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INTEGRATED WATER TREATMENT

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The new concept of Integrated Water Treatment combines all the required control functions for water treatment into a single command center.  This is influencing the design of aquatic facilities throughout the country.

Introduced in 1996 by Santa Barbara Control Systems of Santa Barbara, California, the CHEMTROL® PC7000 and CHEMTROL® PC6000 Programmable Controllers take full advantage of recent advances in microelectronic technology to integrate the control of:

ADVANTAGES OF INTEGRATION

The first advantage of integration is the simplicity of installation with all sensing and control components connected to a central unit, as shown on the Schematic of Installation.

Another advantage is ease of operation for the operator with all operating functions displayed on one large Display Screen located on the front panel of the controller.

From an operational standpoint, there is another significant advantage in the increased safety of operation due to the interrelationship between the different control mechanisms. For instance, during backwashing operations, the chemical feeders are automatically disabled to prevent accidental overfeeding. Similarly, before the main recirculation pump is shut down, the heater is first turned off to allow for cooldown of the heating elements (fireman delay).

Charlie Luecker, President of LINCOLN EQUIPMENT in Concord, CA sees numerous benefits resulting from this new technology.

"Integrated Automation represents the technology to assist the commercial and public pool operators in the total control of their facilities. It will help extend the life of pool equipment because the operator can monitor and control all aspects of the physical plant and make changes before damage to the facility occurs."

WATER TREATMENT AS A WHOLE

Water treatment for swimming pools, spas and industrial applications requires the combination of physical and chemical processes, including pumping, filtration, chemical treatment, heating and water replacement. Up to now, the processing equipment was made by different manufacturers and controlled individually, resulting in complicated and inefficient system installation and operation.

The CHEMTROL® PC7000 and CHEMTROL® PC6000 incorporate all the monitoring, control and communication functions into a single integrated command center designed around a powerful microprocessor. The integrated Main Screen display enables the operator to supervise all the process functions at a glance and to quickly respond to any changing condition.

The CHEMTROL® PC7000 and CHEMTROL® PC6000 operate like a computer with full-screen displays and direct-access menus and submenus. The front panel keypad is used to move up and down each menu and enter or exit the submenus. All operating functions can be easily modified from the keypad, including sensor calibration, control setpoints, alarm levels and the programs for superchlorination, sequential backwashing, chemical saving and energy saving.

With the communication package, all facilities can be monitored either by remote computer or by telephone. This allows real-time supervision by management and remote troubleshooting by a CHEMTROL® Qualified Dealer or by the factory support department. The remote operation option makes it possible to control all operating functions from a remote PC computer. The voice telephone option includes status reports, operational control and automatic callout with voice message to up to three different phone numbers in case of emergency.

CHEMICAL AUTOMATION

In a recent article in Athletic Business, Pool Designer Scott Hunsaker of COUNSILMAN HUNSAKER in St Louis, Missouri wrote:
"Improvements in automation continually work toward reducing the ongoing expenses of maintaining clean, properly balanced and sanitized pool water. Precisely controlled, automated measuring, dispensing, and facility management systems allow for more immediate response to demands placed upon the sanitizer, eliminating peaks and valleys in water quality and resulting in more efficient and less wasteful use of chemicals and mechanical systems."

By constantly monitoring the pH of the water and the activity of the sanitizer, Chemical Automation makes it possible to maintain clean and safe water at all times with a significant reduction in the cost of chemicals, maintenance and repairs. It is now recognized as a must for all commercial and public pools and spas, as well as for quality residential installations.

ORP is used to monitor the Oxidation-Reduction Potential in the water produced by a true oxidizer, like ozone, or an oxidizing sanitizer, like chlorine or bromine. The ORP MENU includes selection of the control mode (Off, Manual, Auto or Timer), sensor calibration (1, 2 or 3 points), setpoint level, high and low alarms, shocking and chemical saver programs. It also displays the run time for the current feed event and cumulative run time. Shock treatment can be initiated manually or under programmable weekly or multi-weekly schedules.

The SANITIZER MENU is used to control the chlorine or bromine level in terms of sanitizer concentration (parts per million or milligrams/liter), obtained by conversion from ORP and pH values using a proprietary algorithm or from an amperometric sensor. The sanitizer concentration readings can be calibrated to account for the effect of cyanuric acid stabilization. Superchlorination can be initiated manually or under programmable weekly or multi-weekly schedules.

The pH MENU is used in the same way to select the pH control parameters using either acid or base feed or both. It also includes an Acid Wash program for periodic injection of an acid rinse solution to clean the heads of the sensors.

SATURATION AND WATER BALANCE

Proper control of saturation and water balance is required to maintain water quality and to avoid the development of scaling or corrosive conditions. Up to three different types of chemical additives - such as inhibitor and biocides for cooling towers - can be programmed separately for automatic addition as a function of time, bleed activation, pH control activation or cumulative flow rate.

The Conductivity sensor monitors the concentration of dissolved solids by measuring the conductivity of the water. The data can be displayed either in conductivity units (microsiemens/cm) or in parts per million of Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), using an operator-selectable conversion factor.

