Regulations on disinfectant products: help or hindrance for swimming pools?
What is a biocidal product?
“Substances or preparations intended to destroy, repel or render harmful organisms harmless (fungi, algae, bacteria, viruses, insects, etc.), to prevent their action or to combat them through a chemical or biological action” ANSES definition
What is the Biocidal Products Regulation?
The Biocidal Products Regulation is a European regulation, the main objective of which is to improve the free movement of biocidal products while guaranteeing a high level of protection for human, animal and environmental health. It marks the desire of the European Union to legislate on the quality and effectiveness of these biocides and to avoid uncontrolled use of products that are harmful to health and the environment. It applies to disinfectants (chlorine, bromine, etc.), protection and pest control products as well as in situ generation processes for biocidal products, such as electrolysis.
Regulation 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council defines the rules for the approval of active biocidal substances, their availability and their use. In Europe, the assessment of the effectiveness and risks of each chemical substance is carried out by ECHA (European Chemicals Agency), an agency of the European Union. When the latter has approved the components of the product, its manufacturer has a period of two years to have it validated and obtain marketing authorisation in one or more European countries.
In France, these marketing authorisations are issued by ANSES (French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety). The list of substances authorised in Europe is available on the ECHA website as well as on the sites of each national agency.
Biocidal pool products
The regulations cover all pool disinfection products (chlorine, bromine, active oxygen, etc.) as well as anti-algae and wintering products.
The Biocidal Products Regulation was reinforced by the Egalim Act of 30 October 2018 (in French) which prohibits advertising of these products to the general public, the prohibition of their self-service sale and the prohibition of certain commercial practices (discounts, rebates and reductions). The objective of this reinforcement is to reduce the exposure of people and the environment to these biocidal substances, to preserve their effectiveness, avoid the development of resistance by limiting unnecessary uses and to better raise awareness among consumers and professionals.
The right dose at the right time for the right need
This regulation makes it necessary to operate swimming pools more scrupulously in order to reduce consumption of biocidal products as well as discharges of treated water. This involves regular analysis of the main water parameters (temperature, TAC, TH, pH, disinfectant level, etc.) in order to prevent the appearance of problems (limestone, algae, slippery wall, excessive temperature, etc.) and to identify the need for treatment (washing the filtering media, adding disinfectant, rectifying the pH, etc.).
There are now solutions that facilitate and simplify this work: high-capacity cartridge filters, variable speed pumps, salt chlorinators, robotic cleaners, reversible heat pumps (especially today with the multiplication of heatwaves) and above all automation.
Thanks to the automation of analysis and correction tasks, there are no more omissions and no more constraints. Automation monitors for problems 24 hours a day and corrects them by triggering the right action, at the right time, with the right dosage, making the operation of swimming pools more scrupulous.