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Maintaining a Healthy and Clean Pool

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Pool and Spa Corrosion - An Atomic Point Of View

As a new swimming pool owner, you might find it overwhelming to deal with the unexpected responsibilities that come with having a pool. One of the significant problems associated with pools is the rapid growth of microorganisms in the water. But from a pool expert perspective, this should not be a problem since there are many ways of safeguarding and maintaining a healthy and clean pool. 

Maintaining a Healthy and Clean Pool

The primary technique used by most pool owners in maintaining a healthy and clean pool is the use of chemicals. Pool chemicals help in disinfection and sanitization of pools. But, if you use pool chemicals, you have to ensure you use them accurately. Also, ensure you don’t overload your pool with chemicals since this may exacerbate other problems. You can use the conventional way of sanitizing pools which is the use of chlorine as the only pool chemical. 

However, with the evolution of technology, there are latest filtration systems considered free from chemicals. The pool industry is continually growing. Consequently, this is the best time to gain a detailed understanding of various sanitization systems that could serve as an alternative for chlorine. By doing this, you will incorporate the best disinfection methods for your pools.

Chlorine

But first, let’s learn about the traditional pool sanitizer, chlorine. Chlorine comes in various forms such as tablets, salt generators, and liquid. Over the years, pool professionals have declared it useful and effective in cleaning pools. Nonetheless, the chemical is not so popular among pool owners. Most pool owners report that it is an eye irritant and has a bad odor. Even so, chlorine is very effective in ensuring you have a clean pool.

Pool professionals say that the unpleasant side of chlorine may result from its pH levels and chloramine problems. Also, they know of the downsides of chlorine, but they can’t deny the fact that the agent is essential in pool sanitization. Although chlorine is more effective than other pool chemicals, combining it with other pool chemicals increases its productivity. As a result, complementing chlorine with subsidiary disinfectants will undoubtedly enhance its efficiency.

Sanitization systems

Fortunately, chlorine does not stop its cleansing effect regardless of whether the pool pump is on or off. The chemical also preserves an active pool residual.

Subsidiary sanitizing systems have been in existence for quite some time now, but they still feel entirely new in the market. Several pool companies have manufactured these systems. Some of them are AOP, UV, and Ozone. They carry several benefits to pool owners due to their high sanitizing power, elimination of chloramines, and destruction of algae. 

All these systems have a reliable oxidizing power compared to other conventional disinfectants. They instantly kill all stubborn microbes such as Cryptosporidium Parvum which other sanitizers generally take a longer time to destroy. Ultimately, these subsidiary sanitization systems are necessary for commercial pools since the pools are highly exposed to harmful microorganisms. It is also wise for Residential pool owners to put in place these systems.

Secondary sanitizers

Some of the functions of secondary sanitizers include:

  • Destroy dangerous, bad-smelling chloramines.
  • Eliminate all microbes that resistant to chlorine.
  • They serve as a strong oxidizing agent in a wide range of pH levels.

The best thing for pool owners to do is to incorporate both conventional and traditional techniques of disinfecting pools. As a result, they will get the best outcomes. Also, employing both techniques leads to modern swimming pools. In a modern swimming pool, an active residual in the pool water ensures safety. Subsidiary sanitizers, on the other hand, seize up chloramines. They also demolish harmful microorganisms and boost water purity. It is hard to purify pool water using a chemical-free method. But subsidiary disinfectants drastically decrease the quantity of pool chemicals required to preserve an active safe residual.

When purchasing a subsidiary sanitization system, be on the lookout for unreliable pool firms that guarantee efficiency with unreliable systems. A malfunctioning system does not contribute to the purification of the pool. Be cautious of salespeople who might lure you to buy through an effective sales pitch. Ensure the technology incorporated in the sanitization system is valid.

