Different methods to purify and disinfect pool water

For most of us, a swimming pool is considered the ultimate recreation facility - it cools us during warm summer days, provides quality time for kids and adults, offers an entertainment venue or an exercise site. Keeping that in mind, it is important to remember that the swimming pools can be a source for illness and infections. Whether dealing with an in-ground pool or a smaller above-ground pool, water reservoirs that do not get treated or get "over-treated" can quickly become a health risk and it is the responsibility of the owner to disinfect and purify the water to keep bathers healthy. How can the pool water be treated? What common methods are used and which of them are the safest and most effective?

Chlorine is the most popular sanitation substance available; this chemical element is used in various forms. Due to its oxidation attributes it effectively destroys most viruses and bacteria in the water. During the years, various techniques have developed around chlorine:

Liquid Chlorine

Liquid chlorine, also known in its professional name: Sodium-hypochlorite is a liquid solution that is sold in containers and should be stored in a dark cool place. Liquid chlorine contains 10-15% available chlorine that over time loses its active concentration and requires stabilizing while in the water, a process that is executed by trial and error. During the use of liquid chlorine the pH levels in the water increase, and should be balanced using hydrochloric acid, this leads us to the biggest disadvantage of this sanitation method. The combination of liquid chlorine and hydrochloric acid is extremely hazardous, since the two together produce Sulfur mustard (commonly known as mustard gas!) Storing and transporting large, heavy containers of liquid chlorine and hydrochloric acid in not only cumbersome and exhausting but could be lethal.

Chlorine tablets

A familiar and widespread sanitation method in the market is the use of hardened, dried chlorine tablets. This method offers a comfortable solution operational wise and is much safer. The tablets can be fed into the skimmer (suction channel) of the pool or alternatively to a floating chlorination device. Many manufactures add additional useful substances to the tablets that treat water clarity and maintain the chlorine active for longer. Two distinct dis-advantages of this method is the concrete danger for adults and children of coming in direct contact with the "attractive tablets". The second disadvantage is the lack of control of chlorine level in the water and the release tempo of the chlorine to the water.

Water sanitation using a natural salt chlorinator

This method is very popular in Europe, USA and mainly in Australia for the past 40 years. The Chlorine generator - an electrical operated device turns a small concentration of salt in the water, via a controlled electrolysis process, into active chlorine in a measured concentration that disinfects the pool water. Once the sanitation process is completed, the chlorine reverts back to dissolved salt and the cycle repeats itself. Unlike chlorine tablets that are purchased periodically, the natural salt chlorinator requires a single initial investment that will prove its savings when daily operating costs are reduced and hazardous conditions are eliminated. All that said, it's important to know that the electrolysis cell that converts the salt into chlorine does have a limited life span - around 3 years (depending on maintenance and water quality), so the cell will require replacing, similarly to and oil change or periodic maintenance to the car.

Sanitizing pool water with a natural chlorine chlorinator has a few advantages compared to liquid chlorine to name a few: no need to handle hazardous solutions. The chlorinator is completely safe and the side effects of using liquid chlorine are nonexistent such as: irritated eyes and skin. The risk of coming in direct contact with the chlorine tablets is nonexistent and the chlorine production pace can be controlled. The chlorinator does not require constant maintenance except cleaning the cell from lime-scale build up. The device is turned on and left to complete its chores. The chlorinator is responsible to clean and sanitize the pool while consuming very little electricity. The new digital model is designed to constantly monitor and control a range of chlorine and pH values in the pool. In fact, all that is left is to safely jump and enjoy the water.


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