Upton Sinclair would find working conditions in today’s Architecture industry repulsive and inhumane. Shackled to our collective desks, toiling for so many hours that one might think FDR never rammed through the Fair Labor Standards Act in ’38. One certainly wonders aloud to no one in particular why we embark on such ugly permutations of masochism…we’re educated persons are we not?
An abstract soliloquy aside there is, in point of fact, a reason for breaking my long absence to once again bring some sliver of delight to the one or two individuals that read our blog (and its direct translation in Tagalog for our vast Philippine audience, or course). The reason is to have yet another fireside chat to discuss the merits of using ozone as a disinfectant in semi-public/commercial swimming pool applications. Those of you yearning for a diatribe centering on the merits of offensive realism in international relations will simply have to wait.
To wit, there are two predominate means with which to produce ozone for use in swimming pool filtration and disinfection systems. The most common is that which uses an ultraviolet light source and is relatively simple to operate and maintain, namely because it works effectively in both dry, and humid environments. The problem with this form of ozone generation is that it produces a small amount of ozone (relative to the corona discharge method) with which to use as a disinfectant in swimming pool water.
The second, more effective means with which to generate ozone is through the corona discharge method (CD). This is also known as a “hot spark” method which applies high voltage to a metallic grid located between two dielectrics. Think of creating artificial lightning. The result is a much more efficient production of ozone in greater quantities than an ultraviolet light. The drawback is that CD ozone generators require a cool, dry place. As a result, in the design process the aquatic consultant must quickly notify the Architect and MEP consultant of the need for specific electrical loads as well as a separate, climate controlled equipment room where the ozone generator can be located alongside an air dryer, and contact chamber before it is injected into the pressure-side of the recirculation system.
Surely with all the planning and cost associated with a corona discharge ozone generator many Architects, Hotel/Resort Owners and Operators may ask why they should bother with the preparation and expense. The reason is three-fold: effective sanitation, measurable sanitation, and bather comfort.
In the first instance, ozone is 200 times more effective than chlorine at eliminating organic and inorganic waste in the swimming pool. In the second instance, a basic chemistry control device measures the oxidation reduction potential (ORP) of the water; in other words, the same device measuring the level of a halogen chemical (bromine or chlorine) also measures the amount of ozone in the water. Finally, in the third instance, because ozone is both effective and measurable, it is possible to use substantially less bromine or chlorine in the water, the result of which dramatically improves the comfort of the bather. Think reduced wear and tear on bathing suits, less dry skin, and fewer irritated eyes.
Admittedly this is an overly simplified, abridged explanation for the merits of using ozone on semi-public and commercial pools, but hopefully it brings some clarity as to the reason this type of sanitation is so pervasive.