What is a Pool Chemical Dosing System?

By Blue Cube on Wednesday, 14th Feb 2024 in Tips & Tricks.

Chemical dosing systems play a crucial role in maintaining water quality and ensuring the safety of a number of water facilities.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of pool chemical dosing systems, exploring their components, functions, and the importance of adopting them when managing your pool water chemistry. 

From dosing pumps, chemical storage tanks and the components of dosing systems, to their applications, and more, we’ll cover it all. So, let’s dive in.

Understanding Chemical Dosing Systems

To comprehend the significance of pool chemical dosing, we must first understand what pool dosing systems are and how they operate.

Chemical dosing systems are automated setups designed to administer precise amounts of chemicals into water bodies. These systems utilise dosing pumps, chemical storage tanks, and control systems to maintain optimal water quality in applications ranging from pool maintenance to wastewater treatment.

A chemical dosing system is a crucial component of your swimming pool or spa’s water treatment system. The systems are responsible for delivering the right amount of chemicals to ensure that your pool remains safe and sanitised. 

Additionally, they help maintain a consistent pH balance and keep your pool free from microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, and other contaminants.

Home Pool Dosing Systems

For at-home swimming pools, the Bayrol PoolManager® System will transform the way your pool is taken care of. Your water will remain crystal clear without the need for constant testing, checking, and adjusting of pH levels, chlorine, bromine, or active oxygen levels. 

It is incredibly user-friendly, equipped with helpful test buttons, eliminating the need to search for a manual every time you want to make a change. 

These are entry-level units that are easy to use and install. The Bayrol PoolManager allows you to add other controls to the unit. So the Bayrol system can then be used as a controller for other elements like pool lights, etc.

Commercial Pool Dosing Systems

For larger commercial pools, the Bayrol PoolManager® Pro System goes one step further.

The PoolManager® PRO not only ensures precise and reliable water treatment for your pool, but also provides a multitude of additional control functions. From ensuring you never have to worry about high chlorine levels, to managing the filter pump, automatic cover, pool heating, and water attractions, this versatile system offers flexible programming options.

Moreover, you can even control everything from underwater lights to garden lighting with the PoolManager® PRO. Experience enhanced pool management like never before.

Components of the Bayrol PoolManager® Pro System

Components of Chemical Dosing Systems

Pool dosing systems include a variety of components to ensure functionality, safety and efficiency. Below, we’ll dive into the three key components of these systems in some more detail.

Chemical Dosing Pumps

At the heart of any chemical dosing system lies the chemical dosing pump. These pumps are responsible for accurately delivering chemicals into the water. Positive displacement pumps, including peristaltic pumps, are commonly employed in chemical dosing systems due to their precision and reliability.

A positive displacement pump allows for precise control over the amount of chemical being dosed, ensuring that the correct dosage is delivered every time. This is crucial as an inadequate or excessive amount of chemicals can lead to ineffective water treatment and potential health hazards.

Types of Chemical Metering Pumps

Chemical metering pumps are instrumental in delivering precise doses of chemicals in various applications. The primary types include diaphragm pumps, peristaltic pumps, and piston pumps. It’s important to note that all of the Bayrol Pool Management Systems we have discussed use Peristaltic pumps.

  • Diaphragm Pumps: These pumps use a flexible diaphragm that moves back and forth, creating a vacuum that draws the chemical into the pump and then expels it. The diaphragm’s movement can be controlled hydraulically or mechanically, allowing for precise control over the amount of chemical dispensed.
  • Peristaltic Pumps: Also known as tubing pumps, peristaltic pumps operate on the principle of peristalsis. A rotor with rollers compresses the pump’s tubing, pushing the chemical through. When the roller moves, it allows the tube to rebound, creating a vacuum that draws more chemicals in. This action provides a continuous flow of the chemical, and the speed of the rollers can be adjusted to control the dosing rate.
  • Piston Pumps: Utilising a reciprocating piston, these pumps draw the chemical into a cylinder during the piston’s retraction and then dispense it on the forward stroke. The piston’s movement can be finely tuned to deliver specific amounts of chemical, ensuring high dosing accuracy.

