Pool / Spa Industry Terminology


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ORGANIC (chemical related) Refers to volatile, combustible and sometimes biodegradable chemical compounds containing carbon atoms bonded together with other elements. The principal groups of organic substances found in water are proteins, carbohydrates, fats and oils. See organic waste.

ORGANIC WASTE (chemical related) Also called swimmer or bather waste - All of the soap, deodorant, suntan lotion, lipstick, makeup, cologne, body oils, sweat, spit, urine, etc., brought into the water. They also form chloramines, which are foul-smelling and body irritants. Requires large amounts of chlorine or non-chlorine shock to destroy.

ORP (chemical related) An abbreviation for oxidation reduction potential. It is a measurement of a body of water's ability to oxidize contaminants. Measured with an electrode and an electronic meter. It is an indication of the sanitizing level or degree of safety from disease in the water. Measured in millivolts with the accepted minimum level being 650 mV (millivolt).

OTO (chemical related) Abbreviation for orthotolidine. A chemical reagent used to test the total chlorine level in pool and spa water. It does not measure free available chlorine. See DPD.

OVER-ACID (chemical related) An incorrect term used to describe water that is acidic or water that has a pH lower than 7.2.

OVER-DRAIN Also called a diffuser or distributor - An internal sand filter device that evenly distributes influent pool water over the sand filter bed.

OXIDATION (chemical related) To rid the water of ammonia, nitrogen com- pounds and swimmer waste (organic compounds). These organic compounds disable chlorine, are body irritants and have a foul smell. Removal is accomplished by super chlorination or by shock treating with a non-chlorine oxidizer.

OXIDIZER (chemical related) A non-chlorine shocking compound that removes or destroys built-up contaminants and chloramines in pool water without raining chlorine levels as required when "super chlorinating."

OZONE (chemical related) A gaseous molecule comprised of 3 atoms of oxygen. It is generated on site from air oxygen and used for oxidation of water contaminants.

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