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    Default Enzymes

    What are your thoughts on enzymes?


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    Default Re: Enzymes

    I think that I'm not even interested in a discussion about the topic with someone from a website like "Water's Choice", which is promoting the impossible: "the world of non toxic, non chemical water treatment".

    I don't know what your relationship is to Water's Choice, but whoever wrote that is either an idiot or liar: pool's will be chemical free ONLY when 100% of the dihydrogen monoxide has been drained from them!

    I'm alerting Chem_Geek to your post. We often find that companies like yours make claims about sanitation that violate EPA requirements, and he enjoys helping their enforcement guys ID bogus products being foisted on gullible consumers.

    With absurd statements like this one, "Chemicals are similar to chemotherapy they kill everything in the water including all that is good.", that website certainly fits the profile.

    Just out of curiosity, exactly what are the "good" things that your website claims are killed?

    Sheesh.

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    Default Re: Enzymes

    The website is careful to avoid making pathogen kill claims. They don't say "kills bacteria" or "disinfects" or "sanitizes". The closest they come to such language is the following:

    One dose of enzymes covers bacteria duty in a [pool|spa] for much longer, meaning less maintenance for you
    where "bacteria duty" can mean almost anything so the EPA would probably let that slide (maybe not). In another section they say the following:

    Traditionally, people have used heavy doses of chemicals to keep swimming water clean and free of bacteria.
    :
    If the cumbersome maintenance schedule was neglected, even for a short time, skin rashes and other health related issues could occur as bacteria were allowed to multiply unchecked.
    but that refers to traditional chemical maintenance so is not a claim for what enzymes do.

    Enzymes are useful in conditions of high bather-load including residential spas if one uses them frequently, though usually people use ozonators for such situations. However, in a low bather-load residential pool there isn't much point in using them since the amount of chlorine usage required to oxidize bather waste is negligible. Certainly enzymes do not disinfect the pool so promoting their use in a disinfectant-free system is irresponsible -- even worse than those promoting metal ion combination systems (i.e. copper/silver) since at least in those systems there is some degree of bacteria kill, albeit far slower than chlorine. That is, unless they can show at least some efficacy of the enzymes against bacteria.

    It would be interesting to see how the enzyme-only system does with algae growth. If the system were to be used with a phosphate remover or algaecide, then it may be unsanitary but at least the water may remain clear. Interestingly, they do also sell bacteria test kits.
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    Default Re: Enzymes

    Spa Doc,
    I'm sorry you feel the way you do about us. I am the owner of Waters Choice and have been working with enzymes for 18 years. You have a very powerful place for people to go to get information and advice. I'm sorry you don't want to have a conversation about enzymes. I think it would have been very enlightening for both of us.

    Just out of curiosity, exactly what are the "good" things that your website claims are killed?

    Bacteria are essential for life. Without bacteria you and I would not be alive. It is unfortunate that the word bacteria has such a negative stigma attached to it.
    Have a Great Day

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    Default Re: Enzymes

    chem geek,
    Thank you for checking out my site. On the FAQ page you should have seen this: Q: Do I need to use a sanitizer in my swimming pool?
    A: A small amount of chlorine, (.5 ppm), is required.
    An enzyme only system in a swimming pool would not be good. With the exposer to the environment and sun algae would grow out of control.
    The last thing in the world I want is to harm someone. That is why we sell a test to test the harmful bacteria that you find in recreational and drinking water.
    I would love to chat with you more about enzymes and what they do for the "low bather-load residential pool". My number is 208-949-2800. If you would rather me call you please send me an email at tom@waterschoice.com and let me know where and when to call.
    I look forward to talking to you.

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    Default Re: Enzymes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom@WC View Post
    Bacteria are essential for life. Without bacteria you and I would not be alive. It is unfortunate that the word bacteria has such a negative stigma attached to it.
    I call BS!

    I challenge you to name a SINGLE species of bacteria, whose presence is pools is demonstrably beneficial to pool users.

    Your statement is true, but irrelevant -- in other words, a typical non-answer by yet-another entry in the "We're going to help you avoid chemicals in your pool" crowd of sales opportunists, pandering to the irrational fears of under-educated pool owners made paranoid by scientifically illiterate mass media journalists.


    I direct your attention to this YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yi3erdgVVTw

    . . . and these:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BftyB69xQC4 (Petition to add carcinogens to water.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvLnx0cTDOI (HS teachers petition to ban water.)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmLOTqKsANw (Rutgers students petition to ban water.)

    I bet we could get a LOT more signatures on a petition to ban "dangerous enzymes" that can dissolve human flesh (or other tissue in mammalian stomachs!). I wouldn't be suprised to find that YOUR products include tissue dissolving (protein degrading) enzymes!

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    Default Re: Enzymes

    Please forgive my ignorance, but, aren't enzymes chemicals?
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    Default Re: Enzymes

    Only among those who didn't fail high school science . . .

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    Default Re: Enzymes

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom@WC View Post
    chem geek,
    Thank you for checking out my site. On the FAQ page you should have seen this: Q: Do I need to use a sanitizer in my swimming pool?
    A: A small amount of chlorine, (.5 ppm), is required.
    I missed seeing that so thank you for showing it. So you aren't promoting a no-chlorine system, just a low-chlorine one. Apparently you do not understand the chlorine / cyanuric acid relationship because if you did you would 1) not recommend any specific Free Chlorine (FC) level independent of the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level and 2) you would know that the FC/CYA ratios we recommend that prevents algae growth regardless of algae nutrient level have the equivalent FC of less than 0.1 ppm equivalent if there were no CYA. In other words, the active chlorine level is already very, very low.

