While this contract was primarily awarded to provide conventional water treatment chemicals for such applications as drinking water, waste water, boiler plants and swimming pools, there is also a separate category included for the anti-microbial water treatment technology known as "pool ionization" for use in commercial pools.
Pool Ionization, already in use in some commercial/public swimming pools in Massachusetts, represents an environmentally preferable alternative to the traditionally heavy use of chlorine and other chemicals. Ionization as it is applied to swimming pools, is the process of using a low voltage current to disperse positively charged copper and silver ions into the water. Since bacteria is negatively charged, these particles are attracted to the ions and are killed off as the charge penetrates the cell walls. The destroyed microorganisms clump together and are easily removed by the pool filter. Small amounts of chlorine are still needed with this method, but at levels typically 80% less than conventional pool systems.
Commercial ionization units typically consist of a micro processor control box and a set of electrodes composed of copper and silver that are set slightly apart from one another in a cartridge at the site of the pool filter. The control box generates a precise low voltage DC current at that travels between the electrodes and produces positively charged ions. Furthermore the water leaving the filter carries some of the ions into the pool, where the ions continue to kill bacteria, viruses, algae and fungi. The design of the control box varies by manufacturer and the installation depends on the type of pool.
The ionization system is awarded under the Massachusetts statewide contract #FAC46 are approved by the National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) and Massachusetts Department of Health. The contractor offers all equipment, products and services necessary to install, maintain and service the ionization technology, including training to customers and pool operators. Customers and/or interested purchasers may also call the OSD contact for information on the many environmental and health benefits of ionization, as well as the negative health issues associated with chlorine.
In discussing the benefits of pool ionization, one should first consider the disadvantages that can be associated with the heavy use of chlorine. Chlorine systems are the traditional means of maintaining sanitary standards in swimming pools. While they are successful at eradicating bacteria and most viruses, it is not without increasingly significant side effects. Chlorine is a harsh chemical on human skin, eyes and hair, often causing irritation and rashes to these areas. The strong odor may also cause irritation of nasal passages and some individuals are highly allergic to it. In addition, chlorine is a corrosive chemical, contributing heavily to the deterioration of pools and the buildings containing indoor pools. Humidity combines with chlorine fumes in indoor pool areas and infiltrates the concrete of the pool building and rusts the metal beams supporting the structure. Such deterioration can routinely lead to costly maintenance repairs and can develop into a severe safety hazard if not regularly monitored.
The process of pool ionization as briefly described in the opening section of this site, offers the opportunity to reduce the amount of chlorine needed to disinfect a typical swimming pool by as mush as 80%. As a result, the hazards and health risks outlined above are reduced by, essentially, the same percentage. There is, of course, an initial cost of implementing this system, which depends on the size of the pool and the number of swimmers utilizing it. There is also a recommended schedule of infrequent, but necessary parts replacement in order to maintain the effectiveness of the system. However, while general pool maintenance is still required, pool repairs due to chlorine use should be significantly reduced. In addition, ionization decreases the number of times a year that a pool has to be "backwashed" (the process of replacing all the pool water with new, filtered water to combat residual chlorine build-up), which tends to save on both water and labor costs.
Contract Title: Water Treatment Chemicals and Alternative Treatment Systems
Water Purification Associates
2 Rockwood Terrace
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130
Vendor Code: 043481270 0006
888-214-0999; 617-524-3160 (ph)
Accessing the Massachusetts State Contract:
To access the contract details and pricing on the Commonwealth's website, the Procurement Access and Solicitation System (Comm-PASS), it is recommended that you search the site using the following steps:
- www.comm-pass.com (Home page)
- Front page of Comm-Pass select search for contracts link,
- Search page - input FAC46 in the document number box and click search,
- Sentence Link - Click on the sentence link at the top of the search page and the contract title will appear,
- Click on the eyeglasses at the end of the active contract name,
- Click on the Terms Tab for additional contract information or click on the Vendor Tab to view the list of Contractors,
- Click on the " eyeglasses" for all Contractors to expand the view and at the bottom of the expanded view page are the approved cost files for all products offered by that vendor.
- Green Resources for the Green Hotel: http://www.vtgreenhotels.org/articles/ionpool.htm
Electrolytic Ionization: http://www.biophysica.com/pool_features.htm
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