Chemical metering pumps contribute significantly to maintaining precise control over the dosing process. The ability to adjust the dosing rate and the dosing interval allows for accurate, consistent delivery of chemicals. This precision is essential in applications such as water treatment, where the correct chemical dosage is vital to achieving desired water quality levels and preventing health hazards.

Chemical Storage 

Chemical storage tanks are where the chemicals are stored before being introduced into the water. The choice of storage tank material and design is crucial to prevent chemical contamination and ensure the longevity of the system.

Often, you will only see a chemical storage tank in commercial use. We use carboy bunds for all of them so the chemicals stay in the original container and then the lance fits onto the top. These sit in bunds (plastic containers) which stop any possible leaks from getting to the floor and mixing with other chemicals.

The selection of an appropriate chemical storage tank is an integral part of the chemical dosing system. The choice should be made considering the chemical compatibility and the environmental conditions of the application. Materials such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or stainless steel are typically used for their chemical resistance and durability.

Moreover, it is crucial to have a tank that is adequately sized to ensure a consistent supply of chemicals for dosing. An undersized tank might lead to frequent refills, interrupting the dosing process, while an excessively large tank might result in the chemical’s degradation due to long storage periods.

Chemical storage is an important factor in any pool maintenance. The mixing of chemicals can be hazardous so it’s crucial to store these correctly. 

In most domestic or residential setting pools we recommend the use of carboy bunds. These are containers that the chemical drums sit in. These bunds are important as they protect against the mixing of chemicals if any leaks or splits in the container occurs. The chemical drums are usually 20-25 ltrs and the chemicals can usually be lanced straight from the containers for the average home swimming pool. 

For larger pools or commercial pools you may find that a tank is needed to store the dosing chemicals. These can vary in size and operation depending on the chemicals being used and the amount of sanitisation needed. Some pools may need tanks to mix granular sanitisers and some mixing options are available. Other pools might see a high dosing of liquid chemicals for large  high use pools. It’s important to get the right tank depending on the system needs. 

As you can see with the image below, the two dosing chemicals for this pool build are liquid chlorine and Acid to work as pH reducer. The chemical drum sits in the bund and the lance is attached to the top of the containers to pull through the needed amount of dosing chemicals.

Bayrol Pool Relax dosing system install by Blue Cube Pools

Control System

Control systems play an indispensable role in maintaining a stable and efficient pool dosing process. They are essentially the linchpin that holds the entire dosing system together, ensuring all components work in harmony.

The control system’s primary function is to regulate the amount of chemicals being dosed into the pool. It does this by continuously monitoring the water quality parameters and adjusting the chemical dose accordingly. Factors such as pH, temperature, and disinfectant levels are routinely checked to ensure they remain within the desired ranges.

The control system is also responsible for maintaining the timing of the dosing process. This aspect is critically important in high-usage pools, where chemical requirements can fluctuate significantly throughout the day. The control system adjusts the dosing schedule to match these changes, ensuring consistent water quality regardless of usage patterns.

Moreover, modern control systems are equipped with advanced features such as remote monitoring and control capabilities. This allows pool operators to oversee and manage the dosing process from any location, adding a layer of convenience and flexibility to pool management.

By maintaining an optimal balance of chemicals in the pool, the control system helps prevent common problems such as algae growth, cloudy pool water, and unpleasant odours. It also safeguards against harmful conditions that could lead to skin, eye, or respiratory irritations in swimmers.

How to set up the PoolManager® PRO

Applications of Chemical Dosing Systems

Pool Water Treatment

As we’ve focused on in this pool dosing guide, these systems are primarily used in pools and spas to maintain optimal water quality. Pool operators must ensure that the pH levels and disinfectant levels are within acceptable ranges to prevent bacteria and algae growth.

Drinking Water Treatment

Chemical dosing systems play a vital role in the drinking water treatment process, ensuring that drinking water meets safety standards and is free from contaminants. Chemical dosing systems can be utilised in public water treatment plants, helping deliver precise amounts of chemicals such as chlorine or ozone in order to purify drinking water.

Wastewater Treatment

In wastewater treatment, chemical dosing systems are utilised to neutralise pH, remove impurities, and facilitate the precipitation of solids. These systems are essential in removing harmful pollutants from wastewater before it is released back into the environment.