We all need a healthy balance in all sectors of our lives if we wish to prosper. For instance, to be healthy, we need a balanced diet. Thus, shortcuts are often too promising to be real. Likewise, pools need a safe residual and subsidiary system for proper disinfection. A proper balance in the implementation of every effective sanitization system is the best way to maintain a safe and clean pool. 

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Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email [email protected] your story idea.

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BioLab Plant Reopening Will Impact Chlorine Prices for 2023

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BioLab Plant in Westlake, LA - Reopening Will Impact Chlorine Prices for 2023

The news of BioLab’s plant burning to the ground during Hurricane Laura in 2020 had a ripple effect on chlorine prices that has lasted for the past two years. We first reported that BioLab was rebuilding the plant back in July of 2021. A recent announcement that construction is completed and in time for summer production has pool industry analysts optimistic. “We are delighted to reopen our BioLab facility in time to support the 2023 pool season,” said Michael Sload, CEO of KIK Consumer Products.

BioLab is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of dry chlorine products. An announcement that the Westlake, Louisiana facility is fully operational means that one of the driving factors for the initial spike we saw on the price of chlorine has been removed. Prices for dry chlorine products soared in 2021 due to concerns about shortages and remained high through the summer of 2022.

Understanding The Correlation Between BioLab & Price Increases

The conditions for a sudden surge in the price for chlorine stemmed partly from the fact that BioLab was out of commission. The main factor that was driving prices to explode during the past two years was largely due to the pandemic in general.

A large percentage of the population was quarantined, which meant more people than ever before, were at home and using their swimming pool. This put a much higher glut on demand than anticipated. With the pandemic shutting many plants down, and logistical delays plaguing distributors throughout most of 2021, these conditions as well as rising inflation in 2022 kept prices high through the summer.

The reopening of the BioLab facility will certainly impact the supply chain in a positive way. “BioLab will be actively supplying the pool market for the 2023 season which should provide some relief,” said plant manager Donald Brunette.

BioLab ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating the reopening of the Westlake, LA facility.

Prices are predicted to begin dropping a bit in light of that fact but will certainly not sink lower than they were prior to the pandemic. As the population starts to adjust to a post-Covid world, the surge we saw for swimming pools has already begun to recalibrate to pre-pandemic levels. The only remaining catalyst for keeping chlorine prices from truly resetting back to 2020 is the cumulative rate of inflation is roughly 14.7% higher than in 2020.

While this should certainly factor into the equation, most experts agree that with this news, the chlorine shortage is finally over and a bucket of chlorine tablets should cost substantially less next summer than it has in previous years. This comes as welcome news for both consumers and pool professionals.

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Ultimate Water Taps Jeff Jones for Sales of Chlorine Genie

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Jeff Jones

Ultimate Water, whose flagship product is the Chlorine Genie, is pleased to announce the addition of industry veteran Jeff Jones as the new Regional Sales Manager and Buying Group Liaison for the company’s residential and commercial divisions.  Based out of Texas, Jones has been in the swimming pool industry for over 40 years spanning a broad range of roles including the VP of Sales for DEL Ozone, National Sales Manager for Letro Products, as well as work in construction management and sales for Blue Haven and Riverbend Pools.  Most recently Jones managed buying group sales for Florida Water Products. 

“We are very pleased to have Jeff join our team,” says Thomas Vessiere, National Sales Director for Ultimate Water.  “Jeff brings deep experience, industry knowledge, and strong relationships that will be especially helpful as the demand for the Chlorine Genie grows exponentially in our industry.” 

Having sold and designed pool water sanitation systems for many years, Jones is very enthusiastic about being a part of the growing success of the Chlorine Genie.  “The design and functionality of the Chlorine Genie makes it an ideal product for our industry and is especially welcome right now as builders, retailers and service professionals grapple with the most efficient way to continuously produce chlorine safely, cost effectively and immediately for their customers,” explains Jones. 

Jones will be at the AQUALive Show booth # 416 and can be reached directly at [email protected] or by calling 214-415-2510.

