How Orenda enzymes actually work
Orenda enzymes CV-600 and CV-700 are beautifully simple products to use. Just pour them in the pool as directed, and they will do the rest. This article will explain how enzymes work, but more importantly, the differences between enzyme digestion and traditional oxidation.
Oxidation vs. Digestion
Chlorine, Bromine, Ozone and Oxy-radical systems are oxidizers for swimming pools. Oxidation is a chemical process, and in swimming pools, oxidation is basically burning contamination out of the water. Before enzymes, oxidation was the primary way to handle non-living organics and oils.
There are a couple downsides to oxidation
- First, it is an aggressive way to rid the pool of non-living contamination.
- Second, oxidation releases byproducts called disinfectant byproducts (DBPs), aka chloramines. Think of chloramines like ‘smoke’ from the fire of oxidation. Most chloramines and other DBPs are created when the oxidizer cannot keep up with the demand. This is known as combined chlorine in swimming pools. These DBP’s are often harmful and are the main source of bad air quality in pools. We have seen pools with high levels of chlorine still unable to keep up with their oxidant demand.
- Third, when chlorine (and other secondary oxidizers) cannot keep up with the oxidant demand, sanitation cannot occur as quickly.
We know oxidation is not an ideal way of removing non-living organic waste because of all the symptoms it leaves behind. Scum lines, for example, might not exist if oxidation were really effective; Filters would not get nearly as clumped up because the organic ‘glue’ would’ve been oxidized out of the water before it got to the filter; chlorine and secondary oxidizers would rarely fall short, and therefore, chloramines would not be the universal problem they are.
Does anyone really think shocking the pool (breakpoint chlorination) is the best way to handle heavy bather loads anymore? We don’t. Shock the pool for disinfection purposes only, in our opinion. Like a disease outbreak or fecal incident. Chlorine is a great disinfectant, but not a great oxidizer.
Orenda Enzymes are formulated to break down and digest carbon-based (organic) waste. Rather than oxidizing (burning) an entire molecule of bather waste, our enzyme formula breaks the molecule apart, and digests the components.
Image: a model of a molecule using toothpicks and blueberries. The toothpicks are the bonds, and the berries are the elements in the molecule. Orenda enzymes break apart the carbon bonds (toothpicks) and digest the berries. Carbon dioxide is the byproduct of this digestion.
WATCH: Enzymes break down oil and it bubbles off as CO2
Many pool chemical products out there address symptoms that stem from poor management of bather waste. If the bather waste were handled properly (instead of relying on oxidation to burn through it all), many problems would go away. Think about it:
- cloudy pool water
- frequent backwashing
- scum lines
- low ORP
- depleted chlorine levels
- high chlorine demand, low efficiency
- high combined chlorine and chloramines
- bad indoor air quality
- irritation of swimmers skin, eyes, lungs, throat and nose
The list goes on and on. But why address these problems when you could address the root cause?
Enzymes help chlorine
Let’s not forget that chlorine has a critical role in pool management: sanitation. Killing germs and keeping the pool safe to swim in is the primary purpose of having a residual sanitizer in the first place. Oxidation, however, is its secondary function. As we know now, oxidation is not an ideal method of handling bather waste.
Orenda enzymes can handle the majority of bather waste so chlorine doesn’t have to.
With less bather waste to oxidize, chlorine has more freedom to disinfect the pool and rid it of germs and other nasties like algae. Chlorine being freed of its oxidation burden is a great thing for water quality (and water clarity). So consider using enzymes to be a powerful way to rid the pool of bather waste, and allow your chlorine to do what it does best.