sANITIZING MADE EASY WITH OZONE
One of the most common concerns about a new spa is often maintenance. No one wants to add more work to an already busy day, and we understand that, so we’ve made an Aqua Sun Ozonator a standard feature in all Stone Creek Spas.
Why Ozone Sanitation?
Ozone is a natural, safe and highly effective sanitation method that eliminates or reduces the need for traditional sanitation chemicals or thermal sanitation. Ozone systems often save water, energy, chemicals and waste, while producing no harmful byproducts.
Spa Ozonators Keep Hot Tub Water Pure and Fresh
The spa ozonator is an ozone generator that injects dissolved ozone into the spa water where it is one of the most powerful oxidizing disinfectants on earth, yet virtually undetectable by human touch. This natural form of oxygen combines with organic matter of all kinds to kill or neutralize it. Ozone is 200 times more powerful than chlorine and up to 99.99% effective against bacteria and viruses that lurk in a hot tub. As an added benefit, the only byproduct of ozone is ordinary oxygen – no chemical residues.
Ozone Oxidation is Nature’s Sanitation Powerhouse
Ozone (O3) is a form of oxygen that has one more oxygen atom than the atmospheric oxygen (O2) we breathe. It’s this third oxygen atom that makes the ozone molecule so unstable, which is the key to its oxidizing power. Since ozone is unstable, it has a fairly short half-life under normal conditions, so it has to be produced and supplied continuously to a disinfection process. We use a 1/15 hp circulating pump to accomplish this. Read more about it here: Dedicated Circulation Pump
How is Ozone Generated?
The chemical reaction that results in ozone is pretty simple. Ozone is a form of oxygen that is created when electrical energy breaks apart an ordinary oxygen molecule (O2) starting a chemical reaction that results in ozone (O3).
Electrical energy breaks the ordinary O2 molecule into two O1 atoms. The free oxygen atoms unite with other O2 molecules to produce ozone (O1) + (O2) = (O3). Ozone is an unstable molecule because the 3rd oxygen atom is connected to the other two atoms with a weak bond (symbolized by the single line in the diagram). The weak bond is why ozone is such a powerful sanitizer, as shown below.
How Does Ozone Work?
Once the ozonator system has delivered ozone through a disinfection system, it cleans the water through ozone oxidation. The unstable third oxygen atom can combine with organic and inorganic molecules to destroy or change them through oxidation. This process happens almost instantaneously. For example, ozone in a swimming pool will kill Cryptosporidium parvum practically on contact, whereas chlorine in normal pool concentrations would take hours to kill it. Like chlorine, ozone is “used up” in the oxidation process, and has to be re-supplied.
Ozone oxidizes a very large range of substances, organic molecules, such as viruses, bacteria, fungi, yeast, oils, organic chloramines, etc., and inorganic molecules such as dissolved metals – iron, copper and manganese, and inorganic forms of chloramine. The chemical process of ozone oxidation is relentless. It continues until the ozone is completely destroyed (actually, it is “reduced” in the process of “oxidizing” other substances). When this beneficial third unstable atom completes its oxidizing duties, it leaves behind only the familiar oxygen molecule like the ones in the air we breathe, O2.
The Benefits of Ozone
Ozone is one of nature’s most powerful disinfectant oxidizers. On a base average (depending on the microorganism or organic contaminant), it is 200 times stronger than chlorine.
Ozone oxidation means destroying substances chlorine can’t effectively eliminate, like human fluids, cosmetics, and organics of all kinds, as well as dissolved metallic substances like iron and manganese.
The breadth of ozone effectiveness means protection against emerging threats like endocrine disruptors (byproducts of pharmaceutical disposal) in the water supply.
Ozone interrupts the chemical process that creates hazardous byproducts of chlorine sanitation such as chloramines. It acts on both the organics that are part of the chloramine formation process and on the chloramines themselves.
Ozone oxidation creates no byproducts or residues – the only thing left behind is ordinary oxygen.
Ozone is tested and proven effective against tough microorganisms like crypto (Cryptosporidium parvum) and MRSA (antibiotic resistant staph). Ozone is effective against a very wide array of threatening microorganisms such as E.coli and Salmonella, Listeria, Pseudomonas and so forth.
Ozone Saves Money
Ozone is a very cost effective sanitizer. It can help reduce the need for repeated chemical purchase costs, dosing costs, and for storage and management. The ozone simply oxidizes the substances it contacts or it quickly spontaneously decays. Ozone is produced on the spot, used on the spot, and disappears.
Ozone is the Environmentally Preferred Sanitizer
For all its inherent power, ozone sanitation has no negative impact on the environment, either for its operators or for the people who benefit from the disinfection process. Ozone benefits the environment both by reducing the use of energy to heat water and lowered chemical consumption and because it creates no harmful byproducts. The oxidation process reduces the ozone, leaving behind only oxygen.
*For the reasons behind our choice not to use a salt-water system in our spas, read here: Why we don’t use salt water