Why the London Aquatics Centre has adopted UV disinfection for major sporting events such as the London 2012 Games
The London Aquatics centre saw no less than nine world records broken in what has been described as the greatest sporting event of our time. Whilst American Michael Phelps became the worlds’ greatest Olympian, history of a different kind was being made, quietly behind the scenes in the plant rooms of the London Aquatics Centre.
Whilst an established technology in the swimming pool industry for over twenty years, the London 2012 Games were the first in history to include the use of UV Technology as part of the aquatic events water treatment strategy.
Working with Europe’s leading filtration and leisure specialists, Euro pools, atg UV Technology were selected to provide a range of UV disinfection systems to protect athletes, and now the next generation of elite divers, from the risk of waterborne pathogens including, chlorine resistant pathogens such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia.
Above: atg UV Technology Systems installed at the 2012 London Games Swimming Venue, London Aquatic Centre.
Importantly, the use of medium pressure ultraviolet treatment also breaks down problem chloramines, which
The key benefits of UV disinfection to the swimming pool environment
- Crystal Clear Water: As part of the coverage, underwater cameras played a huge part in making the aquatic competitions an exciting and atmospheric spectacle. By using UV disinfection, problem chloramines that cause swimming pool water to look dull and hazy are removed leading to bright, crystal clear water that allowed the underwater cameras to catch all of the action in stunning clarity.
2. Chloramine Destruction: By breaking down the problem chloramines – Mono-chloramines, Di-Chloramines and Tri-chloramines, the associated problems of using chlorine as a disinfection barrier are eliminated, leading to no more ‘red-eyes’, itchy, burning skin and importantly for the spectators and journalists present, the overpowering chlorine smell is transformed into fresh, clean air.
3. Corrosive Condensation: With the total cost of the London Aquatic centre at £214 million, operators will be happy that the risk of corrosive condensation eating away at the fabric of the building (vents, piping ducts, poolside furniture and metal fixtures) is greatly reduced by the use of UV disinfection.
4. Improved Health Benefits: Researchers from the Catholic University of Louvain, who published their findings in the ‘European Respiratory Journal’, suggested that “chlorinated pool attendance can increase the risk of asthma and respiratory allergies by making the airways more sensitive not only to allergens but also to infectious agents”. The study further noted that during the Olympic Games held in Australia, more than one-quarter of the American swim team suffered from some degree of asthma. The benefit of UV disinfection breaking down problem chloramines greatly reduces the risk of health problems associated with using chlorine.
Above: State-of-the-art medium pressure UV systems from atg UV Technology.
5. 3rd Party Validation: When selecting UV disinfection systems for the world’s greatest aquatic sporting event, guaranteed performance was essential to ensure the requirements of the NSF-50 standards were fully met. atg UV Technology systems are independently 3rd party validated using biometric testing will live surrogate microorganisms. This allows atg UV Technology to guarantee UV performance, meeting the required 3 log reduction (99.9% kill) of chlorine resistant Cryptosporidium.
To find out why atg UV Technology where chosen to provide the UK’s leading aquatics facility with UV disinfection systems, or to discuss how UV disinfection can benefit your aquatic facility, contact our dedicated UV experts on +44(0)1942 216161.