No matter what kind of pool disinfection system you have in place, it will benefit from attention from a professional pool service company. An article in a recent issue of the Wall Street Journal examined several factors in regards to the popularity and usability of various disinfection technologies for swimming pools. Among the technologies studied were:
Ÿ Traditional chlorination
Salt water disinfection
Ÿ Ozone gas disinfection
Ÿ Ultraviolet radiation
Many swimmers interviewed for the study said that, regarding pool service, they preferred saltwater disinfection to chlorine disinfection. They understood that ultimately saltwater disinfection is accomplished via generated chlorine; however, they said that this gently released form of chlorine is more pleasant and comfortable than chlorine added to the pool by use of traditional chemical treatments.
Another aspect of the preference for saltwater that has not been thoroughly examined is the possibility that people who choose salt water pools may tend to have a lower level of pool traffic. This would account for lowered necessity of pool maintenance and increased water quality.
It’s important to understand that, regardless of whether a pool is saltwater or chlorine, in the final analysis, germs are destroyed by chlorine chemistry.
Chlorine is generated in a saltwater pool by the use of a special salt called sodium chloride salt.
Saltwater pools make use of a generator which applies an electrical charge to the sodium chloride salt and causes it to release gaseous chlorine and dissolved sodium. Once the chlorine is created, it begins it work of germ killing, exactly as it would if it were released via a chlorine disinfectant in a traditional chlorine pool.
With this in mind, it’s hard to understand why swimmers seem to prefer saltwater pools to straight chlorine pools. The article in the Wall Street Journal postulates that chlorine created by a saltwater generator does not create standard chlorine byproducts which can cause harsh odors and itchy skin. Unfortunately, this cannot be the case because it is chemically impossible. It may simply be that the addition of dissolved sodium helps soften the water and makes it more pleasant.
Regardless of whether chlorine is added chemically or produced via electrical generation in sodium chloride, byproducts of disinfection (e.g. chloramines) will be present. These occur when the chlorine in the water reacts with impurities, for example:
Ÿ Body oil
Ÿ Dirt and dust
Ÿ Cosmetic products
The chloramines produced by this interaction between chlorine and impurities are the cause of swimmer distress such as itchy skin and red eyes. In either a saltwater or chlorine pool, these problems can be kept at a minimum by the combination of responsible hygiene on the part of swimmers and excellent weekly pool service.
How do ozone & UV technology compare to chlorine and saltwater options?
Up until the end of the last century, a technology called UV generated ozone was quite popular. This caused quite a bit of confusion in regards to the difference between ozone and UV light technology. The fact is, they are two very different things.
UV Technology has been in use for quite some time. Ozone technology is a fairly new development. Both technologies are useful as supplemental disinfection techniques; however, generally speaking they are not able to stand alone for complete pool disinfection and, if used alone, would necessitate greater than weekly pool service requirements.
As it dissolves in water, ozone gas oxidizes chloramines, destroys organic matter and kills microorganisms. All of this happens as soon as the ozone gas is injected into the pool filtration system. A small amount of ozone gas enters the pool water and continues to oxidize contaminants.
UV light breaks down chloramines by using light energy. This takes place within the UV chamber and is only effective in water without visible contamination. After the water leaves the UV chamber it is not sanitized further.
What do the experts say?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Informs us that a swimming pool that receives regular swimming pool service, should not have a harsh smell. For a public pool, swimming pool maintenance might take place several times a day. For backyard pool, weekly pool service should suffice.
Proper pool maintenance from a pool Service Company professional should include rigorous testing to be sure that chemical and pH levels are maintained correctly. Additionally, regular swimming pool maintenance should ensure that all pool equipment is kept working at a safe and optimum level.
The CDC also stresses that, in addition to weekly pool service, good swimming pool maintenance is the responsibility of the pool owner. It is very important that owners of backyard pools make certain that swimmers shower thoroughly and use the restroom before entering the swimming pool. These precautions will go a long way toward eliminating the development of chloramines and the overgrowth of germs and bacteria in the pool.