Our Water is Crystal Clear, Clean and Safe.  Here’s Why.

31

July, 2016

Floating
Sanitation
Water Quality

The second most frequent question we hear from prospective clients pertains to the water quality. In a well-maintained system, the flotation tank solution is far cleaner than any public pool or hot tub you’ve been in.

To take it a step further, the float tank has no chlorine or added chemicals to keep it clean.  In order to keep a commercial float tank sanitary, clean and safe it requires constant cleaning, maintenance and monitoring of water levels, H2o2, salt levels and PH. It is also important to follow the Float Tank Association standards as well as other useful resources to maintain a sanitary and chemical free float experience.

Sanitation Starts with High Concentrations of Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate)

Our tanks have over 1,100 lbs of Pharmaceutical grade Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts) in 10.5 inches of water bringing the salt concentration to nearly 35%.  This high concentration of magnesium sulfate prevents nearly all organisms from multiplying, and will often kill them off over time.  But rest assured that we do not rely on just the Epsom Salt to keep things clean, nor does any other float center.

Tremendous Filtration / Sanitation

We start by filtering the entire amount of water through a cartridge filter (10 micron cartridge) in each tank 4 to 5 times between each user to pull out any organic impurities. The water is pumped through our filtration system which includes a 10 micron filter (catches everything half the width of a human hair), Ultraviolet light system (UV), Ozone filter and trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide (50-100 parts per million) are added to create a residual oxidizer, effectively destroying anything that by some miracle might have survived the previous filters.  These trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide are not harmful to the hair or skin and this entire system has been approved by the state and local health departments in California as well as many other states.

A quick note on oxidation.  Water sanitation is often measured in terms of Oxidation Reduction Potential, or ORP. ORP measures how well the water can oxidize new contaminants. Oxidation is a process which destroys certain structures in cell walls of bacteria, and renders them harmless. While this is how the strength of the sanitation method is measured, health departments will traditionally require you to monitor parts per million (PPM) of chlorine, bromine, and H2O2 that you must be able to prove you are maintaining in your water.

When bacteria, viruses and protozoa are exposed to the germicidal wavelengths of UV light, they are rendered incapable of reproducing and infecting.

Our cartridge filter on the left and UV Light on the right.

Disinfection with UV, Ozone and Hydrogen Peroxide (H2o2)

Unlike chemical approaches (chlorine or bromine) to water disinfection, UV light provides rapid, effective inactivation of microorganisms through a physical process. When bacteria, viruses and protozoa are exposed to the germicidal wavelengths of UV light, they are rendered incapable of reproducing and infecting. Hydrogen Peroxide is added to further enhance the disinfecting process of the UV and Ozone systems.

Ozone is extremely active as a disinfectant. The benefits are the strength of the disinfection and the lack of potentially harmful by-products. A wider range of organisms are killed by ozonation than by chlorination.

Why we don’t use chlorine or other chemicals.

There are potentially serious health concerns with using chlorine or bromine in the float tank environments, mostly due to dangerous byproducts which are caused when these chemicals oxidize contaminants. Some of these disinfection byproducts (DBPs) tend to hover over the surface of the water, and without proper ventilation have been shown to cause respiratory issues with prolonged exposure. Every year there are deaths due to chlorine exposure and research is beginning to show more dangers linked to dioxin (a toxic byproduct of chlorine).  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found dioxin to be 300,000 times more potent as a carcinogen than DDT.  Who wants to float in that!?  Not us.

Needless to say, floating is one of the safest therapies around.  Unlike a swimming pool, hot tub, whirlpool, etc., we will not use chlorine in our tanks to kill bacteria as there are much less hazardous alternatives approved in the state of California as mentioned previously.

 

 

Cleaning inside the tanks on a regular basis

One of the most important parts of proper float tank care, which isn’t immediately apparent, is cleaning the inside walls of the tank on a regular basis (2-3 times a week). The parts that are out of the water are in a very humid environment, and are very friendly to an array of micro-organisms. As a practice, we get in and wipe down the tank walls with a powerful solution of Hydrogen Peroxide to thoroughly disinfect the entire inside of the tank on a regular basis, and vinegar which is less effective as a sanitizer, but an annihilator of salt crystals. In addition, we run the water through the filtration system for extended periods of time during off hours and swap them out weekly to ensure that they too are cleaned and sanitized.

Monitoring and Measuring H2o2, PH and Salinity

Float North County takes special care to monitor the important measurements of H2o2, PH, salinity levels and water quality on a daily basis. We record these measurements for each tank daily.

If not measured daily H2o2 levels can drop below the minimum level of 50 parts per million. Although UV and Ozone together make a very powerful disinfectant, H2o2 levels need to be maintained as a residual oxidizer to assure water quality.

We also measure PH and adjust it when necessary to keep it in the proper range so that the water doesn’t emit odors associated with low or high PH. In addition, we measure salinity levels (amount of salt to water ratio) to make sure we have the proper buoyancy levels that allow you to defy gravity and feel that sweet spinal decompression.

As always, if you have any questions about the sanitation or anything else float related, don’t hesitate to give us a call or write to info@floatnorthcounty.com

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