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Future for Pools
The second virtual PWTAG conference once again ran smoothly, looking to the future of a post-pandemic environment and sharing learnings from the past 12 months. The conference hosted a variety of speakers from across Europe and the US with pre-recorded presentations and live question and answer sessions as well as interactive workshops during the afternoon session with access to virtual sponsor rooms interspersed throughout the day. Those who attended the day have access to the sessions but if you were unable to attend on the day this access can still be granted for the cost of the conference (£34+VAT for members and (£40+VAT for non-members), please contact email@example.com for more details and to arrange.
Tom Devin kicked the conference off looking at pool sustainability and addressing what can be done to target net zero carbon in the operation of a pool water treatment systems and providing a safe and appealing pool environment.
This was followed by Steve Carder detailing the operation of ceramic filters and the 3 mircron systems operated by Total Pool Filtration. The presentation examined the water quality being delivered along with engineering operational issues.
Maarten Keuten and Jan Bakker introduced the topic of high chlorate levels in Dutch swimming pools and considered whether these were as a result of the pandemic or were in place prior to March 2020. The presentation showed the results of a study completed by the Dutch Health organisation along with some specific cases.
With the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 remaining a global problem, Alex Blackwell and Ian Ogilvie presented on its sensitivity to chlorine. This session outlined the results of the study, demonstrating that where water adheres to UK swimming pool guidelines the SARS-CoV-2 infectious titre was reduced by at least three orders of magnitude within 30 seconds.
Fiona Henriquez introduced the importance of detection of Free-Living Amoebae (FLA) in recreational water systems, summarising important FLA pathogens focussing on water to human transmission and disease. Detection mechanisms and the challenges in developing prevention strategies against FLA were discussed.
The risk of infection in water features and fountains was highlighted by Rachel Chalmers, with consideration given to some of the risks and their management.
John Lee introduced the Hot Tubs for Home publication from PWTAG. Recognising the number of hot tubs being used in domestic settings and inadequate information for owners on the correct installation and maintenance of these alongside the potential risks. The booklet is available to purchase from the PWTAG shop, and is offered at a discount to suppliers purchasing in bulk.
James Amburgey joined from Charlotte, North Carolina to present research on filters, outlining good and bad removal categories along with how filtration rates, sand depth and coagulant dosage can determine effectiveness of sand filters. The calculation of crypto concentration and corresponding risk in pools over different time scales was demonstrated with the impact of turnover time, pool volume and filter efficiency included.
Jan Bakker and Maarten Keuten returned to consider health complaints in swimming pools and how clusters of complaints become more important. A number of recent cases received by the Outpatient Clinic for Swimming Pools and Spas were outlined, noting not all were caused by found chemical causes.
The impact of energy and water conservation on safety plans was presented by Susanne Surman Lee. Following the move to reduce both the carbon footprint and amount of water used within a building a potential conflict to maintain public health may develop. Some of the conflicts in ensuring that water remains safe for all uses and users whilst minimising the impact on client change were noted.
During the afternoon, interactive sessions were led by Maarten Keuten on all-electric and chlorine free pools and Jeremy Sutherland and Mark Troke covering zero depth pools and splash pads. These sessions encouraged audience participation and the asking of questions and clarifications. These sessions were well received and had queues of questions resulting in the sharing of much information, as did the Q&A elements between sessions.