The CONDUCTIVITY MENU is used to set automatic dumping (bleeding) of water when the dissolved solid concentrations becomes too high, selecting either a Conductivity or a TDS control setpoint to activate the dump valve. Backfilling of water is done simultaneously with a level control activated valve.

Water balance is important to Ginger Bracken of OHIO POOLS in Strongsville, Ohio. She says:

"Control of TDS is getting to be very important in public pools and spas. Recently, one of our customers was threatened with being shut down by the health department because of high TDS levels. The automatic replacement of water solved his problem."

The Langelier Index calculates the saturation condition from the pH and Temperature sensor inputs and from manual data entry for Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness. The water saturation condition is constantly displayed on the Main Screen as either "OK", "Scaling" or "Corrosive" using standard Langelier Index limits. If a scaling or corrosive condition develops, it is immediately indicated with a flashing display on the Main Screen. "What if" analyses can be run at any time by manually entering different values for alkalinity, calcium hardness, pH and temperature.

Pool designer Milton Johnson of MILTON F. JOHNSON ARCHITECTS in Hollister, CA says:

"The automatic calculation of the Langelier Index is very useful when I start up a new pool. It saves me time and eliminates the inconvenience of having to look it up in data tables."

TEMPERATURE AND HEATER CONTROL

Temperature Sensor readings are displayed either in degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius and used to control the heater.

The TEMPERATURE MENU is used to set the heater control to Manual or Automatic using a programmable seven-day schedule with separate daily ON and OFF times. The energy saver program is used to lower the water temperature during hours when the facility is not in use, thereby realizing substantial savings on heating costs.

PUMP AND FILTER CONTROL

Filtration control includes manual or programmable operation of the main recirculation pump and backwashing cycle using data input from the flow sensor and from the influent and effluent pressure sensors. This eliminates the need for the more expensive and less reliable mechanical sequencers used in traditional filter rooms.

With the PUMP MENU, the main recirculation pump can be set to Manual for continuous 24-hour operation or to Automatic with a seven-day schedule. Protection of the heater is assured with the adjustable fireman delay to allow for cooldown of the heater before water recirculation is stopped.

The FILTER MENU is used to program the backwash schedule based on time cycle or on pressure differential. Multiple filters are backwashed in sequence with adjustable backwash and advance time for each filter. Electrical, hydraulic or pneumatic valves can be used to distribute the water flow through the different filters.

MULTILINGUAL MENUS

The microprocessor-based technology makes it possible to display all menus and submenus in a choice of three languages: English, French and Spanish and two unit systems: U.S. and metric. The operator can change the choice of language or units at any time.

Stéphane Drouin of ENTRETIEN DE PISCINES SOUCY in Quebec City, Canada says:

"The availability of menus in French was a real plus for our customer, Château Frontenac in Québec, where all the maintenance staff is French speaking".

REMOTE OPERATION

Modern telecommunication technology now enables effective supervision of multiple or remote facilities from any office equipped with a telephone or a computer.

The CHEMTROL® PC7000 and CHEMTROL® PC6000  controllers can be accessed remotely by computer and modem or by telephone to receive a voice status report or to modify the operational settings. The controllers can also automatically dial up to three different phone numbers to send a voice message for alarm warnings.

Remote computer access is done with the CHEMCOM® software program, a proprietary program for Windows. The user-friendly, menu-driven program includes the dual capability of virtual remote operation and automatic scanning of multiple facilities.

REMOTE DUPLEX OPERATION

In duplex operation, the remote computer screen displays an exact duplicate of the actual controller screen with full access to all the menus and submenus. All control commands are available to the remote operator - subject to password authorization. Test data that has been logged in the controller memory can be downloaded for printing directly to a local printer or for saving to a data file enabling retrieval and analysis at any time.

The remote control feature is ideal for real-time remote supervision by management or maintenance personnel. It also allows remote servicing of the controller by a CHEMTROL® Qualified Dealer and by our Technical Support Department.

Mike Klaus of the LOS ANGELES PARKS DEPARTMENT recently installed 60 controllers with remote monitoring. He reports:

"With a single computer in my office, I can now monitor all 60 pools located miles away, all over the city. This results in tremendous time savings for our maintenance crews and, with the current budget cutbacks, translates into a more efficient utilisation of city resources."

AUTOMATIC COMPUTER SCANNING

With automatic scanning, the program automatically calls all the active facilities by modem to receive current, real-time test data from the controller display screen. Any number of remote facilities can be called sequentially or individually. Scanning schedules can be set for continuous cycles, for fixed intervals or for set times. Scanning can be run in the background under Windows or can be connected to an external master program, such as a building maintenance program.

The test data is displayed on the computer screen and stored simultaneously on data files where they remain available for analysis at any time. Out-of-range conditions at any of the remote facilities are alerted on the computer screen with a flashing display and optional audio alarm.

Bob Barth of THE MIRAGE HOTEL AND CASINO in Las Vegas has installed remote monitoring controllers on all 33 pools and spas located on the casino facilities, including the pool in the White Tigers Exhibit. He says:

"We now get automatic scanning and downloading of test data on all the facilities. This provides us with important evidence in case of potential legal action by facility users."

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