So, I’ve been an ECOsmarte dealer for over a year now. And I’ve heard all the recommendations about sand filters with glass media. (Yes, I said glass.) To get the best filtration and the least maintenance with an ECOsmarte pool – they (home office) recited the magic formula; a sand filter with glass media.
Well, you know me – I ask a lot of questions…
Why glass? Well, for a lot of reasons. Sustainability, first off. This is 100% recycled glass, so we are not strip mining to get zeolite/diatomaceous/sand, nor are we creating little polyethylene plastic beads. We use completely recycled glass (score one on the Planet Friendly Scoreboard), crush it and dry it at 250 degrees Fahrenheit, then screen it for size uniformity. Sustainable? Oh,Yeah.
But who cares if it’s sustainable if it doesn’t work well, right? It does. Actually it doesn’t just “work”, it rocks. Here are a few of the reasons why:
Safer – no crystalline silica to mess up your lungs (Class II Carcinogen)
Better Filtration – filtration to 3 microns (sand is 100 and cartridge is 40) provides a dramatic reduction in turbidity – the water is amazingly clear.
Better Permeability – backwashes with up to 25% less water
Cleans Better – glass particles have a weak negative charge which holds fine particles that get released during backwash.
Less Media Needed – glass weighs 20% less than sand, providing 20% more filter volume per pound of media.
When I first read the literature, that all sounded like a lot of details I would get to someday. Someday has arrived. About two weeks ago I experienced my first sand filter/glass media installation. This is a pool near and dear to my heart – my first ECOsmarte pool, actually, at a ranch I help to manage. It is an older pool that was challenged with an undersized filter, non-functional bottom drain and mediocre circulation – not optimum for an ECOsmarte system. The swimming season last year was a bit of a balancing act.
The owner made the decision to upgrade the filtration system before the Ojai summer arrived. So in goes a 600lb sand filter with 300lbs of glass media over a pea gravel base. Some plumbing silliness (2″ to 1.5″ and back to 2″) was corrected during the installation as well.
All I can say now is Wow. The weather has been in the 70s and 80s, and the pool is pristine. The flow rate has dramatically improved and the water is clearer than I have ever seen it. The pool guy, Troy, said he loves the weekly pool maintenance now; skim, backflush and go. We keep Oooing and Ahhhing over the pool.
So now I get it. I understand why the sand filter with glass media is spoken of with a certain reverent tone amongst Larry (CEO) and the guys on the phone in MN (who have the answers to all my questions – thanks, guys). It is like a magic formula…Presto – clean, clear, easy ECOsmarte pool.
Kudos to Troy, too – owner of the Ojai Pool Store, for his willingness to explore strange new (chlorine and salt-free) worlds in the land of pools and media, and for his clean, smart installation work.
I have a feeling the ECOsmarte wave is going to be washing over the Ojai Valley this summer!
Oh, and Glass Media works for salt-water pools.