Before treating biofilm,
understand what they are and how they grow.
Biofilms can be removed mechanically, chemically
or "naturally." Mechanical removal using scrub brushes, filter
cleaners, etcetera, physically remove the biofilm from visible places.
Visible places would be the filter cartridge
itself, filter tank, all spa surfaces where you sit or lie down, water
line, pillows, skimmer baskets, etc. You can physically handle the
object that needs to be cleaned. This is one of the reasons why we as
Spa & hot tub Professionals are so adamant about wiping the spa's
surfaces on a regular basis - even every time that you use the spa.
Wiping breaks up and lifts the biofilm off from its cozy environs
enabling the chlorine or sanitizer to kill it and the filter to remove
it. Be careful however to regularly clean & chemically clean the filter
to remove the accumulations of "filtered" biofilms from the filter
Keep in mind that biofilms are a direct
contributor to chlorine demand, causing the spa to use significantly
more chlorine, bromine or biguanides than if none were present. Remove
the biofilm, remove an important component to chlorine demand.
In hard to reach places like hot tub plumbing
lines & inside heaters, biofilms need to be removed Chemically.
This is where so much biofilm (and about 99% of the bacteria)
accumulates and thrives. Biofilm is typically left alone. It has all
that it needs - a surface, moisture, and nutrients floating by. Keep in
mind that biofilm doesn't need sunlight - it's not an algae so sunlight
is not one of biofilm's needs. Biofilm does need "warm" water - 90°
F or better for optimal growth, but as long as it's not cold, the
biofilm will survive and grow just fine thank you.
Tried & true products such as natural enzymes (Natural
Spa Perfect, or SpaGuard Natural Enzyme) "eat up" much of the nutrients
and other waste that contribute to biofilm growth thereby stunting it.
But as biofilms become more resistant and more proliferate, a new
arsenal of products must be considered & used. Flushing
products such as Spa System Flush, Swirl Away or Natural Chemistry Spa
Purge have shown to be fairly effective in bio-film removal. The picture
below shows a brand new spa having bio-film removed - results after 12
hours of a flush product.
Newer products such as
are added to the spa water and quite rapidly remove the biofilm from the
hidden surfaces. AquaFinesse™ products have been
successfully used in the European market and in industrial applications
for several years. As with the physical removal products, loosened &
removed biofilm particles must be filtered out of the water then removed
from the system entirely.
After the initial application, you will
notice that the water become very cloudy and the filter becomes rapidly
clogged as the filter traps all of that used biofilm. Cartridge filters
must be chemically cleaned to restore the filter to a proper working
condition. If biofilm removal has never been done before, it may be
necessary or even advantageous to replace the filter media - especially
in older spas & hot tubs. Chemically treating a brand new spa is often
a great idea since most spas are water tested at the factory leaving wet
or damp lines to accumulate biofilms for sometimes months at a time
before it is delivered to your home. These products are completely
compatible with all hot water care chemical systems (chlorine, bromine,
An even newer, "gentler" natural way to remove
biofilm is using sphagnum moss. In testing by
State Univ. Center for Biofilm Engineering, sphagnum moss was found to
be an excellent preventive and remover of biofilm. It was noticed in
many ponds and lakes the world over that where sphagnum moss lived and
thrived, water quality of those lakes and ponds was "potable" or
drinkable without the need for filtering or chemical sanitizing. New
patented products such as
use eco-friendly, eco-processed sphagnum moss in disposable, consumer
friendly pouches to remove biofilms and prevent biofilms. Studies are
further showing that pool water treated with
moss stays better balanced (natural buffers are present in the moss) and
is "gentler" for spa users.
more about sphagnum moss & SpaNaturally here. SpaNaturally™
sphagnum moss pouches are replaced on a monthly basis for optimal
effect. Sphagnum moss products work with all chlorine, bromine and salt
systems but are NOT compatible with biguanide products such as SpaGuard®
or Arch Chemicals®
The bottom line for the hot tub owner and
customer is a longer life of the spa & its equipment (filter, heater,
pillow, cover, etc.) due to the removal of biofilms as well as biofilm
scaling. Chemical consumption should and will show a marked decrease as
chlorine, bromine & other sanitizers can concentrate on the 1% of
planktonic bacteria present in the water. Easier water balance, less
It is true that only time will prove the
efficacy & efficiency of these new treatments, but the studies so far
look extremely promising.
Biofilm removal products.
To Purchase the products
If you still need help, here's how to
store hours): Stratford 203-377-0100
FAX: (24 hrs) 203-375-7787
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