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Swimming pool water must undergo treatment in order to remain free of harmful substances, bacteria, viruses, algae and other pathogens to be suitable for use by swimmers.
Of particular concern in swimming pool waters are the formation of chloramines and chlorinated organic compounds that are known to give rise to swimming pool smell and eye, nose and throat irritation.
For most pool operators, chlorine is the disinfectant of choice, although there is growing awareness regarding the negative health effects of chlorine and its by-products. On the other hand, unlike bacterial pathogens, Cryptosporidium oocysts are resistant to chlorine disinfection and can survive for days in treated recreational water venues.
The popularity of recreational water venues, the number and geographic distribution of recent cryptosporidiosis outbreaks, and the resistance of Cryptosporidium to chlorination suggest that treatment strategies for recreational water facilities need to be improved.
Ultraviolet (UV) light represents a powerful technology that has been successfully deployed in swimming pools for several years. UV disinfection of pools and splash parks is a complementary way of providing an effective method of inactivating a wide range of waterborne pathogens including Cryptosporidium.
UV water treatment disinfects and simultaneously destroys chloramines and chloro-organics instantly as the water passes through the treatment chamber. The use of UV disinfection for pools is particularly suitable for bathers who are sensitive to the usual swimming pool disinfectants or are allergic to chlorine.
UV is not designed to completely replace chlorine, but through an elimination of the need for periodic shocking, well-maintained pools can see significant reductions in chlorine usage.