International Health News

Magnets help disinfect swimming pools

CRANFIELD, ENGLAND. Magnets have long been claimed to have beneficial effects on water. Conventional science is sceptical of such claims and no explanation of the phenomenon has been generally accepted so far. Now researchers at Cranfield University report that magnetized water increases the effectiveness of bleach (sodium hypochlorite) in disinfecting swimming pools. Their experiment involved two 25 L test pools which had been dosed with bacteria, sweat, and urine to simulate the conditions in an actual public swimming pool. The water supply to one of the pools passed through a pipe to which three permanent magnets had been attached while the control pool was supplied through a pipe devoid of magnets. The researchers found that the disinfectant (sodium hypochlorite) was 30 per cent more effective in killing Escherichia coli bacteria when added to the pool containing magnetized water than when added to the control pool. They also found that the magnetized water maintained its level of free chlorine significantly longer than did the control water. They speculate that the magnetic treatment may make the disinfectant more soluble, may cut losses of chlorine through evaporation or perhaps may somehow change the chemisty in the pool making the chlorine less likely to react with the amines in the bathers' sweat and urine.
Coghlan, Andy. A stroke for swimmers. New Scientist, April 25, 1998, p. 21

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