Bromine is a disinfectant that works in a similar way to
chlorine, in that it oxidises pollution on contact. The active disinfectant
produced by the addition of chlorine-based disinfectants is hypochlorous acid, whereas
the active disinfectant produced by the addition of bromine-based disinfectants
is hypobromous acid.
Bromine-based disinfectants are not widely used in
conventional commercial pools, largely because it is known to sometimes cause a
condition known as ‘bromine itch’ in some swimmers. Also, in has been found
that bromine is not as effective as chlorine at controlling microbiological
contamination. Bromine-based disinfectants are sometimes used in large leisure
pools and spa pools for reasons that are explained below.
There are two ways of producing the active disinfectant (hypobromous
1. Bromochlorodimethlyhydantion (BCDMH)
This method tends to get used by small pool and spas, mainly
because it’s fairly easy and relatively safe to store and dose the product and
it has a minimal impact on pH levels, so the use of an additional chemical to
correct pH is often not required.
2. Sodium Bromide + Hypochlorite
This method tends to get used by large leisure pools, mainly
because the disinfection by-products (bromamines) are not a problem in the same
way as the disinfection by-products of chlorine (chloramines) are. In fact,
some of the bromamines themselves have disinfectant properties. This makes it
easier for large leisure pool operators to avoid the chlorine smell and
irritant properties of chloramines.
In : Disinfection