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From Chlorine to New Age Solutions for Swimming Pool Hygiene
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From Chlorine to New Age Solutions for Swimming Pool Hygiene
Date: 15-12-2016

Washroom Hygiene

The average life expectancy of dolphins in their natural habitat is 50 years. In captivity, it can be as low as 10 years. So, what has this got to do with swimming pool hygiene and safety? The connection is chlorine. 

As stated in our previous Talking Point article, without stringent regulations and exceptional hygiene standards, swimming pools are hot beds of potential infection, especially in hot climates. While the vast majority of pool operators in the UAE apply strict standards to ensure that their pools remain safe and clean, the technology used has hardly changed for over a century. Sand-based filtration, supported by the use of chlorine as a disinfectant, remains the most commonly used system for ensuring that water is free of unhealthy bacteria.

Problems with chlorine

Chlorine is an excellent disinfectant but it can bring its own problems including harmful by-products such as trichloromine, which causes eye irritation and possible damage to the lungs. Similarly, traditional sand filters are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria, viruses and other pathogens. A wide range of other potential health problems has been associated with excessive exposure to chlorine including respiratory defects, neurological dysfunction, epiglottitis, cardiovascular defects, skin infection, eye infection, kidney cancer, liver infection and colorectal cancer. For the poor dolphin, and other mammals in captivity,lung damage, pneumonia and neurological problems can result from chlorine disinfection by-products in a system with a combined chlorine concentration above 0.2 mg/l.
We would stress that the vast majority of swimming pools in the UAE are very well managed and perfectly safe to use. There is no need to panic or stop swimming. The simple truth, however, is that volatile gases in the form of chloramines can and do form from pool water that is not treated properly. This can and does cause soreness of eyes and damage to the lungs, particularly in young children whose membrane on the lung has not fully formed.
Is an alternative, more environmentally friendly and cost effective system available? One that produces crystal clear, safe water while at the same time minimising the use of chlorine and other chemicals?

From chlorine to new age, more environmentally friendly solutions

Over the last few years, Arpal Gulf has been working on a new, highly innovative range of water treatment products offering safe, more environmentally beneficial and cost-effective solutions for public and private swimming pools. Our strategic partner in this venture is Dryden Aqua, a highly experienced marine biological company specialising in water quality and cutting-edge sustainable treatment technologies, based in Scotland.

Using a filtration system based on glass particulate, rather than sand, the Dryden Aqua DAISY System and AFM® innovative alternative filter provides the cleanest possible water solutions in a more environmentally and cost effective way. Traditional water treatment methods attempt to fight the transmission of pathogens by using more and more powerful disinfectant chemicals, UVC irradiation and ozone. But the transmission of pathogens is a biological problem; it therefore needs a biological solution.  

Our approach does exactly that. Instead of using more and more powerful disinfectants and expensive equipment, we have designed a pool water treatment process that changes the water to make it much more difficult for bacteria and parasites to live and reproduce. 


The major benefits of the innovative new system include:

  • Crystal clear water – AFM filters much finer than quartz or sand alternatives
  • Lower chlorine consumption – Although an excellent disinfectant, chlorine reacts with organic and inorganic substances in the water producing undesirable, harmful reaction by-products such as trichloromines and THMs. With AFM, the lower chlorine consumption results in the production of fewer by-products.
  • Bio-resistant – Sand filters are an ideal breeding ground for bacteria. Within just a few days, every grain of sand is colonised by bacteria, which form mucus to protect themselves from disinfectants. In this biofilm, entire communities of bacteria and other pathogens (including Legionella) can live. AFM is bio-resistant and therefore there is no home for bacteria, viruses and other pathogens to grow.
  • No Chlorine or Trichloramine smell – as AFM is bio-resistant, no biofilm can set off the chain reaction that leads to this unpleasant smell and sever health hazard.
  • Longevity – No biofilm in the filter results in consistently high performance for many years. Due to filter contamination, the performance of a sand filter worsens dramatically after 6-12 months.

Dubai Municipality 

Recognising the need for rigorous and effective pool safety practices, AFM® has been accepted by the Public Health Services Department of Dubai Municipality as a choice for swimming pool media filtration. The system is already being used extensively in countries with formal standards such as Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. Dryden Aqua now supplies over 80 per cent of all pool installations in Switzerland, with over 100,000 installations across Europe in total.

To support expansion in the UAE and wider Middle East market, Arpal Gulf has established a new sales department, Arpal Aqua. Led by one of our most experienced in-house technicians, the department provides a new, highly innovative range of water treatment products offering safe, more environmentally beneficial and cost effective solutions for public and private swimming pools.

In addition to swimming pools, the new system can also be used in a wide range of other applications requiring water treatment. These will be discussed in a follow up post.

Contact details:  
Tel: 800 4005 (Toll Free within UAE) | +971-4-880 3220  

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