SafeWater Scandinavia's product REDUTRI is a unique and patented product and method that enhances the environment in swimming facilities for swimmers as well as staff.
The Environment in Swimming Facilities
Trichloramines and the environment
Chloramines is an undesired byproduct formed when amino substances from the swimmers react with the free chlorine, used as disinfection agent in the pools. Trichloramine is a gas and evaporates from the pool water. This entails health hazards for people and makes the swimming facility smell bad.
At certain concentrations, trichloramines are perceived by swimmers as being very unpleasant. In view of health hazards connected to trichloramines, it is vital to know why measuring is important and how it is performed in the most efficient way.
REDUTRI is a recently developed patented method and product aimed at reducing the trichloramine gas leaving the pool water. Proven results show REDUTRI to be the superior solution to the trichloramine problem.
Chloramines are formed in swimming pools from reactions between amines (sweat/skin particles/urine) that emanate from the swimming guests' bodies and free chlorine, which is the most effective and the most commonly used disinfectant in public pools.
Trichloramines are not soluble in water and leave the water as a gas (particularly, but not only, when water is splashed) and this is when visitors can detect the particular chlorine smell.
The asthma agent!
Trichloramines are instrumental in creating asthma reactions by the swimmers. This is the main reason why the Swedish Public Health Authority (Folkhälsomyndigheten or FHM) recently recommended a new max value for trichloramines at a level of 0.2 mg/m3 measured at the edge of the pools.
According to scientific studies (FHM: Vägledning om bassängbad, Feb 2021) , trichloramines is a gas, hazardous for frequent inhalation at concentrations above 0.3 mg/m3, which is why FHM has chosen 0.2 mg/m3 to have some margin.
Trichloramines and elite swimmers
In a major Swedish scientific study (Romberg/Bremer: Allergi in Prakxsis, 2/2012) 100 elite swimmers were studied (practicing in a pool from 10 - 40 hours per week, inhaling air just above the water surface). In this group, some 60% showed symptoms of asthma, although none of these young persons were asthmatic to start with. The symptoms were from very light to quite evident and severe. Many elite swimmers continue their practice and their swimming careers, despite their asthma problems, whereas (too) many have been forced to abandon their swimming careers.
Trichloramines and sensitive groups
It must be emphasized, the importance to have a low trichloramine count by pools where therapy swimming and particularly baby swim take place. Very often asthmatic children receive prescriptions to train their lungs by swimming - a therapy that evidently should only take place in pools with low trichloramine count, where their asthma problems are not increased.
Reduction of trichloramines -
not only a health issue
Reduced levels of trichloramines in a swimming facility, entails a not negligible potential of energy savings in the ventilation system. Likewise does a reduction of trichloramine - a gas that is highly corrosive - carry an important potential for increased life span for the ventilation system and the swimming facility in general.
Detection, Control and Measuring
Trichloramine is perceived by visitors as an unpleasant acrid smell, causing discomfort. It should be noted that in SafeWater's experience, this perception is only apparent at counts above 0.6 mg/m3 - three times higher than the level established as a guideline by FHM! This means that a swimming facility, where there is no apparent "smell of chlorine", very well can constitute a health hazard for frequent visitors.
All Swedish public swimming facilities are required to have a good control of their health-related status, which entails a required control and measuring of trichloramine count around all their pools. To be noted, measuring should be executed when the number of visitors is above average.
Trichloramine count is established by air sampling, with air passing specially prepared filters, that are subsequently analysed at an accredited laboratory. Measuring in Swedish public swimming facilities should be made according to methods and with equipment well specified by the FHM.
Available technical measuring equipment does not allow air sampling at the very water surface, where swimmers inhale. The sampling place prescribed by FHM (0.5 m above and 0.2 m inside the pool edge over the water) is thus the best and practically most relevant measuring position.
Control and measuring should be executed also relating to outdoor public pools. The fact that possible wind creates a non-relevant measure (relating to the swimmers point of inhalation), can be compensated by taking air samples from water taken out of the pool's cleaning circuit (a measurment method called the Chalmers method), which is a fair, accurate simulation of trichloramine count without the effect from ventilation.
Reduction of trichloramines - REDUTRI
The perceived improvement of the indoor swimming environment accomplished the last ten to twenty years is a combination of improved ventilation and improved water cleaning equipment. Through an increased intake of outdoor air into the indoor environment, the impact of trichloramine is diluted and diminished with a less unpleasant environment as a result. The energy cost for this method is however high, particularly in Nordic climate, where outdoor air need to be heated (from sometimes very low temperatures) up to plus 30 degrees centigrade, before it is distributed into the ventilation system.
Cleaning equipment, like UV light and active coal filters have resulted in improvements, but is not sufficient for solving the overall issue with trichloramines.
New method and new equipment
SafeWater Scandinavia has developed, in cooperation with scientists at the Chalmers University of Technology, a method and equipment called REDUTRI, subsequently patented.
REDUTRI is installed as a complement to present cleaning equipment and is composed by electrolysis cells, through which the water in the purification loop is passing. The water from the pool, passing through the electrolysis cells, is subject to an electrochemical process that splits the chloramine molecules formed in the pool. Free chlorine is regenerated and harmless nitrogen molecules are released. The process is conducted with very low voltage, with the result that no unwanted by-products are formed.
REDUTRI documented results
REDUTRI has been installed at a number of swimming facilities in Sweden (see attached case studies) and proves to be the most efficient equipment and method to bring a solution to the trichloramine problem. Better results have been reached with REDUTRI, than with UV light and active carbon filters. In addition, REDUTRI can be installed as a complement to such equipment, where significant improvements are documented.
REDUTRI, according to documented tests, will achieve from 30 to 75% decrease of trichloramine count measured.
When installed in more adventure-oriented facilities - with much water splash - REDUTRI has taken away the unpleasant smell. Also, when installed in more traditional pools, a significant reduction of trichloramine count has been achieved. This goes to prove that even the very strict guideline values of trichloramine count, can be met with REDUTRI.
Below, three case studies of REDUTRI installations are shown. Click on them to view in full-size.