More information about the Chlorine Genie can be found at:

www.chlorinegenie.com

San Diego, CA

(800) 970-7616

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A Borates Shortage is Looming on The Horizon

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A Borates Shortage is Looming on The Horizon

One of the specialty chemicals being talked about a lot in light of the chlorine shortages and rising prices are borates. As strong proponents of borates, it troubles us to say that our go-to sanitzer supplement may soon be facing the same shortages and rising costs that we’ve been seeing on the trichlor side.

What The Boron Shortage Means For The Pool Industry

If you’re in the pool business you already know, borates are becoming increasingly difficult to find. What inventory is available is vastly more expensive than in previous years. We’re already knee-deep into the dog days of summer and prices for chlorine have skyrocketed well past analysts’ projections.

A lot of pool service professionals have been turning to borates as the savior during this time of inflation and rising prices. Many technicians already use borates as a buffer against upwards shifting pH. When your pH level rises above what is deemed “normal” (about 7.8), using borates achieves optimum results.

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Pool service professionals have been turning to borates in a time of rising prices for sanitizers like trichlor.

Why Pool Professionals Are Turning To Borates

Bacteria can thrive in water with a high pH level. When this happens it makes chlorine less effective. Pool professionals use borates to alleviate the issue, because it works to keep pH from drifting upward. In addition, there are other positive aspects to using borates in your pool. For one, it keeps the pool clear of algae and calcium scaling. Pool equipment repair specialists will be the first ones to recommend borates. When it comes to maintaining ideal water chemistry for your pool equipment, borates does an amazing job.

For the past few years, the adoption of borates by pool pros has steadily increased season after season. The concern now is that we may have hit maximum capacity as demand has increased well beyond available inventory.

Dwindling Boron Supplies Driving Prices Higher

The global boron market shortage is driving prices higher this season. For those who’ve been thinking of switching to using borates, this definitely is something to consider. When it comes to getting trichlor at affordable rates, it already feels that pool pros are a lower priority as far as it goes to maintaining pricing structures. Now, it appears the same thing has begun happening with borates.

Although borates and boric acid are near synonymous with pools, the swimming pool industry itself is actually a lower priority in terms of its consumption of boron. The industrial glass industry is the largest consumer of boron, roughly 48%, followed by the ceramics industry (15%) and agricultural industry (15%); the cleaning industry of which the pool industry represents a fraction consumes roughly 2% of the world’s boron.

Boron is in high demand. There are a myriad of applications for it aside from pool cleaning.

You’ll find boron in everything from industrial fertilizers to high-end ceramics and solar panels. Boron also has medical applications which improve wound healing and boosts the body’s usage of estrogen, testosterone, and vitamin D. It improves magnesium absorption, reduces inflammation, increases antioxidants, and boosts brain electrical activity in both cognitive performance as well as short-term memory.

What is absolutely certain is that we (the pool industry) didn’t cause a borates shortage. Clearly, demand is higher in these other industries which are causing prices to surge. Right now the boron supply chain is very weak. Over 60% of the material comes from mines located in Turkey which is the top producer, followed by Russia, South America and the United States.

For the time being, production is gradually declining. As existing boron reserves deplete, we’re seeing demand far exceed supplies, resulting in higher prices such as $1,250 per ton, far exceeding analysts’ predictions for $739 per ton.

While the demand in the U.S. by pool professionals may be high, the top consumer of boron is China, followed by India and Japan. Boron is produced domestically only in the State of California and it appears very little of it is earmarked towards maintaining supply chains for borates.

Final Thoughts

The story isn’t all doom and gloom for pool professionals who want to switch to borates. Fortunately, folks like Natural Chemistry, Brenntag, and others are still intent on keeping inventory on the shelves so you should still be able to find their products through distribution. If they don’t have borates available, demand that they replenish their stock. This may be the only way to guarantee the pool industry remains a priority at all.

Listen to our entire discussion on the Talking Pools podcast.

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