neutral and anything higher becomes increasingly alkaline or basic.

However, using chlorine comes with a number of health hazards. Aside from the dangers of improper use or storage, chlorine gas can develop on the surface of private and public pools, and extended use of chlorinated water can cause hair loss and other deleterious symptoms.

Then, there’s the fact that a number of people do not react well to chlorine. Their skin develops a rash, and becomes irritated.

Ozone As An Alternative

When the negative effects of chlorine usage came to light, alternatives had to be created. As it turned out, one had existed since the beginning of the 20th century, with roots in the 19th century. Ozone was discovered to kill bacteria and disinfect water back in Nice, France, where ozone installations for water treatment were first started prior to the days of World War I.

Due to its instability, it quickly breaks down into oxygen molecules, leaving no lasting effects – this makes it less effective than chlorine over time, yet more effective at immediately oxidizing (killing) bacteria.

Today, the use of a pool ionization system through companies like Clearwater Pool Systems allows homeowners to directly apply the disinfecting power of ozone by ionizing compressed air and turning it into O3 before sending it into the water.

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    Author: Carmelo Speelman

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