It seems as if EVERYBODY is talking about biofilms (or bio films or bio-films).
Whether they are biofilms in your pool or spa or biofilms in your bathroom or biofilms in your mouth, they are there.
When we first started talking about them several years ago, people thought, "gee, that makes sense..." They proceeded with the treatment and got their pools under control. Virtually all pool and spa problems - whether chronic cloudy water, scaling, staining, White Water Mold, chlorine demand or others - have at least part of their start in the biofilm.
Those customers who thought we were selling and marketing "snake oil" walked away and continued to be frustrated with their ongoing issue. The water is still cloudy, they're still dealing with WWM or Pink Slime, the stains are still there, their chlorine or other sanitizer use is high, and they wonder why.
Well, I'm not crazy or making stuff up. The problem exists and has existed for a considerable time. There was just no way to really find out how far back the problem existed.
In early June (just a week ago), I received a telephone call from an engineer who works for his state's Department of Environmental Protection. He called because he had read our articles and it was matching up with what he and his department were seeing not only in swimming pools, but in household potable water systems. This gentleman was intrigued by what we were saying and how we are treating these issues in swimming pools and spas and hot tubs.
Before we start getting foolish, we have to remind ourselves that biofilms are naturally occurring organisms found literally everywhere. If you have a surface and it becomes wet or damp, you will have a biofilm in fairly quick time. Keep in mind that biofilms are not evil or bad they just "are". In fact biofilms are being successfully used to "repair" micro-fissures and micro-cracks in hard to reach or repair areas. They can have a positive function.
The question is understanding and controlling them.
The television ads highlighting biofilms are really informative because they specifically state that they ARE difficult to remove and aren't easily killed; even with the "best" toothpaste (as advertised) on the market.
As more information comes to light, we need to know that the problem has been known to exist for over 20 years. Back in 1992 (we saw our first case of WWM and Pink Slime in 1989), the Federal EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) published "Control of Biofilm Growth in Drinking Water Distribution Systems". This publication dealt with the drinking water distribution systems in the United States.
Here are some of the highlights of the publication which should be of interest to all homeowners as well as swimming pool, spa and hot tub owners (and I quote):
- "all [water] distribution systems contain biofilms to some degree because of the difficulty in controlling the factors that support their growth."
- "a biofilm could cause your system to exceed EPA limit for total coliforms even if your treatment system is performing properly."
- "microorganisms that are potentially harmful to human health can exist in biofilms"
- "it is nearly impossible to eliminate biofilms, but they can be controlled."
- "knowing the factors that contribute to biofilm growth and ways to control those parameters is the best prevention."
To a degree, I feel vindicated on my stance regarding the acknowledgment and treatment of biofilms. But that's not the point of this post.
The real work continues in consumer education. ParPools.com, my staff and I are committted to educate our customers about what they need to know as well as provide successful products and treatments. Furthermore, we are committed to searching out and working with vendors who have tested and effective products.
So far, here are the BEST products that we have found to treat and control biofilms:
For swimming pools (any size, shape, construction type):
For spas and hot tubs:
With any of the systems, the results are very good. In combination with each other, the results are going to be exceptional.
Don't be afraid of going in the water! Just be aware of how it needs to be treated.
We'll do our best to keep you updated and informed.
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