CH does not recommend the use of bromine at this time.
Bromine gained interest in the early ‘90s as a replacement for chlorine. Twice the bromine is required to reach the same oxidation potential of chlorine. Bromine is a much less aggressive oxidizer compared to chlorine. It doesn’t combine with organics; therefore chloramines are not produced which cause the smell in a natatorium. There are claims that bromine is less irritating to swimmers.
Problems exist with bromine because it is less active, it cannot react as quickly, compared to chlorine, when there is heavy organic loading and a large number of bathers enter the pool at one time. The result is cloudy water.
Bromine by itself is costly. First-dollar costs are acceptable, since the distribution system is similar to that used by tablet chlorine. Second-dollar operation costs, though, are significantly higher. Compared to tablet chlorine, bromine can cost a little less than twice that of tablet chlorine. In addition, since it isn’t as active as chlorine, systems need twice as much to achieve the same sanitation level, making the operating costs of a straight bromine system prohibitive for many applications.
Bromine BCDMH is classified as a corrosive – either class one or class two oxidizer. It is not flammable in and of itself, but it may ignite combustible materials in which it comes into contact, and as such is identified as a hazard. Some codes limit storage to as much as 1,000 to 4,000 lbs. in a single location. Typically, occupancy fire ratings of the room in which it is stored and used is 2 hours; and some jurisdictions may require that the space be provided with a qualified and approved sprinkler system. Additional storage of BCDMH can be provided in a “haz-mat” room if the building has such a room.
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