Enzyme myths

Enzyme myths


Posted By on Dec 17, 2013

Role Players: Phosphate reducers and enzymes can be an important part of pool maintenance Enzymes and phosphate-reducing products have been used in the aquatics industry a number of years. Claims on how effective these are have taken on a life of their own. While the products can be tremendously helpful to pool operators, they do have limits. This article will discuss what these products are, what they are capable of and what they cannot do. Information on how they can best be used to help pool operators also will be covered. Phosphate reducers are specialty chemicals that remove phosphates from pool water. Typically, they’re salts of aluminum or lanthanum which, when added to water, produce insoluble phosphate compounds that are removed through filtration, vacuuming or both. It should be noted that not all phosphates found in pools are bad. Some phosphates (polyphosphates) and other phosphorus-containing compounds are excellent sequestering agents, protecting the pool from metal staining and scale. Some phosphates (namely orthophosphates) are known to be a source of food for algae. Phosphate reducers were introduced as a means of limiting this food source, thus curtailing algae’s ability to grow in the pool. But because these products are not EPA-registered as algaecides, their labels cannot claim algae control. Nevertheless, many believe that these products will kill algae. Phosphate myths Removing phosphates reduces or eliminates the need to maintain proper sanitizer residual. This is simply not true. A proper sanitizer residual must be maintained at all times and in all areas of the pool to ensure proper disinfection. As an added benefit, maintaining this residual and shock treating regularly also will prevent algae from becoming a problem, regardless of the existing phosphate level. Removing phosphates eliminates the need for an algaecide. Because removing phosphates from pool water does not kill algae, an algaecide is still recommended. Maintaining your sanitizer residual and using an algaecide regularly will prevent any unexpected algal blooms from occurring. Removing phosphates kills algae. If this were true, then product makers could make algaecidal claims on their labels. Algae can store phosphates in their cells, enabling them to survive periods of time in the absence of phosphates. As some of these cells die, their phosphates can be used by the surviving algae as a nutrient source. Phosphates create a chlorine demand on pool water. This is false. Phosphates are already at their ideal oxidation level, so chlorine does not react with them. For this reason, phosphates do not create a chlorine demand. The two are simply unrelated. Once phosphates are removed, they won’t return. Phosphates are common in the environment and are constantly being introduced into the pool from a variety of...

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