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Technology implementation brings benefits in some very important areas:

Cost reduction

 

Cost optimisation through monitoring

The management of public swimming pools requires significant financial resources. The consumption of electricity, water, disinfectants and other consumables is a major part of operating costs. Reducing their consumption requires accurate data to be analysed and optimised. To this end, it is mandatory to monitor the following key parameters:

  • Energy consumption
  • Water consumption
  • Cost of chemicals and consumables

Electricity

A large amount of electricity is required for the operation of swimming pools, particularly for the filtration, heating and lighting systems. A study carried out by Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council in the UK shows how a 24% reduction in electricity consumption and a 30% reduction in gas consumption in swimming centres can be achieved simply by setting up a system to monitor electricity consumption in real time, as well as by training staff and raising awareness regarding energy efficiency issues. The same study shows that HVAC heat recovery and heating and dehumidification with a heat pump can reduce HVAC energy use by 50–80% compared to conventional open air extraction systems. And the use of variable-speed pumps can reduce electricity consumption by up to 80%.

 

Water

Filtration and backwash optimisation

The backwash process should not take more than 3–5 minutes and the subsequent flushing of the pipes – up to 15–30 seconds. It is important that all pool maintenance procedures, including backwashing, are clearly explained and staff is well trained. Optimising the backwash frequency depending on the filter pressure rather than at regular intervals reduces the backwash water consumption by more than 50%. For example, if sand filters are backwashed for five minutes every three days instead of five minutes every day, 1,500 litres of water per day or 550 m3 per year can be saved. If reverse osmosis is used, up to 65% of the backwash water can be reused, resulting in saving about 500 m3 per year (Hazell et al.). Showers and toilets in changing rooms are also a serious source of water consumption. But savings can be made if a low-flow, long-life shower is installed.

  • Recirculation of backwash water
  • Disinfection
  • Energy efficiency
  • Water saving

 

The use of pool covers, for example, reduces evaporation losses in outdoor pools in warm climates by 200 litres per day. This figure reaches nearly 1,000 litres per day for indoor heated pools. The covers also reduce pool heating and ventilation energy consumption by 10–30% according to Carbon Trust.

Chemicals

The disinfection of public swimming pools is usually carried out using chlorine by dosing compounds such as calcium and sodium hypochlorite. Chlorine compounds react with organic matter to form chloramines, disinfection by-products that irritate the eyes and can form carcinogenic trihalomethanes when added in large doses.

Properly organized filtration and disinfection of the swimming pool can significantly reduce the need to add chlorine. Disinfecting pool water with ultraviolet light can reduce chlorine use by up to 30% and reduce the need to top up water. In addition to the environmental benefits associated with reduced resource use and air emissions, reducing the use of chemicals can also have the environmental benefit of reducing the toxic impact of wastewater.

 

Using pool covers, carefully regulating temperature and chemical levels, maintaining proper water levels, and carefully monitoring backwash filters can significantly reduce water and energy consumption. Wastewater can be filtered and used for irrigation. Careful (automatic) control of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems in indoor swimming pools can reduce heating energy consumption. Controlling the flow of water through filters can also reduce energy consumption, especially in combination with variable-speed pumps.

 

Monitoring and benchmarking

In the absence of sufficient data on the consumption of water, energy and chemicals in public pools, there is no way to propose performance benchmarks for these public pools. Frequent reading (ideally on a daily basis) of consumption data can provide useful information on system problems and maintenance needs. Automatic monitoring systems should be installed for this purpose.

Improving safety and comfort

Health and safety for all

Significant reduction in chemicals used for disinfection

Technology implementation eliminates the addition of excessive amounts of chlorine typically seen in conventional treatment. The process has been replaced with a much healthier and easier way of obtaining it. The technology ensures a healthy and safe environment for everyone – both swimmers and those working in the facility. Clean water in the pool predetermines the overall improvement of the indoor pool environment – the air is fresh and completely healthy, there aren’t any harmful chloramines.

Comfort without compromise

Anyone who has been in an indoor swimming pool has encountered the unpleasant side effects such as strong chlorine smell, eye and skin irritation, etc. So far, this has been seen as a “necessary compromise” as it is more important that the water is disinfected. By using automated technology, side effects are eliminated and comfort is not at the expense of safety. It monitors the overall chemical balance of the water in real time and there aren’t any harmful by-products.

The maintenance process is much safer

The implemented system works constantly – it monitors and controls 24/7/365, i.e. there are no moments when disinfectants are reduced until the next intervention of the person in charge of the pool or moments when they are just added and create discomfort for bathers at that particular moment. This capability to monitor and control in real time ensures process safety and efficiency, and gives confidence to those responsible for maintenance. The risk in the process of delivery, handling and storage of hazardous chemicals is also eliminated.

Environmental friendliness

No toxic waste

The technology eliminates the need to ship toxic chemicals in their respective plastic packaging which, once used, is classified as “toxic waste” and is very difficult to recycle.

No harmful chemical compounds

The disinfection methods used by the system do not create any harmful chemical compounds that will later be dumped down the drain (when the filter is washed, or the pool is completely emptied).

Awareness, confidence, trust

Implementing the system gives the pool owner and operator a practical solution for the maintenance process. This way, in addition to better understanding and real-time monitoring of the processes, they have a technological tool for prevention and control.

 

Helps ensure legal compliance of public swimming pools

The implementation of the technology makes it possible to comply with all legal norms and standards set by the European standardisation organisations listed in Directive 98/34/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, as amended by Directive 98/48/EC.

The Bulgarian Institute for Standardization is the organisation that provides a complete set of standards for the construction and management of swimming pools.

 For public swimming pools:

  • EN 15288-1 Safety requirements for design;
  • EN 15288-2 Safety requirements for operation;
  • EN 13451- from 1 to 11: include swimming pool equipment, general safety requirements and test methods for equipment installed in pools for public use, including ladders, handrails, platforms and springboards, associated equipment, etc.

For private swimming pools:

  • EN 17645: Environmental performance efficiency. Performance evaluation, methodology, and classification of the use of outdoor pools and their equipment;
  • EN 16582: General requirements including safety and test methods;
  • IEC 60364: Low-voltage electrical installations.

With regard to the standards for the safety of swimming pools and the physico-chemical properties of the water, as well as with regard to the requirements for the maintenance and control of the hygiene of the facilities, the quality of the preparations used for disinfection and water purification, certain mandatory regulations and legal norms are applicable in Bulgaria with which the implementation of the technology complies and which are:

  • Regulation on proper and safe technical operation and maintenance of elements for incorporation, filtration and pumps for swimming pools which entered into force on 12.7.2019 and is issued pursuant to Article 164 of the Tourism Act;
  • Regulation 34 on the hygiene of sports facilities and equipment;
  • Energy Efficiency Act with Directive 2009/125/EC, as amended by Directive 2012/27/EU, and Regulation (EC) No 640/2009 repealed by Regulation (EU) 2019/1781, as amended by Regulation (EU) 2021/341.

All the referenced standards and legal norms that the implemented technology complies with aim to increase the safety of people, quality of service and energy efficiency while reducing the costs of management, maintenance and servicing of public and private swimming pools.

 

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