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Thread: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

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    The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    This is an interesting article I came across. It would be very intriguing replacement to our current method, especially with so many of us with older pools that will inevitably getting remodeled in the coming years. I personally hope this filter does hold up to it hipe.

    The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?
    The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it? | Business | The Guardian

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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    Sorry to be the wet blanket but I see those guys as marketers preying on folks who think it would be Oh so nice not to have to say the word "chemical".

    There is no new breakthrough or science here. It is simply filtering through biomechanisms that are incredibly fragile, prone to abject failure, and likely will cost you a maintenance arm and a leg trying to keep things in balance.

    These articles are "feel good" articles and, while the technology is as old as time and certainly works, they are not practical pools. Few of us could afford the initial investment and then don't have the meticulous attention to detail these natural pools require.

    There are more articles about natural pools here on the forum but I consider them a disservice to the public to imply that owning and maintaining them is realistic.
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    I get that there's a lot of snake oil sales people out their. But what I liked and hoped would actually come to reality in the future is the ability to upgrade ones existing system. It is never a bad idea or dream to some day not have to use "chemicals" to maintain a balanced pool chemistry.

    1975, 18000 GL, Plaster never been re-plastered, 2 year Old Hayward Sand Filter, Very Old Pump made out of cast Iron, and Single Speed 1 HP motor. Mesa AZ

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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    I would happily drink my pool water if I removed the salt. Why the desire for chemical free water? Municipalities in every city in the US use chemicals to make our drinking water safe. My water looked a lot worse fresh out of the tap than it did after balancing it TFP style.
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    nature is a wonderful thing and if you have ever been in a spring or runoff fed lake or stream you know they can be very clean... but there are organisms and plants and things you can't even imagine in there cleaning and feeding off the water...

    To do that in your backyard would be a feat of engineering... imagine 1 12 oz soda spilled into it would take a year to filter and clean it, not to mention 2 or 3 sweaty intoxicated people in there....
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    "Snake oil" is one of the first terms that popped into my head, too.

    While I've only been caring for a pool for about 2 years, I've spent my career working in water quality, wastewater treatment, and water chemistry for the second largest environmental agency in the world. I've seen slick salesman dupe seasoned environmental professionals time and time again that they had some proprietary solution that would solve all the world's water problems. I too foolishly let someone convince me early on that swimming pools somehow defied the laws of the natural world and that they were some unfathomable "chemical soups" that no one completely understood.

    Once I found this site and started approaching things scientifically, logically, and acknowledging what I already knew about water quality, I realized that there was no rocket science here - it's just basic water chemistry - pH, alkalinity, hardness, and the use of oxidizers to consume organic matter and destroy potential pathogens.

    As another respondent above has said, I wouldn't hesitate for one second to drink the water in my pool - I know exactly what its chemical composition is, and I know what the CL2 levels are - and they're significantly higher than the drinking water that's delivered to my by a municipality.

    As a whole, people don't understand chemistry, and that makes them vulnerable to believe all kinds of sales pitches for miracle cures. In the end, basic water chemistry has not changed since the first instant in the universe that two hydrogen atoms combined with an oxygen atom. Once we realize that, everything else just falls into place.
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    Having seen what came out of my backwash on a fresh fill, I think I would prefer to drink my pool water over my tap water! It was pretty brown, and I had backwashed well before unhooking the filter from the old pool.
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    i would give little credence to clear water revival
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    Quote Originally Posted by poolnoob.ca View Post
    i would give little credence to clear water revival
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    Their cheapest install was 65,000 pounds? That's over $100, 000 US!
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    poolnoob.ca obviously doesn't recognize I am supposed to be in charge of the corny jokes.

    My territory has been encroached albeit in a really clever way!
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    See the thread Natural Swimming Pools. The standards for such systems (based on German FLL) are roughly 7-10 ill swimmers per 1000 per season compared to virtually none when chlorine is used (1-3 ill swimmers per 1000 per season if a geometric mean is used rather than worst-case limits).

    It is not at all "safe to drink". They are lying about that. There is NOTHING in the bulk pool water that prevents fecal matter from your rectum or viruses or protozoan oocysts from going from one person to another directly long before reaching any sort of filtration, biological or otherwise. There is NOTHING killing pathogens in the main body of water. Would you drink another person's bath water?

