As the summer season kicks-in, many commercial pool operators will be unveiling their new and ever more impressive pool inflatables and foam pool rafts to keep kids entertained. These 'pool toys' are a great way of attracting customers and encouraging kids to experience the fun side of swimming, while providing good physical exercise at the same time. However, there are some important cleaning and maintenance issues to be aware of in keeping these items hygienically clean and safe to use.
The surfaces of pool inflatables gradually become contaminated with skin oils, skin particles, sun lotions and cosmetic oils etc. These greasy substances provide an ideal breeding substrate for bacteria and biofilms to develop if they are not kept in check. Pool inflatables are often folded and stored in warm pool-side storerooms where humidity remains high, so they never really dry out – again, perfect conditions for bacteria to multiply, especially Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. With the friction of skin on inflatable and foam materials, this bacteria can quite easily contaminate the skin, especially through existing abrasions, causing anything from a mild rash to much more serious eye and ear infections, especially in persons with immunodeficiency problems. More often than not, the rash or infection may take one or two days to develop, so it may not always be linked to bathing activity.
Whilst proprietary chlorine solutions can be used for general disinfection of these types of products, they need to be rinsed off with clean water to avoid premature ageing of the inflatable fabric/ foam. Chlorine is also not effective in removing or preventing biofilm growth, meaning stubborn Pseudomonas Aeruginosa bacteria can remain in the biofilm and continue to multiply.
Designed specifically for this task, DesoPur-F is a liquid TCDO (tetrachlorodecaoxide) product which produces a safe and controlled-release chlorine dioxide residual when in contact with bacteria/ organic material. Non-toxic and non-hazardous at the concentrations of use, DesoPur-F is highly effective against biofilm and Pseudomonas bacteria. It is ideal for quick and easy sprayer/ fogger application on inflatables, foam floats and mats and does not require rinsing, making it much easier, quicker and safer all round. A 5kg can of DesoPur-F liquid provides up to 500 litres of ready to use product. The TCDO based product leaves a safe, defensive residue to help prevent contamination becoming re-established. Further details on the benefits of using DesoPur-F can be found at http://www.gaffey.co.uk/product/desopur-f
The Pool Water Treatment Advisory Group (PWTAG) have produced an excellent technical note on this issue which can be downloaded in pdf format from their website http://pwtag.org/technicalnotes/notes-on-the-hygiene-of-pool-play-equipment/
Pool inflatables represent a significant investment for the pool operator. Good hygiene and maintenance practices will protect and extend the life of your investment and ensure customers are well cared for when using your facilities.