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Reducing costs through efficient disinfection

The Customer: Highbury - Islington, London

Highbury Maintenance Area In search of an economic option to maintain hygiene and water quality at the Highbury Swimming Pools, Islington Council, a North London local authority, found that UV would be a much more effective way of allocating resources.

The company managing Islington's leisure centres, Aquaterra, were experiencing significant problems with controlling the combined chlorine levels in the Highbury pool. Additionally, pH value levels were too high and chlorine residuals fluctuated considerably. Taking remedial action Aquaterra installed a fresh water flow system with moderate success and producing wastage of 134m per week.

The Application:

To achieve required health and safety standards and economic objectives, ultraviolet treatment units, provided by WEDECO UV Systems, were installed for the main pool (450 m) and the teaching pool (96 m). The system circulates water through a chamber containing a number of double skinned, high efficiency, low-pressure UV lamps. WEDECO UV Systems is a UK manufacturer of multi-lamp designs, ensuring an even distribution of light throughout the treatment chamber. The low-pressure lamps are the most efficient for producing high energy UVc photons, and only consume around one third of the electrical power of older single lamp designs.

The Results:

Economic and environmental advantages:

  • Reduced need for dilution with fresh water, saving water, sewerage and energy costs

  • Significantly lower expenditure on chlorine

  • Greater usage of pool because of improved atmosphere and swimming conditions increasing total revenue

  • Lower running and maintenance costs compared with alternative ozone systems

  • No need for extra filtration equipment - better utilisation of plant room floor space

  • Reductions in combined and free levels of chlorine

  • Water clarity had noticeably improved and the air quality was better

As a result of the success at Highbury, Islington Council reviewed the Archway pools where an ozone system had been in place for five years. Although achieving acceptable water quality standards, the recurring maintenance costs of the ozone plant were very high and gradually increasing. The UV units, as opposed to this, had low initial capital investment and very low running costs (only annual lamp changes required), and a cost analysis indicated substantial cost savings, by at least 50%. Although it meant removing an operating system before designated replacement time the ozone plant was exchanged.

Mr Terry Beech, spokesman for Aquaterra, said 'The results were so impressive that we could see a real advantage in removing the ozone system at the Archway pool and replacing it with UV. What could be seen as an extreme decision became an obvious one, based purely on the commercial facts evident to us.'

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