Crystal Lagoons recently launched in Cape Town for operations both locally and across the continent.
The company’s cutting-edge technology is environmentally friendly and developed to enable the creation of these crystal clear lagoons using minimal amounts of water, energy and additives. These pristine lagoons can transform developments and urban areas from ordinary to spectacular — shifting real estate’s paradigm of “location, location, location” forever as developers can now make the location wherever they want it to be.
As the world’s top amenity, the lagoons (unlike traditional swimming pools) can use any kind of water. The type of water used to fill up a crystal lagoon is based on what is available where that lagoon is being created: fresh, salt or brackish, the latter two of which are found in abundance across the world. Brackish water, in fact, has no alternative use. The lagoons also have very low construction and maintenance costs, and use up to 30 times less water than a golf course and just half of the water required by a park of the same size.
Heading up the company’s expansion into sub-Saharan Africa is regional director for Africa Alastair Sinclair. Crystal Lagoons South Africa is located in the Convention Tower, Foreshore in Cape Town.
“The technology involves very low water consumption since our lagoons work on closed circuits, and it provides a sustainable solution for the efficient use of water resources. Therefore, a crystal lagoon remains a sustainable and eco-friendly alternative for the region despite the continent being a water-scarce region of the world,” Sinclair says.
“South Africa, being a country that enjoys around 250 days of sunshine a year, represents a significant opportunity for the company, especially on parts of the extensive coastline that are unsafe for recreation and bathing. There is also the demand for regeneration and new development in major centres such as Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban to take into account.”
The company has offices in the United States, the Netherlands, Chile, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Spain, Turkey, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, China, and now, Cape Town.
Crystal Lagoons has experience in various types of property developments, including coastal, second row, inland, urban areas and public city parks. About 400 projects are now in various stages of development in 60 countries. In South Africa, the company is in discussion for multiple new developments across sub-Saharan Africa, and 10 are going ahead in Egypt.
“We partner with real estate developers and leisure companies to create world-class developments, providing our innovative concept and state-of-the-art technology by way of a licence agreement for each project,” explains Sinclair.
“A crystal lagoon can also rejuvenate existing beachfront areas that are unsafe for swimming and unappealing for recreational purposes, thereby increasing the value of real estate in these areas, transforming communal spaces and providing an attraction that benefits both residents and visitors.”
The technology behind the lagoons is patented in 160 countries, bringing “idyllic beach life” to any location. In addition, the company has a portfolio of 1 000 patents worldwide through continuous development of complementary technologies.
The company’s patents for its industrial applications have been fast-tracked by the United States Patent and Trademark Office through their Green Technology Programme. The programme is focused on accelerating socially conscious technologies in emerging fields, such as alternative fuels, clean energy and green technology. The patents, combined with the experience in maintaining these huge waterbodies, make Crystal Lagoons the only company in the world to provide this technology, guaranteeing the water quality in all projects they are involved in.
“This patented technology differs from standard swimming pool systems in that it manages water and energy more efficiently,” says Sinclair.
Conventional swimming pool technology requires maintaining high and permanent levels of residual chlorine or other disinfectants in the water to avoid contamination of the water brought by external elements, such as swimmers. The company’s solution is to apply disinfection pulses within the lagoon instead, by only using controlled pulses of minute quantities of oxidants/micro-biocides applied according to specific algorithms on very specific patterns. The results of this efficient pulse-based disinfection system are that the overall amounts of additives consumed using the technology are up to 100 times less than the amount used for swimming pools. A typical lagoon has about 400 sensors/injectors for these purposes.
Also, apart from the difference regarding water treatment and disinfection requirements, conventional swimming pool technology requires the filtration of its entire volume of water between one and six times a day (generally four times a day, depending on regulations). This is achieved by using a traditionally configured centralised filtration unit. The company’s solution is to apply a combination of different ultrasonic waves to the water in the lagoon, which allows agglomerating the contaminant particles into larger particles that are easily removed from the system. This method consumes only 2% of the energy compared to conventional swimming pool centralised filtration systems.
According to Sinclair, lagoons can also be incorporated into the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems of commercial and residential buildings.
“This drastically decreases the energy required for cooling, lowering the total carbon footprint and contributing further to sustainability. The ability to develop the lagoons inland also contributes to lowering the carbon footprint as location is not limited to the coastal areas,” Sinclair says.
This article was first published in Plumbing Online on 27 July 2016