From: Karen Salazar <kls_1**At_Symbol_Here**COX.NET>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Need a consulting organic chemist on safety issue
Date: November 30, 2012 8:17:09 AM EST
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
My initial snarky answer is that the only expert you need to put a halt to this idea is the local health dept., but if you want an example that might resonate with theatre folks, ask them why they think it is necessary to change the water in the bath after a professional pedicure. This would be the same reason they would not want to get into that tub night after night. I remember the pedicure industry was looking for a way to treat the water, like a swimming pool, so that people wouldn't have to change it so often, but they were unsuccessful (again, ten years ago).
Essentially, a swimming pool is one huge buffer system that requires constant circulation and filtration to maintain a proper balance. Balance means that the buffer works to keep the water in the pH range in which the system is effective at killing the bacteria. When the water is out of balance, you cannot get the water into the proper pH range to kill bacteria. That is why you need to constantly circulate the water through the filter. When you take the water to higher temperatures, as in hot tubs, it is even harder to keep balance. Here is a good article explaining what is taking place:
The thing is, treated water can be very sensitive when trying to disinfect regular swimming activities, but when you throw in a bunch of other chemicals to make the water look like blood, and the fact that there is no circulation or filtration, then I think all bets are off.
Here are some more resources from the CDC that are geared for the general population.
Oh shoot, I guess I wasn't clear enough. There is no circulation at all. This is a 1500 gallon puddle on stage. The circulation it will get will be when it is pumped back into a container after the performance where it will sit for a day uncirculated and then be pumped back on stage for the next show. This is a BAD idea. But I need someone who can really tell us how bad, help work out the kinds of chemicals this soup is going to create over a 6 week period, and see if there is anything we can do to fix it. You have no idea how determined theatrical artists and their administrators can be about creative ideas.
In a message dated 11/29/2012 9:34:33 PM Eastern Standard Time, kls_1**At_Symbol_Here**COX.NET writes:
In my former job, I was actually required to become a Certified Pool Operator. That was more than ten years ago. Therefore, this is based on memories from over ten years ago. Does the pool have a circulation system and a filter system? If not, it isn't a swimming pool. The water will never reach proper balance, and it will be a bacteria infected mess that I think isn't even legal for people to enter.
If you go to the PubMed website and search "swimming pool chemistry", you should retrieve 199 citations. This citation should be in the lower right corner. It looked relevant.
Here is the link to the 199 citations:
If it doesn't work, try the search yourself. I think you might be able to find some good info. If you need further help, please let me know. Good luck.
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