Home' Splash Magazine : SPLASH Apl-May 2017 Contents Want to bring Your Business Dreams to Life?
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you in the best company. We have created a successful and
sustainable business model that provides you the opportunity
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business under the Narellan Pools brand
• Iconic Australian brand with of 40 years
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year (30% increase on last year
• Proven business model achieving double digit sales growth
We are looking for business partners in
QLD, NSW, VIC, WA & ACT.
Take the first step by contacting Jonathan Bate
on 0439 798 778 or at email@example.com
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15/02/2017 9:54 AM
Flocculants and coagulants
This might be an appropriate time for a refresher course on flocculants
and how they work.
The terms “flocculants” and “coagulants” are synonymous with each
other; however the process of clearing cloudy/dirty pools is in fact a
two-stage process involving both coagulation and flocculation.
Turbidity (or cloudiness) of water is caused by fine particles sus-
pended in the water. These particles are typically smaller than two mi-
crons and will normally pass through the filter system. They are of low
density and will therefore be suspended in the water. Most particles
are negatively charged and repel each other.
In order to remove these particles it is first necessary to add a floc-
culent (positively charged) which will coagulate the fine particles into
larger “flocs” by neutralising the negative charge, allowing the particles
to come together and form a floc.
Some flocs will be “light flocs” which will tend to remain suspended
in the water or even rise to the surface of the pool and are then caught
on the filter bed. Algae and organic matter may form lighter flocs.
Soil, dust and clay, being denser will form heavier flocs which will
sink and form sedimentation on the floor of the pool and this should
be then vacuumed to waste. The type of flocculent used will also dic-
tate if a light or heavy floc is formed. Aluminium based flocs such as
poly aluminium chloride (PAC) or alum will form a heavy floc which
settles on the bottom while some cationic electrolytes and natural flocs
will form light flocs and tend to be caught by the filter.
In the case of a really dirty pool, for example after large storms or in
the case of Cyclone Debbie, we would recommend the use of a heavy
floc such as liquid PAC or powdered/granular alum.
The importance of pH
It is important to note that aluminium flocs only work at a high pH so
you must first raise the pH of the pool to at least 8 when using alum
or 7.8 when using a liquid PAC based product. Alum has a low pH
and will immediately reduce the pH of the water after addition.
Common practice when using alum is to raise the pH to 8+ using
soda ash and then add 2 to 4 kg of sodium bicarb (buffer) at the
same time as adding the Alum. This will compensate for any drop in
pH and also increase the Total Alkalinity. When using a PAC base
product, the pH should be raise to at least 7.8. However, the effect on
pH of the water after addition is significantly less than that of alum so
further reduction is usually unnecessary. It should also be noted that
alum contains typically 8 per cent Al2O3 (the active floc) while PACs
typically contain 23 per cent Al2O3 (three times stronger).
Some important points to note when flocking pools are:
• It is difficult to floc live algae. If there is any evidence of the pres-
ence of algae, super chlorinate using liquid chlorine (this also assists
in raising the pH).
• If phosphates are present the floc may be partially used up floccing
the phosphates and slow up the process of clearing the pool.
• High TDS levels or salt will also slow up or prevent efficient floc-
culation. The use of a fast floc which has an inbuilt accelerator may
compensate for this.
• Most flocs are incompatible with DE or cartridge filters. Cartridges
should be removed before recirculation and mixing of flocs; DE
filters should be set on “recirculation” or “by-pass”.
For more information contact International Quadratics on (02) 9774 5550.
April/May 2017 SPLASH! 31
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