AIS CEO warns of "ticking time bombs" at public and home pools

Monday, 20 November, 2017

As the peak summer swimming season looms, Australian Innovative Systems (AIS) CEO Elena Gosse is a woman on a mission to raise awareness and reduce the potential risk of chemical leaks in public and backyard swimming pools by ending the dependence on hazardous chlorine dosing. It’s not chlorine that is the enemy, rather the method of dosing.

“In my opinion, any facility that stores chlorine in liquid or gaseous forms for pool water disinfection is a ticking time bomb and great risk to public health and safety,” said Gosse.

“This year we have seen numerous media reports of public and home pool chemical leak incidents and no doubt there are hundreds more that go unreported. Then there’s the additional hazard of transporting these chemicals on our public roads and highways.

“Of course, when used properly, chlorine is safe and is still the most effective form of water disinfection. When it comes to chlorine or chemical spills, however, most of these incidents could have been prevented by adopting safer, simpler and smarter inline chlorine generation technology such as the kind our company manufactures,” said Gosse.

AIS’s multi-award-winning technology produces chlorine within the pool water (rather than adding it afterwards) in fresh, salt or mineral water pools. Sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine) is produced from minerals and salts dissolved in water passing through electrolytic cells. This process, known as electrolysis, then disperses the chlorine directly into the water, keeping it clean and bacteria-free.

According to Gosse, the 2017 report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) titled ‘Inhalational Chlorine Injuries at Public Aquatic Venues in California (2008–2015)’ states that equipment failure and human error at public aquatic venues can lead to toxic chlorine gas releases and have negative health impacts on bathers and aquatic staff members.

“The report recommends sensible actions to lower chemical incidents such as regular testing of chemical control failsafe features and proper staff training etc, but what it fails to recommend is the important additional opportunity to switch to disinfection by electrolysis and end the dependence on storing, handling and dosing chlorine in liquid, granular or gaseous forms,” said Gosse.

Gosse believes that many commercial pool facilities have overlooked the opportunity because they are simply unaware of it, or associate chlorination via electrolysis with saltwater pools.

“Disinfection by electrolysis is possible in water with TDS (total dissolved solids) levels as low as 1200 parts per million (ppm). Most ‘chlorinated pools’ (as distinct from saltwater pools) will have elevated TDS levels because chlorine dosing raises the TDS of the source water. In fact, many pools dilute their water by dumping large quantities and replacing it with town water to keep within the recommended TDS level guidelines.

Gosse is calling on the swimming pool industry and consumers to band together to minimise chemical storage and handling risks. “Whether you own a backyard swimming pool or a large-scale aquatic facility, we can all help to improve safety when it comes to water disinfection,” she said.

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