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What Happens When Cyanuric Acid Levels Get Too High?

Chlorine can become less effective at killing dangerous microorganisms. Experts seek legislation to mandate usage.

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Most swimming pool service professionals use cyanuric acid as part of their toolkit in maintaining outdoor pools for their customers. Cyanuric acid was first invented in 1829 as a sanitizing agent and has been used ever since for keeping chlorinated inground pools clean.

Lawmakers Seek Legislation To Mitigate Usage of Cyanuric Acid

Cyanuric acid has gotten quite a bad wrap as lawmakers and scients alike take issue with the potential dangerous overuse in residential and commerical pools. They represent that Cyanuric acid may cause pool maintenance issues as well as public health problems. In contradiction, some public health inspectors mandate the use of cyanuric acid, while others ban it entirely from public pools. The industry can’t seem to make up it’s mind if Cyanuric Acid is beneficial or not. Let’s explore the issue further.

CYA is technically an acid but is unlike muriatic acid, which is commonly used in pool service for adjusting pH levels in the pool chemistry.

What is the difference between Cyanuric Acid & Muriatic Acid?

Cyanuric acid is sold on it’s own or can be bought in combination as an additive to chlorine tablets. It quickly dissolves in water and doesn’t have any adverse effects on water hardness, alkalinity or pH levels. It’s often used as a conditioner or chlorine stablizer and basically protects the chlorine from the sun while it disinfects the pool.

A chlorinated swimming pool with CYA will stay chlorinated on the sunniest day, but the same pool without a stablizer in it will dissipate it’s chlorine in just a few hours.  Cyanruic acid builds up over time with each application.

CYA has many important benefits that make it easier and most cost efficient to maintain your inground pool over the life of ownership. It allows for weekly maintenance instead of daily maintenance and way less green-to-clean scenarios for pool service maintenance professionals.

The market for CYA has been incredible with a $300 million dollar a year cottage industry. Unfortunately, the overuse of this product has created some practical cases for legislation to create oversight and moderation of it’s usage.

When CYA levels become too high, it renders chlorine ineffective to killing dangerous microorganisms in the water such as cryptospordium parvum which causes gastrointestinal illnesses similar to Giardia.

What to know about Cyanuric Acid

What Happens When Cyanuric Acid Levels Get Too High

Chlorine’s potential to oxidize, often measured as oxidation reduction potential (ORP), is a good indicator of chlorine’s effectiveness.

Over the years, numerous independent and academic research initiatives have shown that when cyanuric levels build up in the pool, ORP levels consistently drop, indicating that the effectiveness of chlorine diminishes. In addition, there is a clear correlation between increased levels of cyanuric acid and the time it takes to effectively kill bacteria present in pool water.

Furthermore, at high levels of cyanuric acid, chlorine is rendered ineffective in killing the most dangerous microorganisms in the water: cryptosporidium parvum. The CDC says that CYA levels as low as 10- to 20 ppm under hyperchlorinated conditions arent sufficient enough to inactivate the necessary 99.9 percent of cryptosporidium parvum in pool water

Cryptosporidium parvum, or crypto, is a chlorine-resistant microorganism that causes gastrointestinal illness, similar to that of Giardia, which reproduces in the gut of humans. They recommend a free chlorine concentration of 20 ppm for 32 hours (CT=15,300 mg*min/L).

When CYA levels get to high, the only solution is draining and starting over or dillution through reverse osmosis. It’s important to train the industry on the proper use of CYA to mitigate over usage. Poolside kits are often available but seldom utilized.

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

Latham Pool Products Hires New Chief Information Officer

Kaushal Dhruv joins Latham Pool Products as new CIO.

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Kaushal Dhruv named new CIO of Latham Pool Products
Photo: Latham Pool Products

Fiberglass pool and vinyl liner maker Latham Pool Products has decided to hire a new Chief Information Officer for their corporation.

Kaushal Dhruv the new CIO will provide support and leadership to both the IT (Information Technology) team as well as the project management staff. Latham President/CEO Scott Rajeski is Kaushal’s direct report.

“We are on an exciting growth journey, complete with changes that will continue to propel Latham’s position …”

Kaushal Dhruv new CIO for Latham Pool Products

Kaushal comes from a diverse background in technology where he had 16 years of experience consulting with CIO and CTOs of Fortune 500 Companies. Kaushal was also Director of Technology for KPMG. Kaushal is extremely well educated. He has a Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering from the University at Mumbai, a Masters in Information Management from Syracuse University as well as a Masters in Engineering Management from the Martin J. Whitman School of Management, and a Bachelors in Computer Engineering from the Pune Institute of Computer Technology.

