Desert Oasis

Oct. 3, 2009
Onsite, mixed-oxidant generation systems keep a Hyatt Resort’s pool water clean and safe

About the author: Beth Kennedy is marketing communications manager for MIOX Corp. Kennedy can be reached at 505.224.1140 or by e-mail at [email protected].

Situated between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, N.M., at the base of the Sandia Mountains, the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa offers guests a myriad of opportunities for luxurious and refreshing aquatic experiences. Whether a tranquil spa visit, fun in the plaza pool, a mid-winter swim in the outdoor, heated Kiva pool or a relaxing moment in the whirlpool, visitors cannot help but become engulfed in the region’s natural beauty and culture.

While providing guests with a memorable hotel experience, Chris Dillon, director of engineering for Hyatt Hotels Corp., pays close attention to the maintenance and upkeep of the resort’s many aquatic amenities—most importantly water safety in the resort’s pools and spas.

Cleanliness Challenge

The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa originally used liquid bleach to treat water in its pools and spas, a common industry practice before it was considered potentially dangerous for guests and employees.

The resort then moved to chlorine tablets, but quickly discovered the tablet feed was problematic, causing superchlorination that often set off alarms. Dillon and his team then tried a saltwater chlorinator, which they found too unreliable—a problem that could have exposed the resort to liability issues if a guest were to have an adverse reaction to unclean water.

As a result, Dillon began searching for an effective, cost-efficient way to treat the facility’s water in a manner that was safe for the environment, which is an important priority for the Hyatt Hotels Corp.

Onsite Solutions

In December 2008, Dillon chose MIOX to provide water purification solutions for the luxury resort’s three outdoor pools, three hydrotherapy rooms and an outdoor whirlpool.

MIOX installed two onsite, mixed-oxidant generation systems that produce an environmentally benign liquid solution through electrolysis. This clean technology treats water using only salt, water and power to generate a dilute disinfectant on site.

“By applying electricity to salt water, the systems store and convert salt to a chlorine-based solution,” said Carlos Perea, MIOX president and CEO.

Creating disinfectants on site is safe, cost effective and environmentally responsible, according to Perea. “These systems cut back transportation requirements, reduce carbon emissions and fuel consumption, and eliminate the need to store and dispose of chemical containers.”

Unlike traditional chlorine, the onsite systems utilize lower feed rates, offering increased protection against a wide range of microorganisms such as Cryptosporidium, Legionella and Giardia, which can cause illness, disease and even death.

“MIOX systems in recreational, aquatic applications result in crystal-clear, clean water that is free of the dangers posed by traditional pool sanitation chemicals,” Perea said. “Water treatment solutions generated on site are more reliable and can have significant social, economic and environmental advantages.”

Safe for All

“Safety issues were our biggest motivator,” Dillon said. “We eliminated the need to manually transfer 55-gal barrels of chemicals (liquid bleach) each day, which creates a safer environment all around—it’s a win-win-win.”

Hyatt hotels around the world are also focusing on a more sustainable approach to operations.

“[These] technologies will not only offer our guests a swim experience that is free of chlorine, odor and irritations, they will also lessen our resort’s impact on the environment, which is an important part of Hyatt’s sustainability efforts,” Dillon said.

The MIOX mixed-oxidant solution is considered environmentally friendly. “As the solution is produced on site, the only transported material is salt,” said Perea. “There is no need to transport, handle or store large quantities of chemicals such as chlorine and bleach. As a result, there are cost savings, less potential dangers and carbon emissions are reduced three-to-one over liquid bleach.”

Additionally, guests at the resort have commented on the clarity of the pools, according to Dillon. “We’ve heard the pool water is crystal clear and better than ever,” he said. “As a matter of fact, our pool technicians now have more to worry about …if a speck of dirt or dust blows into the pool, you can see it. The clarity was an unexpected benefit, but one that is very pleasing to our guests.”

MIOX has helped the Hyatt Regency Tamaya reach its goal of having a safe, effective water treatment system.

“We are excited about our partnership with Hyatt and look forward to introducing the full portfolio of MIOX technologies to other properties around the world,” Perea said. “In addition to aquatics, MIOX solutions can replace hazardous chlorine in other Hyatt water treatment applications including cooling towers, point-of-entry and wastewater reuse; and we can do so while reducing costs, which is even more important in today’s economy.”

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About the Author

Beth Kennedy

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