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Thread: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

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    The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    only in New Zealand, can people get away with selling this s**t,
    http://simplesilver.co.nz

    and the number thta have jumped on this bandwagon is unbelievable

    we have a national swimming pool water quality standard - however lax authorites mean you can package any form of dishwashing liquid up in a bottle and label it "spa sanitiser"

    I am pushing for an introduction of the Australian standard here in NZ, however the setup of a regulatory body yis going to take some time, and with the economy on the brink - the authorities are looking elsewhere at the moment

    however i ido have an apointment next week with the health department to try and get them removed from sale, so any real science would be most appreciated to add to the folder full i already have

    also i should add for entertainment purposes for anyone bothering to read the testimonial section - the first testimonal is form Leisurite spa pools - who sold one with every spa, and they have since gone bankrupt (not to do with simple silver though) - the second testimonial is from Andy Caruthers - the (former) owner of leisurite spa pools

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    Re: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    Wow. The claim that really gets me is how it regulates the PH. While several of the other claims have some tidbit of semi-truth behind them, PH regulation is completely ridiculous.

    There is some interesting, rather technical, reading in this discussion of copper and silver systems and the various articles linked to there.
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    Re: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    This EcoSmarte thread has some info and additional links, while this thread on another forum (the one Jason linked to above) is about Pristine Blue and this link has some references to copper kill times. It's not easy to find definitive data on silver and copper kill times for easy-to-kill bacteria, but roughly speaking it seems to be 99% kill rates with silver at around 10-20 minutes and 99% kill rates with copper at around 40 minutes. Chlorine with an FC that is around 10% of the CYA level has a 99% kill rate at 30 seconds to a minute which should be fast enough to reasonably prevent person-to-person transmission of many pathogens.

    Silver and possibly copper kill fast enough to prevent uncontrolled bacteria growth, but probably not fast enough to prevent person-to-person transmission. Bacteria double in population every 15-60 minutes so one wants a 50% kill time faster than that if one is to prevent bacteria from growing faster than they get killed. A 50% kill in 15 minutes roughly translates to a 99% kill in 100 minutes so silver beats this and copper does as well though without much margin for error. [EDIT] I updated this post to show kill times for chlorine, copper and silver. It shows that copper ions are not able to prevent uncontrolled bacterial growth of common fecal coliform bacteria. [END-EDIT]

    The above is probably why commercial/public pools in the U.S. must use an EPA-approved sanitizer (chlorine, bromine or Baqua/biguanide/PHMB) since they kill quickly enough to likely prevent person-to-person transmission of most pathogens. Silver and copper can only be used as supplements, not standalone. The same is true for ozone and UV, though that has more to do with these systems not having any residual effect in the bulk pool water.

    For spas, it does appear that a combination of silver ion with non-chlorine shock (potassium monopersulfate, MPS) is an effective sanitizer that appears to have been approved by the EPA. I write more about this technically in this post on another forum. It is the "low chlorine" recipe described in the Nature2 (N2) manual here though technically it is a "no chlorine" recipe most of the time.

    From a practical point of view, the risk in residential pools is far lower unless you throw pool parties with people who are sick. That's probably why there aren't regulations for managing the chemistry of residential pools nor restrictions in what can be sold to the residential market. The only requirement by FIFRA (product labeling) rules the EPA enforces is that you can't claim your product is a disinfectant or sanitizer for pools and spas unless it passes DIS/TSS-12, though you can call your product a pesticide or algaecide if it is registered (silver and copper are both registered as pesticides/algaecides). For spas, metal ions alone are better than nothing, but the risk of getting hot tub itch/rash from the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa (which fairly rapidly forms resistant biofilms) is possibly still high enough to be safer using an EPA-approved sanitizer (including N2+MPS). In any event, metal ions are not oxidizers so some sort of oxidizer must be added to spas in order to oxidize bather waste or else you will build up a lot of urea and ammonia (among other things).

    Thank you for trying to improve regulations and clamp down on the pseudo-science and questionable claims.

