Q. How does the FLOATRON work?
A. As atoms of the FLOATRON’s special mineral electrode are ionised, they scatter throughout the water. These ions exert a lethal influence on microscopic life forms. Experimentation by the University of Arizona proves that mineral ions, in conjunction with trace chlorine are 1,000 times more effective against algae than chlorine alone. Once these minerals are dissolved into water, they remain for extended periods. Similar to salt in the ocean, ions do not evaporate, even under extreme, hot conditions. Chlorine, however, is a very light element which tends to evaporate rapidly, especially in hot weather. This being the reason for larger chlorine doses in summer.
Q. What is Ionisation?
A. Ionisation is the taking apart of a material, atom by atom. This process occurs in nature at all levels and is how water accumulates trace minerals which help maintain its purity. Water purification by ionisation has been practised for thousands of years. By storing water in copper and silver containers, ancient Romans kept it fresh and free from algae and bacteria. With the FLOATRON, a small electrical current supplied by a solar panel energises the electrodes creating the electrochemical reaction.
Q. What is wrong with chlorine?
A. Chlorine, whilst it can be effective, evaporates out of water quickly & requires constant replenishment to maintain a protective concentration. Sydney won the Olympic bid with the promise of a “chlorine-free” Games. As a result, the Homebush Aquatic Centre (the Olympic swimming venue) has had ozone systems installed (expensive to install and costly to run) just so the athletes will not swim in heavily chlorinated water. Chlorine and its effects are proving similar to DDT and Asbestos, which were also initially thought to be harmless.
Q. Are the minerals from FLOATRON safe?
A. The recommended concentration is about 1/3 the amount allowed by the American EPA for drinking water. Essentially, safe enough to drink!
Q. What is the life of the FLOATRON?
A. This product is designed to last about 10-15 years. The sacrificial mineral electrode can be replaced as many times as necessary over the years.
Q. Does the FLOATRON stay in the water all the time?
A. For pools over 50,000 litres and/or conditions which necessitate adding new water due to excessive evaporation, float the unit full time in the pool. Use the mineral ion test kit to determine floating times for pools under 40,000 litres. Swimming with FLOATRON in the water is perfectly safe. It only measures 1 foot in diameter, so goes virtually unnoticed in your pool. You choose whether to tether it, or let it free-float.
Q. What if my pool is covered?
A. Simply fold back a corner, or cut a small cross to sit the electrode through. The Floatron works the same, whether it is stationary, or floating around.
Q. Is any chlorine necessary after ionising the water?
A. A trace amount, (0.2-0.4 ppm – barely detectable on a chlorine test kit) should be maintained to burn off contaminants such as dust, suntan oil, body fluids, etc.
Q. Will other chemicals, such as algaecide, clarifier, stabiliser, etc. be necessary? Also will shock treatment be required?
A. No other chemicals are recommended, and your pool will not need to be “shocked”. The FLOATRON works best with trace chlorine only. pH becomes very stable, and we recommend testing every couple of months. It is recommended to get a full test done every so often for calcium hardness, TDS etc (we like to do ours before the swimming season) to monitor levels and adjust if necessary.
Q. Do I still need to add chlorine every day?
A. No. Once a week, or if you notice the pool beginning to cloud, add some chlorine. An easy way to maintain the trace chlorine is to leave one or two tablets in the skimmer basket.
Q. Is FLOATRON safe for ponds and fish?
A. The FLOATRON works well in a pond environment provided circulation exists to mix the ions thorough the body of water. The low concentration of minerals has proven to be completely compatible with all well known varieties of fish.
Q. How does FLOATRON compare to other ionisers?
A. FLOATRON is a finely tuned device which introduces ions slowly and steadily into the water. This constant trickle allows water to accept and react completely with the minerals. This is technically superior to any other ioniser in the world, all of which generate large amounts of mineral ions in a short period of time. Not only are these expensive units overpowered and bulky, they require professional installation and servicing. Additionally, complex electronic controllers can add to their unreliability and cost. Compactness and portability are unique to FLOATRON.