    I'll call you to chat more about this. Enzymes have decent use when there are lots of organics to deal with as with higher bather-load pools. They can be seen as supplemental oxidation. However, the largest nitrogenous component in sweat and urine is urea and form what I can tell existing enzymes on the market aren't dealing with urea. If yours does, then that would be fantastic for high bather-load commercial/public pools that struggle to not have smelly and irritating nitrogen trichloride due to the high urea content -- when chlorine oxidizes urea it can produce a lot of nitrogen trichloride so anything that can get rid of the urea before chlorine fully reacts with it would be a good thing.

    [EDIT] I just called Tom and we had a long conversation. I want to get some more info since Harold Evans (whom I know) from Orenda Technologies has been doing some pathogen kill time studies with enzymes at the University of Montana and I'm also getting some cost and usage info from Tom for enzymes. After I get more info, I'll put together something on this sort of along the lines of what we do for phosphate removers where they are seen as a supplement for some circumstances. It may be that enzymes could be put in the same bucket with phosphate removers and Polyquat algaecide and copper/silver ions in that they inhibit pathogen and (maybe) algae growth letting one use a lower active chlorine level if that is desired or let one use normal chlorine levels but have insurance if one misses a dose. At least with enzymes, phosphate removers, and Polyquat algaecide that the only significant side effects are cost, unlike copper/silver systems that risk staining and hair color changes. That's why the cost/dosage info will be important. [END-EDIT]
    Last edited by chem geek; 07-18-2014 at 03:24 PM.
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    Default Re: Enzymes

    I got a response from Harold Evans of Orenda and the studies he had done on the CV-600 enzymes were at doses far higher than for use in swimming pools. The lowest tested was 1 ml per liter so 1:1000 dilution. At this level, there was NO killing/inhibition of ANY of the pathogens tested (E.Coli MTCC 68, Salmonella typhimurium MTCC 98, Shigella flexineri MTCC 1457, Pseudomonas aeruginosa MTCC 424, Staphylococcus aureus MTCC 87, Enterococcus faecalis MTCC 439). 99.9% reductions over 30 minutes were seen only for E. coli at 2 ml/liter or higher and for Pseudomonas aeruginosa at 4 ml/liter or higher so really only for topical use at 1:100 types of dilutions, not for swimming pools at 1:40,000 or greater dilutions. So enzymes at swimming pool concentrations cannot be considered to be disinfectants, not even controlling let alone killing bacteria quickly. Harold mentioned that there were very positive results against biofilms but I didn't see those studies and biofilms can be largely prevented by killing planktonic bacteria quickly (the main exception being sand filters in high bather-load pools).

    A separate study on the PR10,000 phsophate remover was also at doses far higher than for use in swimming pools. Various tests were done using mixed colonies of gram negative species and tests with gram positive species. Again, the lowest concentration tested was 1 ml/L so far higher than used in pools. There were greater than 6-log reductions in all of these tests (again after 30 minutes of exposure), basically at the limit of testing showing no bacterial growth. Most likely, the phosphate remover (lanthanum chloride) reduced phosphate levels so low that the bacteria could not grow, but it is unclear as to whether they were just dormant or actually killed. That is, if the bacteria were rinsed and moved to an environment rich in phosphates it is not clear whether they would be able to grow. At any rate, though it is known that both algae and bacteria would be slowed down in their growth at lower phosphate levels of say 100 ppb in pools after treatment, it is not clear exactly how slow such growth may be, especially for bacteria that reproduce more quickly than algae anyway.

    The Orenda CV-600 used for pools is $35.28 per quart (on Amazon) but is dosed once at a full quart, then 4-5 ounces per 10,000 gallons per week for the first month, then 3-4 ounces per 10,000 gallons per week depending or organic loading in the pool. At any rate, even the one quart per 10,000 gallons is a 1:40,000 dilution. So ignoring the initial dosing which presumably is only done once, 3-4 ounces per 10,000 gallons per week would be around $16.50 per month though one is supposed to adjust dosage based on need. For the Waters Choice pool water treatment product, the maintenance dose of 0.5 ounces per 10,000 gallons per week would be (using the 32 oz. bottle price) would be around $9.70 per month.

    Tom had positive experiences in his own pool, but he didn't just use enzymes, but also phosphate remover. He would infrequently get a small amount of algae growth that he would kill off with some extra chlorine so I believe most of the benefit of lower chlorine usage is from having a lower active chlorine level made possible due to use of the phosphate remover. What would be interesting is to see whether the enzymes prevent Combined Chlorine (CC) formation in covered pools or indoor pools not exposed to sunlight since using low active chlorine levels can show elevated CC in such situations.

    Enzymes are helpful in conditions of high bather load. As for the amount of chlorine demand from bather load, one person-hour in a pool needs around 3 grams of chlorine to oxidize the bather waste (in a hot spa it's around 7 grams per person-hour). 3 grams in 10,000 gallons is only 0.08 mg/L (ppm) so you can see how a small number of swimmers in a pool has negligible bather-load. Now 30 kids in an 18,000 pool for 2 hours would be 2.6 ppm FC so obviously much more substantial where the enzymes could help to oxidize that bather waste. This calculation assumes none of the kids are urinating in the pool

    So I don't believe we have any new information to change our basic assumptions that enzymes are most useful in high bather-load pools while in low bather-load outdoor residential pools they are of limited value. The greater value in terms of those wanting to have a lower active chlorine level with lower chlorine usage is the use of phosphate removers (or algaecides), but of course this is a cost trade-off and the lower active chlorine level has its own pros and cons. The current recommendations set at algae inhibition levels regardless of algae nutrient level provide a decent balance oxidizing bather waste quickly enough while killing bacteria quickly and inhibiting algae growth.
    Last edited by chem geek; 07-20-2014 at 05:03 PM.
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