    Richard
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    Re: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    I generally find claims of "Add no chemicals to your spa for 12 months" as being a bit far fetched, not to mention what will happen to your heater element in that time

    surpirsingly the Australian govt is really effective in this with their APVMA - i have seen the link from the ecosmarte thread pointing back to this
    and in fact this was the info i fired at the Floatron distributor when i called their product a piece of junk and their claims as being outlandish - there was all sorts of talk about sueing me - however surprisingly little eventuated from this

    Compulsary regisration of sanitiers here would be a good way of getting rid of some of the junk that floats around - simple silver advertise a lot on the radio here and from what i can gather are selling well

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    Re: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquaclear-NZ
    surpirsingly the Australian govt is really effective in this with their APVMA
    I have been extremely impressed myself with the APVMA standards and only wish our own EPA was as good at regulating pool and spa sanitizers! Good luck in your endeavor!
    I notice that they also sell to the USA for both pools and spas. This might get them in trouble with the EPA which does require a minimum of a fast acting residual sanitizer in the water. I did not see and EPA registration number on their website.

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    Re: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    Regarding APVMA, this link [EDIT] (that link is broken, so use this link instead as well as this link) [END-EDIT] is very telling.
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    Re: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    Quote Originally Posted by chem geek
    Regarding APVMA, this link is very telling.
    Which is exactly why I am so impressed with them and think our own EPA is a wishy-washy organization that bows down to big business instead of protecting the public! (Yeah, they've given Zodiac a slap on the wrist or two over their N2 systems for such things as improper labeling, but really? .5 ppm fc residual? We all know better than that!)

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    Re: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    Unfortunately, the APVMA Guide for Demonstrating Efficacy of Pool and Spa Sanitisers has the same problem as the EPA DIS/TSS-12 in that neither use Cyanuric Acid in their lab tests for efficacy of chlorine products, including stabilized chlorine products (i.e. the amount of CYA in the water is initially zero for all products). So they are technically too stringent by at least a factor of 10. Even if that was fixed, it wouldn't be enough to allow for metal ions alone.
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    Re: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    there is nothing wrong with too stringent testing
    one of the great things about the APVMA is that the come down on those who fail to comply like a ton of bricks, not pussyfoot around the problem and pretend its not there

    i am not the worlds greatest fan of chlorine - however after so long in the industry i do accept that like my bank manger, it is a necessary evil and as yet have yet to see anything that performs as well

    anyway - this thursday i have my appontment with the health department, and the following week the ministry of consumer affairs. as i have been involved in the writing of 3 standards here and also errsponisble for adoption of a pool builders and retail service persons licensing program... so we may get some response

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    Re: The latest in chlorine and chemical free spa treatments

    Quote Originally Posted by Aquaclear-NZ
    there is nothing wrong with too stringent testing
    What I mean by this is that if the test water had 30 ppm CYA in it, then none of the currently approved chlorine products (stabilized or unstabilized) would pass the criteria. That leads to a false understanding of the kill times and it is also unfair to other potential products that could be as equally effective as chlorine with CYA. In practice, I don't think there are any such products since there seems to be a big gap between the alternative products using metal ions or enzymes or oxidizers vs. chlorine with CYA. The only exception being silver ion with MPS at high spa temperatures though perhaps this might be OK for pools if the criteria were more consistent -- that's an open question.

    The criteria, for example, requires a 4-log reduction in 30 seconds for E.coli. The 99% (2-log) CT for E.coil and other "easy-to-kill" bacteria is around 0.04 which implies a 4-log CT of 0.08 so the minimum FC needed to meet the criteria is 0.08/(30/60) = 0.16 ppm FC. With 30 ppm CYA in the water, the kill time is slowed down such that at least 2 ppm FC would be required and possibly 4 ppm FC or so. If 100 ppm CYA were used, it would require at least 15-30 ppm FC to pass the test. That's what I mean by it being unfair since real pool conditions would not pass this criteria.

    Richard
    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
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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