Said Latham Pool Products CEO, Scott Rajeski:

“[Kaushal’s] extensive experience and knowledge provide Latham with the proper leadership to continue driving our progress in North America and abroad.”

More about Latham Pool Products
Find products, contact information and articles about Latham Pool Products

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Pool Water: Why Swimmer Hygiene is Important

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Pool Water: Why Swimmer Hygiene is Important

A majority of swimmers are aware of the job pool professionals do, in maintaining pool water hygiene standards. Pool hygiene is not only bent for pool cleaners but also the swimmers. Some swimmers are ignorant of the roles they ought to play in the maintenance of pool hygiene levels for a safe and healthy experience.

Pool Water: Why Swimmer Hygiene is Important

Good swimmer hygiene practices enable the swimmer to maintain high standard quality pool water. This reduces the spread of contaminated water-related illnesses. Some practices include having a bath before entering the pool, avoiding excreting in pools whether by urinating or defecating. Also, do not take a swim if you are experiencing diarrhea.

The Water Quality & Health Council first investigated the subject of swimmer hygiene in the year 2009. The survey featured issues such as pooping and peeing in the swimming pool. The WQHC released its study findings in 2011, after a public lobby.

The research revealed that 47% of Americans agree to unhygienic practices in public pools. This featured 17% who admitted to urinating in the pool, and 35% concur that they do not take a shower before getting into the pools.

In 2012, WQHC conducted similar research and discovered that 68%of the United States citizens, still don’t shower before a swim while 44% find a pre-swim bath as unneeded.

Effects of poor swimmer’s hygiene 

The pool water chemistry is usually altered by components such as body oils, urine, sweat, fecal substances and cosmetics. Sweat and urine, which are nitrogen compounds, react with the chlorine ions in the water forming irritable chloramines. The effects of chloramines like itchy skin, red, irritated eyes are at times confused for high levels of chlorine by swimmers.

Poor hygiene practices are a major contributory factor in high chloramines levels. Swimmers who add to this water impurities exhaust-free chlorine levels. They end up risking their well-being and exposure to waterborne sicknesses.

A swimmer often gets an ear infection in the canal. This develops when the micro-organisms in contaminated pool water penetrate in the ear canal. The micro-organisms create an enabling environment favorable for bacterial growth and infecting the skin. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reports 2011, states that swimmer’s ear infections recorded 2.4 million hospital visits and about $500 million yearly healthcare expenses between 2003-2007.

There is a common myth that pool water contains a dye that turns to red, circulating those that pee in the water. However, the swimmer’s red eyes are the only sure way to determine contaminated water.

The use of an EPA- registered sanitizer & regulating chlorine levels between 1 to 4 ppm, gets rid of the majority of popular water bacteria even those that cause swimmer’s ears and red eyes.

Promoting Good Swimmer Hygiene Practices

Take a pre and post-shower: 

Health department codes encourage swimmer hygiene by advising on a pre-swim shower. To achieve these facilities require to have a clean, user-friendly bathroom. Dirty facilities can discourage swimmers from using their facilities, therefore breaking this important hygiene rule. Pre-showers removes any contaminants from your body, such as body lotions and sweat, to avoid transferring them to water. A 

study in Netherlands 2012, discovered that a 1-minute bath removes the most of body’s impurity. A post-shower eliminates any impurities from the pool water from your body.

Regular restroom breaks:

Frequent bathroom breaks for children and adults can help reduce urinating and defecating in the pool water. Lack of these facilities around the backyard pool area or if they are poorly maintained can be a leading factor as to why swimmers opt to excrete in the pools.

Avoid consumption of pool water:

Sometimes water can get into the swimmer’s mouth unintentionally, especially for young kids. When this happens, you shouldn’t consume the water as it contains harmful chemicals not meant for human use. Consuming pool water can lead to stomach complications as well as vomiting and diarrhea.

Do not swim when unwell:

Swimmers who are unwell should keep off the pool area until they feel better. Such can include those who are vomiting or diarrhea to avoid contaminating the pool water before they could get to the restroom. Moreover, those with an open wound, especially from a surgical operation, ought to avoid swimming until the wound is comply healed and covered. This is due to the pressure of pool water which can worsen the open wound, causing complications. Furthermore, bacteria in the pools can come into contact with the open wound leading to a serious condition.

Educating the public:

WOHC advises of incorporation of swimmer hygiene education, especially in health classes or swimming lessons. Pool staffs can use educational posters available from CDC, to create awareness to the swimmers.

