The Impact of Organic Contamination on Disinfection Byproducts and Legionella in Aquatic Systems

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Presenter: Vance Fiegel, Co-Founder and Chief Science & Technology Officer, Creative Water Solutions, LLC



The build-up of organic contamination in swimming pools and spas has significant effects on water quality, air quality, chemical usage, and bioload, all of which makes maintaining a healthy and safe water environment very challenging. As organic contaminants are introduced into the pool water by swimmers and other sources, the organic contamination continually accumulates on the filter media and other surfaces thereby increasing the overall organic load of the pool. This accumulation of surface-bound organic contamination results in increased backwashing frequency, reduced water quality, increased chemical usage, and increased disinfection byproduct production. This presentation will describe the nature of surface-bound organic contamination and how it contributes to the production of disinfection byproducts and also can act as a repository for Legionella and other organisms. This presentation will also discuss routine methods to mitigate surface-bound organic contamination and maintain a healthier pool environment.


Learning Objectives

  • Define the nature of organic contamination in water systems and how surface-bound organic contamination accumulates on pool filtration media and surfaces.
  • Discuss disinfection byproducts and how they are formed from the reaction of chlorine and surface-bound organic contamination.
  • Examine how surface-bound organic contamination can harbor Legionella bacteria and contribute to Legionella infections and outbreaks.
  • Review design methods and protocols to reduce recreational water organic contamination and maintain a healthier pool and spa environment.


Presenter Bio

Vance D. Fiegel

Vance D. Fiegel began his career at the University of Minnesota where he studied the basic biology of inflammation, angiogenesis, and wound healing. Upon leaving the University, he co-founded Embro Corporation, a privately held biomedical research and development company. In 2003 he co-founded Creative Water Solutions, LLC to develop and commercialize the use of Sphagnum moss for water treatment, including swimming pools and spas, industrial water, wastewater, and drinking water. Fiegel is the Co-Founder and Chief Science & Technology Officer of Creative Water Solutions, LLC, the President of Embro Corporation, and the Co-Founder and Chief Science & Technology Officer of Atlantic BioVentures, LLC.

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