What is Advanced Water Chemistry?

To understand Advanced Water Chemistry, you need to compare it with what is done in conventional pools.

Conventional Pool Water Chemistry

Conventional pool chemistry, as widely used in the Pool Industry, is complicated and difficult to manage well.  It uses chlorine from a variety of sources (liquid, powder, pellets, salt-water and mineral water chlorination), all of which have a narrow operating range with tight limits on pH, chlorine, buffer, calcium and stabilizer levels, and more. Simplistically, it has a small ‘sweet spot’ where the water chemistry is ‘good’.

Some people refer to this operating ‘sweet-spot’ as the point where the water is ‘balanced.’    In most Sydney pools, this is very much a mis-nomer.  The water in such pools is never ‘balanced’ in the chemistry sense of the word, but is kept in its operating sweet spot by the continual addition of chemicals, primarily pool acid (aka hydroelectric or muriatic acid).  Truly ‘balanced’ water is when you do not need to keep adding acid.  Unfortunately, this balance point is at high pH in most Sydney pools and chlorine is ineffective at that balance point.

This is why challenges with conventional pool chemistry are several. In more detail, Chlorine, as used in 99+% of pools, is a poor disinfectant at pH greater than 7.8 and gets progressively worse at higher pHs.  Most pools drift continuously to their natural balance point, which is a pH of around 8.5.  pH must therefore be controlled by the constant addition of acid and buffer to ‘re-activate’ the chlorine and keep the pool correctly sanitised.  Chlorine also breaks down quickly under sunlight and so stabilizers against the effects of the sun are used to maintain disinfection through the day.

High levels of organic matter from swimmers and the surrounds, get into the pool and form noxious and irritating chloramines, which are responsible for sore eyes and strong chlorine smells.  This is especially so in indoor pools used for swim training, where urine is a major contributor to chloramine formation.  Pool chemistry is also affected by temperature, the pool surface, the amount of sunlight and shade, and bather activity.  These all effectively make the already small ‘sweet-spot,’ smaller.

Conventional pools are therefore difficult to manage well using manual methods, even when the owner is prepared to spend a great deal of time on the pool.  Effective pool control with conventional chemistry really requires automation based on chemical sensors, chemical dosing pumps, with supplementary manual chemical addition based on test kit readings.  It requires handling and storage of large quantities of dangerous chemicals, such as pool acid.

While there are a few rules-of thumb that assist in manually managing pools, they are not universal or as effective as one might wish. Pool water is genuinely complicated and often presents a tedious maintenance task.

Advanced Water Chemistry Technology

Advanced Water Chemistry (AWC) solves most of these problems

Pooled Energy’s AWC Technology operates at the natural, equilibrium pH of the pool and in most cases requires little or no acid addition.  It works well because it has a large operating ‘sweet spot’ where the sanitiser is effective and the water is comfortable to swim in.

This larger operating range increases the time between replenishment of chemicals, reducing operating cost and pool workload. The AWC Technology works in conjunction with Pooled Energy Intelligent Pool Controller (IPC) system to provide a better swimming experience. AWC usually operates with salt-water chlorinated pools but operates equally well with liquid chlorinated pools.

AWC uses a blend of chlorine and bromine (which is a more expensive, premium sanitiser normally reserved for hot-tubs and some indoor pools). The overall result is a cleaner pool with better, more reliable sanitation and better feeling water. AWC is designed to operate with the IPC and Pooled Energy’s remote pool management system only. Do not add AWC chemicals to a non-Pooled Energy pool.

AWC has many benefits but, importantly, it removes the need to regularly add acid in most pools. The pool can operate at its natural pH, which is more comfortable for swimming and reduces irritation and sore eyes.

(Note: Some very alkaline pool surfaces, particularly new pools, may require supplemental acid.)

Please do not use your old test-kits or strips with AWC as they may give misleading results. They are not designed for use with this chemistry. Please do not ask the Pool Shop for advice. Most pool technicians and pool shops will be unfamiliar with a high pH protocol and may offer inappropriate recommendations.  If you have any questions or concerns about your water chemistry please contact Pooled Energy.

For water chemistry status, please check the Pool App which uses multiple, electronic sensors to continually monitor your water chemistry. We will advise you via your Pool App (or by SMS/Email) if the water quality is out-of-range or if any other issues are detected.

AWC typically requires the replenishment of its key chemicals typically once or twice a year, depending on the amount of rain and water loss.

We will typically advise when you need new AWC chemicals and ship the quantity required to you (at published prices) to maintain the chemical levels.  These are typically a few kilograms of easily dissolving chemicals.   Please add the quantities requested to the pool in accordance with the safety directions on the packet.  The quantity shipped should all be added into the water and allowed to fully dissolve and mix before swimming.

Pooled Energy’s Advanced Water Chemistry uses low amounts of chemicals added to the water, compared with conventional chemistry. Our customers tell us that this results in water more pleasant to swim in as well as better sanitised water.

Pooled Energy Control systems can also operate on conventional chlorine/acid chemistry pools however these are typically more expensive to operate.  Please discuss such applications with us.


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