    You could have an ozonator system instead of plants and it would kill virtually everything that gets circulated through it and would also oxidize bather waste as well, but again it doesn't provide a residual disinfectant in the bulk pool water (unless one had very fast turnovers and a massive ozonator system to maintain ozone in the bulk water, but that generally isn't allowed due to risk of outgassing ozone). You see, ANY system that relies on circulation does absolutely NOTHING to prevent person-to-person transmission of disease nor does it do anything for preventing pathogen growth on pool surfaces since such growth does not get circulated. The Natural Swimming Pools using biological or other filters rely on low phosphate levels to control algae and to slow down bacteria growth, but bacteria can still grow with low phosphate levels (albeit more slowly). They are most certainly NOT killed quickly, not even as quickly as with copper/silver metal ion systems.
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    I am sure one day there will be a safe, robust system that will be fully free of any chemicals.
    Actually if I were to buy a piece of property next to a waterfall in Adirondacs, carve a spa nearby and divert some water through it (I swam in such places albeit occurring fully naturally in No. Caucasus mountains while drinking from them at the same time....if you like swimming in 44F water...I do) I would be able to both swim and drink from it.
    But here in the NJ plains....if and when it comes...I doubt I will be alive by then.

    Again, these systems rely on "no sick people in my pool", but what if there is one? With a norovirus?

    Wasn't Echosmarte's motto "swim in bottled water"?
    (BTW it somewhat works...for one family, low swimmer load, little rain fall, shocking with Chlorine and floccing in the beginning).
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    If you notice in the picture there are maybe 10 people in that public pool. I wonder if you have to limit how many people use the pool?
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    Yes, as noted in the link I gave there are strict limits to biological parameters, but they are closer to the limits allowed for safe open-water (ocean beaches, lakes, rivers, etc.) swimming than for commercial/public pools. The "Excellent" standard for Enterococci for open-water is 200 CFU/100ml while the German FLL standard for public swimming ponds is 50 CFU/100ml while the EPA DIS/TSS-12 standard is 2.2 CFU/100ml. Similarly for Escherichia coli the open-water "Excellent" standard is 500 CFU/100ml, the German FLL public swimming pond standard is 100 CFU/100ml and the EPA DIS/TSS-12 standard is 2.2 CFU/100 ml.

    So in order to meet the German FLL public swimming pond standard without having any bulk-water disinfection means limiting the number of swimmers (i.e. the bather-load) and also trying to have faster circulation. Note that a large part of what makes large bodies of water safer for person-to-person transmission of disease in spite of no bulk-water disinfectant is that they are very large bodies of water often with good circulation so there is a lot of water dilution. That is not generally the case for these public swimming ponds though a few of them are large, but many are small and certainly for residences they are definitely small.

    There haven't been enough of these commercial/public NSPs out there for them to statistically have a likelihood of getting someone sick with Cryptosporidium parvum use such a pool, but when that happens then it will be a mess to clean and eradicate this protozoan oocyst without killing off the biological systems. Most likely the entire plant area will need to be replaced unless it can be shown that they do not harbor and later release oocysts.
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    There haven't been enough of these commercial/public NSPs out there for them to statistically have a likelihood of getting someone sick with Cryptosporidium parvum use such a pool, but when that happens then it will be a mess to clean and eradicate this protozoan oocyst without killing off the biological systems. Most likely the entire plant area will need to be replaced unless it can be shown that they do not harbor and later release oocysts.
    Speaking of that:

    While Cryptosporidium is highly resistant to chlorine disinfection,[20] with high enough concentrations and contact time, Cryptosporidium will be inactivated by chlorine dioxide and ozone treatment.
    (Wikipedia)



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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    Yeah, chlorine doesn't deal with it well either, but at least in a chlorine pool you can do remediation techniques including using chlorine dioxide that you can't do in an Natural Swimming Poop [EDIT] Whoops, I meant Pool, but it's an appropriate typo! [END-EDIT] without killing off all the plants. That was my point.

    Chlorine dioxide at 2 ppm overnight over 12 hours will give a 3-log (99.9%) reduction in Cryptosporidium parvum. As I note at the end of this post there are other methods such as coagulation that can be done and super-chlorination if the CYA level isn't high (otherwise it takes extraordinary amounts of chlorine).
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek View Post
    you can do remediation techniques including using chlorine dioxide that you can't do in an Natural Swimming Poop without killing off all the plants.
    Pun intended... or Freudian slip? lol!
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    Re: The innovators - a swimming pool so clean you can drink it?

    Oh well, we gladly exaggerate a little for a pun's sake, but the truth is, unless it is a fast clean river or a sea, or a mountain stream, even natural waters are not that safe (recent cases with those amoebas, rare though they might be), and a finite pool-size water that has not been treated, though might be safe enough for a limited bather load, is not safe for a larger one, plus unlike chemical desinfectants a bio one does not possess instant killing power, it takes time.
    So, yeah, fecal matter and bacteria are not removed and sanitized within seconds. And you swim in it.
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