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

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Presenter: Vance Fiegel

Thursday, October 13, 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
1 Hour | 1 PHTA CEU | 0.1 IACET CEU



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 load continually accumulates on the filter media and other surfaces. This accumulation of surface-bound organic contamination results in increased backwash frequency, reduced water quality, increased chemical usage, and increased disinfection byproduct (DBP) production. This presentation will describe the nature of surface-bound organic contamination, DBP, and the unique biology of Legionella pneumophilia. The presenter will also describe how the organic load contributes to the production of DBP and can also act as a repository for Legionella and other microorganisms. This presentation will also discuss routine methods to mitigate build-up of surface-bound organic contamination and maintain a healthier pool environment.


Learning Objectives

  • Examine the nature of organic load in pools and hot tubs.
  • Discuss the formation of DBP in pools and hot tubs.
  • Define the unique biology of the Legionella bacteria.
  • Identify the issues with hot tubs and pools that lead to Legionella exposure.
  • Discuss strategies to reduce organic load and thereby reduce potential exposure to DBP and Legionella.


Presenter Bio

Vance Fiegel is a cell and microbiologist, inventor, and entrepreneur. He began his career at the University of Minnesota where he studied the basic biology of inflammation and wound healing. Upon leaving the UMN 30 years ago, he co-founded Embro Corporation, a privately held biomedical research and development company. Embro’s proprietary technology portfolio includes technology in medical devices and the use of Sphagnum moss for water treatment. In 2003, he co-founded Creative Water Solutions, LLC to develop and commercialize the use of Sphagnum moss for water treatment in a number of areas, including swimming pools and spas, industrial water, wastewater, and drinking water. He has published over 60 research articles, holds over 25 patents, and 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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