Q. Why aren’t there FLOATRON in every pool store?
A. A lot of myth surrounds ionisers, FLOATRON included. Since ionisers drastically reduce chemical sales, and incur a one-off cost, most pool stores are reluctant to stock them. If an ioniser is ever recommended, usually it is a very costly system… the motive being profit. FLOATRON is not your average, run of the mill ioniser. It is the least expensive, most effective ioniser available in the world.
Q. Will FLOATRON work in my SALTWATER pool?
A. Yes! The FLOATRON is totally compatible with “salt” pools. In fact, the most effective way to operate the FLOATRON in conjunction with your salt chlorinator is to reduce the salt chlorinator operating time by half as soon as your pool has achieved a level of .2PPM copper, as indicated by the FLOATRON test kit. When the optimum operating level of the FLOATRON has been achieved (ie .3 to .5PPM of copper), reduce the salt chlorinator operating time by half again. Adjust the salt chlorinator operating time up or down to maintain a chlorine level of .3 to .5PPM in the pool – water clarity being your guide. Refer to switching off chlorinator, below.
Q. Is there any chlorine in a “salt pool”?
A. Yes! There is as much chlorine present as there would be in a normal pool. A salt chlorinator is simply a means for making chlorine!
Q. Can I switch my salt chlorinator off altogether when I begin to use my FLOATRON?
A. Yes! However, chlorine levels should be maintained until 0.3ppm copper is achieved, then the chlorine levels can be reduced. You will need to maintain a trace amount of chlorine (0.2-0.4 ppm) to burn off” the contaminants (such as suntan lotion, body fluids etc.) that can cause your pool water to appear cloudy. Whilst your water clarity is good, you need not use an oxidiser.
What about Chlorine?
Greenpeace Comments on Chlorine
Chlorine is found in nature mainly in the form of salt, a stable compound that is essential to many natural processes.
Using massive amounts of electricity, the chemical industry destroys the salt compound’s stability creating an extremely reactive form of chlorine that is not widely found in nature. The use of chlorine results in products and wastes, many of which are toxic to wildlife, humans or the ecosystem. Chlorine is found in nature and is on the periodic chart of elements. But the chlorine produced by the chemical industry is not in its natural form and its use results in products and wastes that are toxic to wildlife, humans or the ecosystem. Salt, or sodium chloride, is the raw material for chlorine production.
Chlorine gas is extremely unstable and reactive: the gas used to kill and maim soldiers in World War 1 was chlorine gas. When it comes into contact with organic (carbon-containing) molecules, the chlorine binds tightly to the carbon atoms, creating new substances called organochlorines. Many organochlorines are toxic, persistent and/or bio-accumulative and are rarely found naturally. Nature generally produces only small quantities of such chemicals that are either tightly channelled into subsequent chemical reactions or manufactured for defensive or biocidal uses. For instance grasshoppers can synthesise a type of organochloride to repel ants. Either way, these natural toxins are not feely available to contaminate the environment.
Over 11,000 organochlorides are now in commerce. Organochlorides are useful to industry because they tend to be very stable and they resist natural breakdown processes. But this also means that they may persist in the environment for decades, moving up the food chain and contaminating wildlife and humans. Water disinfection using chlorine gas for drinking water and sewage discharges had been found to create toxic, persistent chemicals. Many more organochlorines, such as dioxins, are produced by accident and these are often even more toxic or persistent than the original chemical.
Drinking water and disinfection of sewage is another small use of chlorine with major health impacts. Chlorine combines with the organic matter in water to produce hundreds of organochlorine by-products. Among the best-understood are the carcinogenic trihalomethanes, including chloroform. Chlorinated effluents from sewage plants have caused severe damage to fish and aquatic ecosystems. And a number of studies have linked chlorinated drinking water to bladder cancer, colorectal cancer, birth defects, low birth weight and changes in fat metabolism that can lead to high blood cholesterol and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
By relying on chlorine as a disinfectant, we have traded one serious public health problem – infectious disease – for a new one: chemically-induced diseases.
