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Recreational Water Illnesses (RWI)

Common Problems Effecting Commercial Swim Facilities


E. Coli Cryptosporidium Giardia

Recreational Water Illnesses (RWI) are caused by germs that include: Cryptosporidium, Giardia and E. Coli. Spread by bathers swallowing fecal matter, RWI's are a common problem in public swimming facilities.

UV Disinfection inactivates Cryptosporidium spp. and other harmful waterborne pathogens instantly!

It's true, with a UV System sized correctly (considering the largest target microorganism's uv dose requirement in conjunction with the pool's flow rate) RWI's can be inactivated with each pass through the UV vessel.

Chlorine can kill those contaminants, but in certain cases may take up to 10 days.


E. Coli 0157:H7 (Bacterium)   <<1 minute
Hepatitis A (Virus)   approximately 16 minutes
Giardia (Parasite)   approximately 45 minutes
Cryptosporidium (Parasite)   approximately 15300 minutes (10.6 days)

  • 1 mg/L (1ppm) free-chlorine at pH 7.5 and 25° C (77° F)
  • These disinfectant times are only for pools that don not use chlorine stabilizers such as cyanuric acid. Disinfection times would be expected to be longer in the presence of a chlorine stabilizer.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) - June 2008

In 2003-2004 Giardia sp. and Cryptosporidium spp. were responsible for 61.2% of gastroenteritis outbreaks associated with treated swimming pool venues (e.g. swimming pool, water parks) in the United States. Cryptosporidium's key role in these outbreaks is likely because of its small size, low infectious dose and high tolerance to chlorine. Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia intestinalis have been found in swimming pool filter backwash during outbreaks. To determine baseline prevalence, the CDC sampled pools not associated with outbreaks and found that out of 160 sampled pools, 13 (8.1%) were positive for one or both parasites; 10 (6.2%) for Giardia sp., 2 (1.2%) for Cryptosporidium spp. and 1 (0.6%) for both.

-Reference; CDC volume 14, number 6 - June 2008

CLICK HERE for Full Study


  Bacteria E.Coli 6.6 mJ/cm²
  Protozoa Cryptosporidium sp. 36 mJ/cm²
  Protozoa Giardia intestinalis 34 mJ/cm²

SafeGUARD UV Systems

Low-Pressure UV Systems are the ANSWER!

Establishing a bio-secure swimming facility begins at the pool design stage. Brake-through research in the past few years establishes Low-Pressure UV Systems as the proven solution to harmful waterborne pathogen problems and irritating chloramines. Additionally, Low-Pressure UV Systems reduce Free-Chlorine usage.

View Lamp Information

The United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends supplementary in-line disinfection
(e.g. UV treatment) to inactivate cryptosporidium spp. and improve water quality.


SafeGUARD UV Sterilizers
SafeGUARD CLP Series UV Sterilizers
SafeGUARD CLS Series UV Sterilizers


Prerequisites of achieving successful UV Disinfection

  • Identify the "Target Microorganism", consider its physical and life cycle characteristics
  • Determine its "Required" UV Dose
  • Determine the condition of the water to be treated (water temperature & UV transmissibility)
  • Contact your UV manufacturer, ask questions regarding their UV equipment's capacity compared
    to your specific needs
  • Select the UV Sterilizer model that best suits your application requirements
 
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