Specialized Chemical Dosing Systems

UV Sanitisers 

Ultra-violet (UV) sanitiser  units utilise UV light to disinfect water alongside traditional chemicals. This method offers a more environmentally-friendly and chemical-free approach to water treatment, making it an ideal choice for eco-conscious pool owners. 

UV dosing sanitise  works by exposing the water to UV light, effectively killing bacteria and other microorganisms. This process is highly effective and eliminates the need for potentially harmful chemicals such as chlorine or bromine. UV dosing units are commonly used in public pools, spas, and even in residential swimming pools. They are also used in drinking water treatment plants and wastewater treatment facilities. 

While it is advertised that UV systems can replace chemical dosing, we’d always recommend having a background sanitiser like chlorine in the pool.

Having said that, all of our new build pools have UV systems installed. We recommend this with any pool that is newly built. The UV system will reduce the chemical cost and save money in the long run.

Ozone Sanitisers 

Ozone is another natural disinfectant option used in pool and spa  systems. It offers powerful oxidising properties that effectively kill bacteria and viruses in the water. 

Ozone units are commonly used in large public pools and spas, as well as for commercial and industrial water treatment applications. Most hot tubs will come with an ozone system built into the hot tub as standard. This is due to the benefits gained by the user and the reduced chemical costs thanks to the oxygenation of the water helping your sanitiser go further.

Ozone dosing units work by generating ozone gas, which is then injected into the water stream. The gas reacts with organic matter and other impurities in the water, breaking them down and rendering them harmless. This process also helps to reduce chlorine usage, resulting in a more environmentally-friendly pool.

Optimising the Dosing Process

Calculating and Adjusting Flow Rates

To calculate the flow rate, you need to know the dosage amount (in units of volume) and the time over which the dosage needs to be delivered. The flow rate is then the dosage amount divided by the time. To increase the flow rate, you can increase the pump speed or decrease the system pressure. To decrease the flow rate, you can do the opposite.

Different water treatment applications require different flow rates. For instance, a public swimming pool might require a higher flow rate due to its larger volume and higher usage, while a residential pool might require a lower flow rate. Therefore, it’s crucial to adjust the flow rate according to the specific requirements of the application.

By carefully considering these factors and making necessary adjustments, you can optimise the flow rate for different water treatment applications, enhancing the efficiency of the chemical dosing process.

Dosing Procedures

The success of different chemical dosing systems relies on following proper dosing procedures. Key procedures to follow when using dosing systems on your pool include:

  1. Preparation: Always prepare the dosing chemicals according to manufacturer guidelines. Some chemicals may need to be diluted before use.
  2. Set the Dosage Amount: Use the flow rate calculations to set the required dosage amount. This will vary depending on the specific requirements of the application.
  3. Adjust the Pump Settings: Set the pump speed and pressure to achieve the desired flow rate.
  4. Start the Dosing Process: Once the settings are correct, start the dosing process. Monitor the system closely for the first few minutes to ensure everything is working correctly.
  5. Regular Monitoring: Check the system regularly to ensure it is operating correctly. This should include checking the dosing levels, flow rate, and overall system performance.
  6. Maintenance: Regular maintenance is essential for a dosing system’s longevity and efficiency. This includes cleaning the system, checking for wear and tear, and replacing parts as necessary.
  7. Calibration: To ensure consistent and reliable performance, regular calibration is crucial. This involves checking the system’s accuracy in delivering the correct dosage and making any necessary adjustments.

By following these steps, you can ensure the smooth operation of your dosing system, resulting in a more efficient and effective water treatment process. Regular maintenance and calibration not only enhance the system’s performance but also extend its lifespan, providing a cost-effective solution for water treatment applications.

Closing Thoughts

In conclusion, chemical dosing systems are integral to maintaining water quality in various applications, from pools to wastewater treatment plants. Understanding the components, functions, and optimization techniques is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness and longevity of any swimming pool.

Chemical treatment keeps your pool safe and healthy for swimmers while also reducing the need for harsh chemicals. By implementing proper dosing procedures and optimising the flow rate, you can achieve efficient chemical treatment that is both effective and environmentally friendly.

At Blue Cube Pools, our pool engineers have years of experience in designing and installing, maintaining and servicing, and dosing pools. We offer tailored solutions for your pool, along with a variety of pool dosing systems available for installation.

Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you optimise your pool’s dosing process.