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Thread: Filters and law.

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    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Central New York

    Filters and law.

    Just looking around the internet at pool filters and ran into this statement on one site.

    Crushed sand filter systems are being outlawed in a growing number of areas because of the need to back flush, which causes contaminated water to mix with groundwater supplies.

    Anyone run into this or heard of this happening in their area?

    20 X 40 foot vinyl Borates and Salt Pool
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  2. Back To Top    #2
    Mod Squad JohnT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    SW Indiana
    That article is a load of!@#$ It is clearly aimed at pushing cartridge filters, or is that "modern enhanced cartridge filters"?
    TFP Moderator
    20K Gallon 20X36 Vinyl Inground
    Hayward S244T Sand Filter with 1HP Whisperflo Pump. Liquidator C-201 and Solar Heat

  3. Back To Top    #3
    JasonLion's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD
    There are some areas that have water restrictions and so do not allow any filter system that throws away the backwash water. In those situations you can still use a sand or DE filter but need to have a backwash recovery tank to allow reuse of the water.
    19K gal, vinyl, 1/2 HP WhisperFlo pump, 200 sqft cartridge filter, AutoPilot Digital SWG, Dolphin Dynamic cleaning robot
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  4. Back To Top    #4
    mas985's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Pleasanton, CA
    Actually, it happened to me. I had the option of a cartridge or one of the others with a recovery tank.

    Cleaning the recovery tank was about as much work as cleaning the cartridge which is why I just went with the cartridge
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
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  5. Back To Top    #5
    Yes, it's happening. One of the reasons is that backwash water is sometimes (often?) discharged in such a way that it can cause contamination of groundwater. This is actually a valid concern in many instances. Backwash water is considered to be 'grey water' or refuse water. With DE filters the problem is not only the water but the spent DE itself since it is not biodegradable. Now, cleaning a cartridge filter can be water intensive too and I would also classify the water that is used as 'grey water' so I really don't think that they are any more ecologically better than sand or DE.

    This is what happens when we allow politicians to make decisions about things that they really don't understand!

    This is similar to the ban that some localities (It might only be one) are trying to put in place against SWGs (and have in place against water softeners) because they feel the salt is a pollutant. This is why junk science companies can sell dubious products to prevent calcium scaling by using magnets and radio waves and "sanitizing" pool water with metals and nascent oxygen!

    This is what happens when sleazy companies try to profit on fears and ignorance!

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    In the Industry

    duraleigh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida
    This is what happens when we allow politicians to make decisions about things that they really don't understand!
    Words more true were never spoken! Good post, Evan.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

  7. Back To Top    #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    I have well water and a DE filter. I have just been backwashing my filter into my backyard. Should I be concerned with groundwater contamination?
    ~30000 GAL In-Ground 26'x50' Kidney Shaped Pool
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  8. Back To Top    #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Sahuarita, AZ
    Quote Originally Posted by robrinker
    I have well water and a DE filter. I have just been backwashing my filter into my backyard. Should I be concerned with groundwater contamination?
    Well, from what I've heard, DE is a proven carcinogen (sic?)... If it were me I'd probably be backwasing into my neighbor's yard! 8)

    EDIT: Well I don't know where I heard that DE was so bad for you, but doing some quick searching on google I can't find any reference to that... in fact there is food-grade DE that is used to coat grains for some reasons and it's even used to treat some stomach parasites...
    My Pool:
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    Dry DE powder, when inhaled, can cause silicosis.

  10. Back To Top    #10
    AnnaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Eastern Pennsylvania
    Quote Originally Posted by robrinker
    I have well water and a DE filter. I have just been backwashing my filter into my backyard. Should I be concerned with groundwater contamination?
    IMO no more so than the groundwater 'contamination' from septic systems. By the time the liquids leaving a septic tank have trickled back into the aquifer they've been filtered through many layers of rock and sand and microscopic flora and have been cleaned, in a manner of speaking. The normal chlorine content of our pool water (3-5 ppm) is lower than what comes out of the drinking water taps in some municipalities. Commercial pools discharge their used water into the sewers from where it goes to treatment plants and, ultimately, back into the aquifers. DE is a naturally occurring substance; there's a decent discussion of its many uses on Wikipedia

    We're on a well, too. It's 450 ft deep. We have the water tested once a year, primarily because we're concerned with agricultural contaminants from herbicides and pesticides.

    All of us release grey water daily: showers/baths, washing dishes and clothes and cars and we use all manner of cleaning products in doing so, not to mention the stuff many people put on their lawns, all of which will eventually go back into the groundwater supply.

    Evan is right: Uninformed politicians make decisions based on pseudo-science generated by corporations looking to make another billion or ten. The rich get richer.

    I better quit before I'm fully on my soap box.

    12,500 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
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  11. Back To Top    #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Ft Lauderdale, Florida
    Most of these issues concern backwash lines that are connected to the municiple sewer systems. In many cases, the city/county is not equipped to treat the discharge water before releasing it to the aquifer.
    Such is the case with salt systems in Santa Clarita, California. They are upstream from strawberry and avocado farms. Since Santa Clarita does not have the proper equipment to treat(remove) the chloride content, the water from Santa Clarita flowed downstream to their farms water supplies. The farmers eventually complained that the chloride is damaging their crops. Chloride as in Sodium Chloride used in (Primarily) water softener systems. They have since 1995, banned water softeners (and threw in salt systems), that discharge into the sewer lines. I recently heard that although this ban exist, they largely ignore it...there is little evidence to support the damage to the crops.

    I believe with commercial DE systems, it is required to be backwashed into a separation tank first, so that the DE is not sent into the sewer system.

    BTW, I love my cartridge filter!
    Sean Assam -
    National Accounts and Commercial Products Manager
    AquaCal Heat Pumps
    AutoPilot Salt Chlorine Generators

  12. Back To Top    #12
    Actually, I love my cartridge filter also!

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Seems ridiculous to not allow a sand filer to be backwashed down a sanitary sewer line. A DE filter I could see since the DE is like pouring sand down your drain. It never really gets washed all the way down the line. It's going to accumulate some place, maybe not on your property but some where down the road it will all stack up and cause a drainage issue.

    Unfortunately we found out about this the hard way. I'll just say our plumbing problems went away with our DE filter, switching to sand filters solved it.

    I have heard of cities considering making people neutralize the chlorine in the water before it's allowed into the sanitary sewer.
    Won't that be fun? Especially for those of us that backwash 7 different pools once a week.

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