Good swimming hygiene practices are for the benefit of all to enjoy the amazing summer experience by the pools.

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Pools Installation: Growth of Pool and Spa Business despite the Pandemic

Pool and spa business is prospering amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer is approaching, and consumers want to enjoy an exquisite backyard pool installation

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Pools Installation: Growth of Pool and Spa Business despite the Pandemic

Reports indicate that the pool and spa business is prospering amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Summer is approaching, and consumers want to enjoy an exquisite backyard pool installation experience in their staycation. Consumers demand on pool maintenance products and services, renovations, new structures is on the rise. Social distancing rules affected so many businesses in their sales, but not all industries felt the wrath. The pool and spa industry survived the heat due to the following factors;

Pools Installation: Growth of Pool and Spa Business despite the Pandemic

1.  New pool installation

The demand is high because it is the only option to enjoy summer. Most clients are contacting contractors to have pools installed in their backyard.

2.  Existing pools

Homeowners want to bring the summer experience closer by improving their backyard experience. This is because they have to stay indoors and have no other option. Maintaining their pool throughout summer created a niche that the professionals in this industry took advantage of.

High loan application demands

Sarah Bess, the marketing director of Lyon Financial, specializing in loans for outdoor improvements, focusing on the pool, admits to the increase in business sales during this time. She adds that they expected a 20% increase in their sales this year. Then in March, the outbreak happened to create a lot of uncertainties and confusion. The sales went down for a short period, and it was discouraging. In April, there was a sudden and unbelievable rise in sales. The customer demand was too high, and the company was making good proceeds. This situation required that they add 10–15 employees to meet the customers’ demand.

If the sales happen to decrease in June or July, it still won’t take them back to where they were. The increase came about by the idea that clients have an exceptional backyard. It is not all about the pools, but the outdoor experience. Other industries that deal with the construction of the outdoor kitchen, covered porches, gazebos, etc., recorded a great increase in sales. Customers want to invest in their backyard pool installation for summer as well as for future security.

Safety precautions and retail businesses

The health crisis affected retail businesses. This is because of the social distancing rule, and clients find it hard to go to the stores to buy goods. Some retail stores adjusted to the situation to ensure they maximize their sales. They adopted methods such as delivery & curbside pick up. Companies such as Aqua Tech in Winnipeg, Manitoba, dismiss claims of the effects on retails stalls. For them, they adopted the use of contactless water testing. It is advantageous because they can still stay indoors, manage time, and it’s effective for clients. They hope to continue with these services even after the pandemic. Aqua tech, now offers services like chemical only pool maintenance & water sample pick up for those unable to go to the stores. They are dealing with the situation in ways that are appealing to the customer. The crisis was a concern, but they have managed to keep up with the sales. Previously, they only received 2-3 calls a day, now they receive 5-10 calls in an hour. Additionally, the employees have had to organize themselves effectively.

Economic achievements

Richard’s Total Backyard in Houston, Texas, set a new financial record in April. It is now a trend in all these outdoor products industries. Cristina Nikolov, a social media marketing manager, recalls a company meeting held at the beginning of March. They had lost hope there would be anyone willing to contract with them at this time. She even told the staff members that they should prepare for bad times.

Then came the Easter Weekend, and the flow of work was unexpected. It was a hectic month for the company, and she would now ask designers to be fast so that they can meet all the clients. Julie Richard, the Vice President, said that the surge was a result of the client’s mindset. No one is certain about the future or when the lockdown will come to an end. This uncertainty has had clients opt to improve their backyards so that whatever happens, they can still enjoy their time from the luxuries of their own home. Employees and designers have had to work overtime to manage all the clients. The month of April is the best financial year in the Companies history. It is not only pools that are marketable, but also hot tubs. For Richard, he just put up a message to reach out to clients that they can have their hot tubs installed and enjoy their stay at home. That opened up a big business opportunity for the company. Crews are sent daily to install hot tubs or renovate them for their clients on weekends to reduce the workload.

Construction

The government has been supportive of this course of a backyard experience. Many companies have earned a good sum during this time because the government has allowed them to maintain their operations.The owner of Berggren’s Backyard Oasis Pool Construction in Wenatchee, Micheal Berggren, also experienced the same surge in his business.

The governor of his state realizes the importance of pools in summer and can carry out their business with support from the state. They were able to do four times what they do in a year in equipment sets and cover replacement. He, however, still hopes that things will return to normal because of a few strains caused by the changes. They have to get frequent permission from the state authorities and following up with all the safety measures. He does appreciate this time as well, that was a boost to his business. He notes that the most important thing is that people get paid their salaries to feed their families.

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