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A perfect symbiosis - efficient pool management and good water management
Although the last thing you want in your pool or spa is fungi, there is a useful lesson to be learned from this particular health and safety hazard. Fungus and algae cohabit in a perfect collaborative relationship. The alga provides the fungi with energy resulting from photosynthesis while the latter extracts nutrients from the soil and shares them with its partner. This ideal symbiosis benefits both parties.
Similarly, efficient pool management goes hand in hand with good water management. The largest energy savings in leisure centres and swimming pools are likely to be found by controlling the a/c motors that drive water filtration pumps. These would normally run at full power at any given time. However, installing variable speed drives (VSDs) enables the speed of fans and pumps to be closely controlled and adjusted so they only run at the required capacity.
This can lead to significant cost reductions in water filtration pumps and air handling units. The systems in the pool work in a symbiotic connection: a sensor tells the dosing system that there isn't enough chlorine in the pool; the dosing mechanism reacts by releasing the required amount of purifying chemicals, which in its turn leads to the water filtration pump getting to work. And, when the pump is controlled by a VSD, a speed reduction of just 20% can result in energy consumption shrinking by 50%.
In light of current carbon reduction targets in the UK, perhaps pool managers should start by closely monitoring water quality? After all, there is something to be learned from fungi.
14th July 2011