Is the Industry Ready for AOP?

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Every 10 years or so a new “big” technology comes along in the pool and spa industry. Over the past 20 to 30 years the industry has seen the introduction and acceptance of automatic cleaners, pool automation, salt systems and more. The most recent change has been the move to energy-efficient variable-speed pumps. As technology advances and customer needs change, the cycle continues.

Everyone likes to stick with what works. For a new technology to really take hold, it has to succeed in a few areas. Otherwise it tends to remain in that category of products only 10 to 20% of pool owners will ever use. But when culture, consumers and professionals begin to agree on a topic, a whole new category can take off fast.

So much of our culture is focused on health and wellness. Everyone wants their pool to be clean and safe. Heightened consumer awareness is driving the need for disinfection solutions related to bacteria, viruses and overall pool health. Paradoxically, at the same time most customers would say they want fewer chemicals in their pool.

Of course, products that promise to do these things and more have been around for a while. Alternative sanitizers like UV and ozone can all eradicate pool contaminants and reduce chemical use. While these “advanced” sanitizers have been around (and have steadily grown) for a while, they don’t dominate quite yet. Let’s face it. Far more pools are adding automatic cleaners than advanced sanitizers.

Over the past five years a new technology has emerged. Advanced Oxidation Process (AOP) creates hydroxyl radicals by using UV and ozone together. These hydroxyls are far more powerful than UV or ozone alone and work millions of times faster — and it’s getting attention. Interest in AOP over the past 18 months has skyrocketed. Just do a quick search for videos, articles and podcasts for evidence.

The timing is right for AOP to dominate in a way that even ozone and UV never did. More industry professionals are researching this new technology, consumers are more aware than ever of chemicals in their pool and the world at large is focused on eradicating dangerous viruses.

Here are three reasons why you need to be prepared for the next big technology wave: AOP.


The threat of recreational waterborne illness is very real. Everyone can remember reading news reports in the recent past: stories of outbreaks involving cryptosporidium and Legionnaires disease in pools and
hot tubs that are not disinfected and cleaned properly. When consumers read stories of outbreaks at hotels and waterparks, people naturally become more aware of risks at home.

The novel coronavirus pandemic has made the whole country hyper-aware of how viruses and bacteria spread. This came with concerns about water health, prompting the Centers for Disease Control to address water transmission of COVID-19. According to the CDC, “Proper operation and maintenance, including disinfection with chlorine and bromine, of these facilities should inactivate the virus in the water.” (For more information visit

The CDC recommends a supplemental sanitizer system — like AOP — for every single pool. They are required on most commercial installations, and every study shows they improve water safety and chlorine performance.

Chlorine is good at sanitizing pool water even when the pump is off. But AOP offers a much better layer of protection and oxidation against viruses and bacteria. This can give customers the true peace of mind that the water won’t make their friends and family sick.

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What about less chlorine in the pool? Many homeowners today are asking for “natural” pools to reduce their exposure to strong chemicals. If they don’t care about health-related issues, it’s also a great way to save money on regular pool maintenance costs.

The power of AOP reduces the chlorine needed to maintain the pool. Lowering chlorine levels can help eliminate eye and skin irritation and reduce the need to handle some pretty strong chemicals.
As a pool professional, you can help ease customer concerns by offering them a system that helps keep chlorine levels down. AOP is a much better oxidizer than chlorine. It takes off a huge load, so far less chlorine is required to maintain the pool.

AOP even makes chlorine work better by aggressively breaking down chloramines. Many of the common chlorine complaints (bad smells, itchy skin, etc.) are due to chloramines, not chlorine alone. Customers can enjoy their swimming pools without irritation and red eyes because AOP will help chlorine work the way it’s supposed to. The more free chlorine there is in the water, the more effective it is at keeping water clean and healthy.


Past a certain point, each wave of technology almost sells itself. Automatic cleaners and pool automation almost seem like a no-brainer these days. Let’s look at the most recent technology wave as a case study. Variable-speed pumps were initially met with skepticism from service pros. More expensive and more complicated pool pumps? No thank you! But as pool professionals learned more, they saw an opportunity to have a happier customer while also increasing their own revenue from each backyard.

Advanced sanitizer systems give pool service professionals another opportunity to upsell the customer and increase profi ts. It could be a chance to upgrade a pool that has been around for a while. Or maybe a customer is not so sure about that salt system, but you can sell them on the power of AOP.

Even when making the sale, don’t worry — you don’t have to feel guilty. These systems give the customer more satisfaction with their pool. Cleaner, clearer, healthier water makes everyone happy. 
With culture, consumers and professionals all in agreement, customers are going to want the next big thing, and you should be ready to sell it to them. Pool professionals have already seen the benefits of selling cleaners, automation, salt systems and other upgrades. If you’re going to offer customers the best options, you should offer AOP.


In terms of big technology moments, this is it! You might say the pool stars have aligned. As a new technology emerges in sanitization, everyone is ready for it in a way they never were before.
Just like with cleaners, automation and VS pumps, AOP technology has evolved to a point where it is ready to explode. The latest generation of AOP is taking a leap. Newer systems are simpler to install, easier to understand and even more powerful. The timing is perfect.

AOP sanitizer systems are the best and most efficient option to make pools safer for swimmers by destroying pathogens. The best AOP systems help reduce chlorine consumption and improve chlorine performance. Of course, UV and ozone have been around for a while. What makes AOP any different? This is how they compare:

  • UV is a good option for retrofi ts and can be used on any type of pool. However, UV does not oxidize. It is very effective at disinfecting viruses and bacteria, but it does not oxidize so the “dead” organic material still has to be filtered out.
  • Ozone is a popular choice and usually a little less expensive. The technology is well established. Pioneers including DEL Ozone® produced ozone generators for pools and spas for decades. Similar to AOP, ozone is a very effective oxidizer and clarifies the water.
  • AOP is most powerful in terms of pure oxidation potential and can destroy 99.99% of harmful contaminants. It oxidizes organic matter in seconds where chlorine alone takes days. AOP works even faster than ozone. By combining UV and ozone, it is a natural evolution of alternative sanitizer technology.

As the latest technology, AOP is the clear leader. Each pool should be equipped with a pump, filter, chlorine system and AOP. As many “early adopters” can testify, this is the future. More professionals and homeowners are coming on board every day.

The question of requesting an AOP will no longer be an “if” for customers, but rather “which one? It is possible to fi nd the right AOP system for every customer’s pool. Be prepared when customers ask what AOP system they should put on their pools.

We’ve created a guide to make it easier to understand how to select the right AOP system. Use it to find the right AOP system for your next installation.

For more information about Advanced Oxidation Sanitizers, visit or call 800-733-9060.


1. Is the system effective?

  • Generating AOP with ozone and UV defines exactly how much ozone is made and how powerful the UV-C bulb is.
  • Corona discharge produces ozone more efficiently, and thus more hydroxyl radicals.
  • Third party proves the system is effective at destroying harmful contaminants.

2. Is it easy to install and operate?

  • An all-in-one design (one-port-in, one-port-out) simplifies everything, helps speed up installation and reduces errors.
  • A status system constantly checks for active operation and can alert you when maintenance is needed.
  • Self-contained systems are ideal for service professionals upgrading existing pools.

3. How much water is treated?

  • 100% of the water travels through the system and is treated.
  • Full flow water treatment keeps the water safe and has the greatest chlorine-use reduction.
  • The best AOP systems create more hydroxyl radicals with ozone and UV and prove the product works with third-party validation. less-complicated systems are completely self-contained, easy to integrate into existing plumbing schemes and provide constant feedback for optimal operation and needed maintenance.


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