The key to maintaining crystalclear and hygienic swimming pool water lies in effective filtration. Over the years, swimming pool filtration has evolved significantly, with the emergence of three basic methods: sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth (DE).
Sand filtration is the oldest and most common method used in swimming pools. It employs a tank filled with fine sand as the filtering medium. As water passes through the tank, suspended particles are trapped in the sand bed, allowing clean water to return to the pool. Sand filters are reliable and require minimal maintenance, but they may not capture smaller particles effectively.
Cartridge filtration utilizes replaceable filter cartridges made of pleated fabric. The cartridges contain a dense network of fibers that effectively trap debris, sediment, and contaminants. Cartridge filters offer excellent filtration performance, high water flow rates, and ease of maintenance. However, they can become clogged quickly and may require frequent cleaning or replacement.
DE filtration involves using a filter grid coated with diatomaceous earth, a fine powder derived from fossilized aquatic organisms. The DE acts as a sieve, capturing even the tiniest particles and impurities in the water. DE filters provide exceptional filtration quality and are highly effective at removing microscopic contaminants. Nonetheless, they demand regular backwashing and the replenishment of the DE powder.
While these traditional methods have served the industry well, recent advancements have introduced intriguing new alternatives that promise enhanced efficiency, sustainability, and water quality. This issue of Service Industry News will explore some of the innovative filtration technologies that are revolutionizing the world of swimming pool maintenance.
For example, zeolite, a naturally occurring mineral, has emerged as an alternative filter medium for sand filters. Zeolite is known for its ability to remove fine particles, ammonia, and heavy metals from pool water. These filters exhibit increased filtration capacity, require less frequent backwashing, and contribute to water conservation by reducing water wastage during the cleaning process. They are also said to reduce chloramines, which can cause eye and skin irritation.
Activated Filter Media (AFM
) is an advanced activated glass filter media that offers excellent filtration performance. It provides enhanced mechanical and electrostatic filtration, effectively removing particles and contaminants from the water. AFM has a self-sterilizing surface that prevents bacterial growth and requires minimal maintenance. It is a direct replacement for sand that offers extended filter life and improved water quality. Learn more about AFM on page ___ of this issue.
Perlite is a lightweight, porous material that can be used as a substitute for DE. It is made from volcanic glass that has been heated to create a porous structure. Perlite filter media can effectively trap small particles and provide efficient filtration. It is easy to handle and offers good flow rates. Perlite requires regular backwashing, similar to DE, and can be used in grid filters.
Similarly, fiber filter media, such as cellulose or polyester fibers, can also serve as an alternative to DE. These fibers are designed to capture and retain small particles and debris from the water. They are typically easy to maintain and can last longer than DE without the need for frequent replacement.
And as the demand for sustainable and eco-friendly solutions grows, it is exciting to witness the continuous evolution of swimming pool filtration. These advancements not only offer superior water quality but also contribute to water and chemical savings, which is an increasingly important concern for our industry.