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Glossary of Terms & Definitions (Sanitizers)

Wondering what some of those words mean in the article you were reading? We can help! Look below for definitions and terms explained.

Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) – first defined in 1987, advanced oxidation processes are a set of chemical treatment procedures designed to remove organic and inorganic materials in water by oxidation through reactions with hydroxyl radicals (·OH – highly reactive oxidizers used to sanitize pool water very quickly while reducing overall chemical use). https://www.wikipedia.org

Advanced Plasma Gap (APG) – patented ozone technology that is superior to UV-style ozone generation and older corona discharge cell units. APG technology generates more ozone per cell and outperforms over the life of the unit. https://c-m-p.com

Advanced Sanitizer Systems – DEL® brand pool and spa sanitizers made by CMP that use modern technology to enhance the quality and safety of residential pool water. Advanced Sanitizers used in well-maintained recreational water can reduce chloramines, improve chlorine effectiveness, clarify the water and destroy chemical-resistant microorganisms. https://c-m-p.com

Biofilm-associated Pathogens – Biofilm formation involves commonly known pathogens including, bacteria, fungi, viruses, protozoa and pathogenic cyanobacteria. For more detailed information about the inherent dangers of biofilm visit the following link. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7167820/

Chlorine By-products (Disinfection By-products) – compounds produced during the process of pool water disinfection. Disinfectants used in pool water can react with halogen-containing compounds and natural organic matter to form harmful byproducts. Exposure to DBPs in chlorinated swimming pools are associated with adverse health outcomes. https://cen.acs.org, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786667/

Clean Technology (aka Green Technology) – any process, product, or service that reduces negative environmental impacts through significant energy efficiency improvements, the sustainable use of resources, or environmental protection activities. https://www.wikipedia.org

Combined available chlorine (CAC or CC) or Chloramines – The “used” portion of chlorine remaining in the water that has reacted and combined with ammonia, nitrogen-containing contaminants and other swimmer waste like perspiration and urine. Chloramines can cause skin, eye and respiratory irritation. They also prevent chlorine from doing a proper job, and are the culprit of that all too familiar “chlorine odor” commonly associated with over-chlorinated pools. To determine combined chlorine, subtract the free chlorine amount from the total chlorine amount. (TC – FC = CC)https://chlorine.americanchemistry.com/Chlorine/Pool-Treatment-101/

Contact Time (Exposure Time or Wet Time) – the amount of time required for a surface to remain wet in order for germicidal activity to take place. In the case with UV-C disinfection in pool water, we refer to contact time as the amount of time required for the water passing through the UV-C chamber to be disinfected.

Corona Discharge – an electrical discharge created by the ionization of a fluid – such as air surrounding a conductor – that is electrically charged. In pools and spas, ozone is created either by passing oxygen molecules through a UV light chamber (using “sunlight” tuned to a very specific wavelength), or by exposing them to high levels of electrical current (aka corona discharge – similar to ozone created during a lightning storm). https://www.wikipedia.org, https://www.swimmingpoolsteve.com

Free available chlorine (FAC or FC) – The “unused” portion of the total chlorine (TC) remaining in a chlorinated body of pool water that has not reacted with contaminants. FAC is “free” to go to work to kill bacteria and contaminants. When choosing test kits, make sure they measure FAC as many only test for total chlorine. https://chlorine.americanchemistry.com/Chlorine/Pool-Treatment-101/

Germicidal – refers to a substance or agent used to prevent infection by inhibiting the growth or action of microorganisms on surfaces and in water. https://www.merriam-webster.com

Model Aquatic Health Code (MAHC) – a voluntary guidance document based on science and best practices that can help local and state authorities and the aquatics sector make swimming and other water activities healthier and safer. https://www.cdc.gov/mahc/index.html

Micro-Flocculent – the effect of improved coagulation and filtration efficiency that happens in ozonated water. The resulting effect is a “polished” appearance to the water. https://www.spartanwatertreatment.com/coagulation-and-filtration/

Oxidizer – refers to a substance or agent added to the water that uses active oxygen to consume nonbacterial waste. The process “burns up” or converts organic waste into harmless gases that get released back into the atmosphere. https://www.wikipedia.org

Ozone – used commercially since 1904 to treat drinking water, ozone is a chemical consisting of three oxygen atoms (O3) bonded in a V-like shape that occurs both naturally through reactions in the atmosphere and as a pollutant released by transport and industrial activities. When introduced to pool & spa water, ozone becomes a powerful oxidizing agent which produces a broad spectrum biocide that destroys bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. https://www.sciencealert.com/ozone

Parts per million (ppm) – A measurement of the parts of a substance, by weight in relation to one million parts by volume of pool water. According to the MAHC, the recommended level for residential pools to keep free chlorine at a proper range for sanitization is 1.0 – 3.0 ppm. https://chlorine.americanchemistry.com/Chlorine/Pool-Treatment-101/

Pool Sanitizer – refers to a substance, agent or device added to pool water to prevent health-related and aesthetic issues including algae, disease-causing pathogens, and disinfection byproducts. Examples of pool sanitizers include chemicals (chlorine or bromine-based), metal ionizers, pool salt, as well as ozone and UV-based devices. https://chlorine.americanchemistry.com

Recreational Waterbourne Illness (RWI) – diseases people can get from contaminated water (see Waterborne Contaminants) in which they recreate like swimming pools, hot tubs/spas, water playgrounds and more. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/rwi.html

Residual (sanitizer) – refers to the amount of available chlorine needed, after the initial chlorine demand is satisfied and combined chlorine is formed in a pool or spa, to create a base level of protection to swimmers against waterborne pathogens. https://waterandhealth.org/healthy-pools

Shock (Superchlorination) – The practice of adding large amounts of oxidizing chemical to pool water to destroy contaminants and remove chloramine odors. A “super dose” of chlorine can also control algae and bacteria.https://chlorine.americanchemistry.com/Chlorine/Pool-Treatment-101/

Third-party verified (aka Certified) – when a manufacturer utilizes an independent organization (in our case, the National Sanitation Foundation or “NSF”) to review the manufacturing process and to check whether the final product complies with very specific standards. Once the product is certified, the manufacturer can use the NSF mark letting consumers know that the product works as stated. https://www.nsf.org

Total chlorine (TC) – The sum of both free available chlorine and combined chlorines. (TC = FC + CC) https://chlorine.americanchemistry.com/Chlorine/Pool-Treatment-101/

Ultraviolet (UV or UV-C) – ultraviolet germicidal radiation or UV-C is widely used for sterilizing equipment and creating sterile environments, as well as in the food and water industries to inactivate microorganisms. When tuned to a specific wavelength, UV-C light destroys microorganisms at the DNA-level. https://www.sciencedirect.com

Waterborne Contaminants – refers to harmful substances including viruses, protozoa, pathogens, microorganisms and both organic and inorganic contaminants in recreational water that can cause diseases in humans and pets (see RWIs). https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/swimming/swimmers/rwi.html


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