There are companies marketing reverse osmosis water treatment systems to the swimming pool industry. They are being touted as the solution to mineral fouling, waterline scaling and perfect water balance.
Reverse Osmosis Water - Good and Bad
Reverse Osmosis water is void of all impurities, minerals and contaminates. It is "pure water." Many brands of bottled water are purified using reverse osmosis. This is what makes reverse osmosis water so good to drink and cook with.
Because reverse osmosis water does not contain any minerals, it must be packaged in inert plastic bottles. Domestic reverse osmosis purification systems are plumbed utilizing plastic tubing and faucets with ceramic seals.
If copper or iron pipes were used, then the reverse osmosis water would strip the minerals from the pipes in an effort to re-balance itself. Eventually the walls of the pipes would get thin and begin to leak.
Detrimental to Pool Surfaces and Equipment
This phenomenon of desiring to re-balance itself, is what makes reverse osmosis water bad for use in a swimming pool, spa or fountain.
When the mineral content of water in a swimming pool drops below prescribed levels, the water begins to seek a means to re-balance itself. And it is NON-SELECTIVE as to where it will draw it's minerals from.
This means that your pool heater's copper heat exchanger, pool plaster or pump seals will all fall victim to corrosion and decay.
Mineral Levels Impossible to MonitorEven if a reverse osmosis system was outfitted with a sensor to monitor the calcium and mineral levels, it would not serve any purpose.
Because those sensors could not determine THE SOURCE of the minerals. The reverse osmosis system would think that the water was balanced, but it would not know if it was using the calcium from the pool plaster, tile grout or masonry mortars.
Once the mineral levels get to the minimum levels and the surfaces begin to decay, the reverse osmosis system still thinks that everything is okay. The decay of the pool surfaces and equipment will continue until the owners observe the non-reversible symptoms of degradation.
Reverse Osmosis - great to drink, bad to swim in.
Contact the author, Paolo Benedetti of Aquatic Technology Pool and Spa at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 408-776-8220. Visit his website at: www.aquatictechnology.com. All Contents © Aquatic Technology Pool & Spa, 2013. All rights reserved.