Chlorinated compounds are destroying the ozone layer that shields life on earth from ultraviolet radiation. Hundreds of other chlorine-based poisons are slowly building up worldwide in the air, water and food chain – and in our bodies, as well. Scientific evidence implicates these chemicals in severe and widespread health problems in people and wildlife, including infertility, impaired childhood development, immune system damage, and cancer.
Slowly Poisoning the Planet
One reason that organochlorides are useful to industry is that they tend to be very stable. They resist natural breakdown processes. But this also means that some organochlorides persist in the environment for decades or even centuries. The breakdown products of their slow degradation commonly include other oganochlorines that may be more toxic or persistent than the original chemical. Even small discharges of these persistent chemicals build up in the environment over time. Because they are fat-soluble, many persistent organochlorine bio-accumulate in animals and humans usually reaching their highest contamination levels at the top of the food chain. Levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in fish eggs can be 25 million times greater than the original level in the water!
Chlorine Family Unsafe. Scientists warn about health woes
By Glennda Chui, San Jose Mercury News
Concern is growing among scientists, wildlife experts and public health officials that a widely used class of chemicals may cause serious problems in people and the environment – including breast cancer, neurological problems in children and deformities and infertility in wildlife.
In the past two years, the case against chlorine compounds has prompted an international commission to set an end to their discharge into the Great Lakes and led the nation’s largest group of public health professionals to recommend that many be phased out.
Few man-made chemicals are as pervasive as those in the chlorine family. Chlorine is used in making 96 percent of all pesticides, 85 percent of all drugs and every computer chip that rolls off the line. Chlorine compounds dry-clean our clothes, bleach our laundry, form plastics and vinyls, and disinfect our swimming pools and drinking water.
Some are so persistent that they have penetrated every corner of the globe and found their way into virtually everybody on Earth.
Enviromentalists charge that very few of the chorinated compounds have been adequately tested. Of those that have been, virtually all have proven toxic, said Greenpeace spokesman Jack Weinberg. Indeed, this toxicity is one of chlorine’s most desirable properties: it kills pests, dissolves dirt on clothing and kill bacteria in laundry or in hospitals.
But recent studies show that some of the 11,000 or more compounds known as chlorinated orgainics can act in a more insidious way: Rather than poisoning outright or causing cancer or major birth defects, they either mimic or block the body’s natural hormones, especially the female hormone estrogen.
Researchers are just beginning to unravel how these estrogenic chemicals work, how many of them exist and how widespread they are in the environment. No one yet knows whether there is such a thing as a safe level of exposure.
Yet some studies indicate that even slight exposure to one of these compounds at a critical stage of development can cause subtle defects that may show up only later in life as neurological damage or inability to reproduce. Tests used to check the safety of chemicals, which are geared toward cancer and obvious birth defects would not catch such damage.
No one is suggesting that all uses of chlorine are dangerous. But because so little is known about the thousands of chemicals that include chlorine, some suggest that the whole group should be considered suspect until proven safe – the reverse of how most chemicals are approved.
Phaseout Called For……
Greenpeace has been calling for phaseout of chlorine compounds in every area of life – a move that critics say could cost consumers $90 billion a year and 370,000 jobs.
The Chlorine Chemistry Council has vigorously opposed a phaseout, insisting that the campaign against chlorine is unfair and founded on bad science.
Now, in the latest blow to chlorine’s reputation, the 30,000 members of American Public Health Association has passed a resolution calling on industry to either prove the thousands of chlorine compounds are safe or eliminate them until substitutes are found.
Although it set no timetable, the association asked for “measurable and progressive” reduction of chlorine uses in two areas: in the pulp and paper industry and in the class of chemicals that are known to deplete the ozone layer.
The vote, which came late last month as the association’s annual meeting in San Francisco, marked a turnaround for the chlorine industry.
Several studies have linked chlorine compounds in the lakes to deformities and health problems in 14 species, including humans. For instance, children of women who had eaten Great Lakes fish had short-term memory problems and other neurological defects, as well as low birth weight and small heads.
The only way to end the contamination and the damage is to stop using the compound, the commission concluded.