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Thread: Article about pool chemistry safety

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    Article about pool chemistry safety

    I saw this article on Yahoo:
    What Parents Need to Know After Children Sickened in Pool With Too Much Chlorine
    Now that I know what I've learned on TFP, it's sad to see the partial/misinformation being written about pool chemistry on mainstream websites. I guess I would be following the same advice if not for TFP!
    20000 gallon vinyl liner in ground pool
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    Re: Article about pool chemistry safety

    The article is factually OK but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.....It is alarmist on a rudimentary level and does not discuss the problem with ANY real understanding.
    For parents who choose not to do their own testing, another option is to ask to see the pool’s chemical logs, which are measured several times per day as required by many states’ health departments. Ph levels should be between 6.8 and 7.2; if they’re very high, the chlorine won’t be as effective.
    Really? How many folks will bring their own test kit and test the water? All in all, it's a "puff piece" that can be simply ignored....it just doesn't have enough merit.
    Dave S.
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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Article about pool chemistry safety

    Ph should be between 6.8 and 7.2? What, if you want your eyes to burn?


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Article about pool chemistry safety

    I saw the pH and also the chlorine ppm between 1 and 3...no qualifiers such as depending on other water content (CYA). I found it to be misleading. Articles like this are probably responsible for a lot of question on this board about chlorine being too high...
    20000 gallon vinyl liner in ground pool
    16' X 34' rectangular diving pool
    Hayward Pro Grid DE Filter
    Hayward 1 hp Super Pump
    TF-100 Test Kit Stenner 45MPHP10

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    Re: Article about pool chemistry safety

    Pretty bad article, but what do you really expect from yahoo parents written by a mother of two who "freelances, for publications including Parent & Child and In Touch?" Enough to make everyone fear for their family's well-being about every chlorinated pool without any actual info. No info on how high the actual chlorine levels were, or how much was accidentally added. It kind of reads that it was the "toxic bleach odor" that they inhaled that made them sick not necessarly too much chlorine. A bleach odor that is not exactly a sign of "too much chlorine" but just part of chlorine doing it's job.
    12500 gallons, 24 foot round above ground
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    Re: Article about pool chemistry safety

    I think that this was a case where a a large amount of chlorine was added in a short time creating a very high local concentration. Testing fc levels would have been irrelevant to this incident. The writer is mixing information about proper fc levels with information about an incident about a chemical release. They are two separate issues.

    The problem was not about chlorine levels in the bulk water. The problem was due to improper dosing method.

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    Re: Article about pool chemistry safety

    If you search the name of the park, I found some other news stories that says it was a small amount of concentrated chlorine was added. It goes on to describe the misshap as an employee shut down some equipment but not the chlorine injection and when the equipment was powered back on everyrhing the pump had been injecting into the plumbing was sent to the pool.
    12500 gallons, 24 foot round above ground
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    n240sxguy's Avatar
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    Re: Article about pool chemistry safety

    Quote Originally Posted by scott.MI View Post
    If you search the name of the park, I found some other news stories that says it was a small amount of concentrated chlorine was added. It goes on to describe the misshap as an employee shut down some equipment but not the chlorine injection and when the equipment was powered back on everyrhing the pump had been injecting into the plumbing was sent to the pool.
    I wonder if they had a chlorine gas injection system. That would definitely make you sick. Not fun when you get close to the pure stuff.


    30K gallon IG vinyl. 1.5HP 2-speed Waterway Mustang pump. 600 lb sand filter. Polaris 280. Circupool SI-60+. TF-100

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    Re: Article about pool chemistry safety

    They referred to the chlorine as bleach so I suspect it was peristaltic pumps injecting chlorinating liquid. It's just that a higher accumulated dose got injected all at once. As described in this article:

    The park owner, Ted Hucks, told WECT an employee shut down one of the pumps at the new wave pool, but forgot to turn off the chlorine system. That caused the chlorine to continue pumping and when everything was turned back on, a large amount of chlorine was then pumped into the pool.
    Also, if there was no CYA in the water, then this could have been a substantial amount of active chlorine. The kids that were affected were those closest to the returns. The article gives more details about this:

    This afternoon, around 3:20 p.m., we had an incident at our new wave pool where a higher than normal amount of pool bleach sanitizer was introduced into the pool by accident. There were many people in the pool at the time of the incident. A local school had around 25 children in the pool, most of which were in the shallow end of the pool. The bleach entered the pool through the return inlets which are located in the floor of the pool. The return inlets located in the deeper water diluted the bleach before it could rise to the surface, but the return inlets located in the shallow water allowed the bleach odor to escape to the surface where these children were playing. It is our understanding that of the 25 children checked out at the local hospital three received breathing treatments and all were sent home.
    Basically, the peristaltic pump built up a "plug" of concentrated chlorine in the lines so that when the pump turned on an amount of concentrated chlorine (12.5% chlorinating liquid would be 125,000 ppm FC) was put into the shallow end where it perhaps could only get initially diluted by a factor of 100 so that would be 1250 ppm FC which would be high (even if CYA were used since it would be overwhelmed). Because the pH would be high (around 9.8), the active chlorine level would be equivalent to around 10 ppm FC with no CYA at pH 7.5 which is high and if directed to the surface could have outgassed and caused irritation. Even if I assume a factor of 1000 dilution, that is still equivalent to around 5 ppm FC with no CYA. Also, probably even more likely, is that without circulation and feeding of chlorine, there may have been a buildup of urine so that when the chlorine did eventually get added to the water it produced a lot of monochloramine and other disinfection by-products including very irritating and volatile nitrogen trichloride. The "one of the pumps" that was shut off for the wave pool might have been one that circulated water in the shallow-end of the pool.

    So while the article seemed to imply that the problem was related to the shallow end of the pool with less water dilution, I think that an even bigger factor was having so many kids concentrated in one area of the pool with the circulation off building up bather waste that was then blasted with chlorine.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
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    Re: Article about pool chemistry safety

    Do articles like these have editorial boards? I'm not familiar enough with Yahoo! News to know.

    Normally when I see highly misleading pieces written in local papers, I shoot off an email to the Editorial Board with precise, line-by-line critiques and include as many factual references as I can. I try to not write in a hysterical or emotional manner. On at least two occasions I have gotten requests from the author for more information beyond the standard boiler plate of "thank you for your letter regarding blah, blah, blah..." and I saw at least one correction made (but no way to know if my email had anything to do with it).

    Is it worth anyone's time to pursue this?


    Matt
    16k IG PebbleTec pool, 650gal spa, spillway and waterfall, 3HP IntelliFlo VS / 1.5HP WhisperFlo, Pentair QuadDE-100 filter, IC40 SWCG, MasterTemp 400k BTU/hr NG heater, KreepyKrauly suction-side cleaner Dolphin S300i robot, EasyTouch controls, city water, K-1001, K-2006 and K-1766 test kits, Mannitol test for borates

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