- Traditional Chlorination
- Saltwater Pool Systems
- Ozone Generators
- pH Systems
- UV Light
- Natural Swimming Pools
Chlorine is the “traditional” way to sanitize your pool, because it has been around for so long - the basic process has hardly improved over the last century! Most pool owners now want a modern alternative because of how much work traditional pool chemicals require to maintain, not to mention the continuously rising costs of chlorine. As soon as you add chlorine it is already dissipating, so it is inherently a constant fight to keep your pool clean and clear. You have to constantly maintain chlorine levels or hire a pool guy to do so – which is even more expensive! Another reason why many are looking for another alternative is because the chemicals you’re using are so harsh. Once the chlorine starts to work in the pool, it combines with organic matter which creates “chloramines”. Chloramines are what cause all of the nasty things you think of when it comes to pools; irritation, red eyes, itchy skin, bleached hair & swimsuits, and all the other caustic effects.
Bottom line?Regular chlorine is the hardest, most expensive way
Saltwater Pool Systems (Chlorine Generators)
Salt Chlorine Generators have become the new standard of pool chlorination that blew pool owners away. It was introduced to the US in late 90’s, and in other countries as early as the late 70’s. How a salt chlorinator works is by using a process called “electrolysis” that converts sodium chloride (ordinary salt used at such low levels that it has virtually no effect on pools & equipment) and converts it into pure chlorine sanitizer – meaning you no longer need to buy, store, and handle chlorine & shock – and you don’t have to micromanage the pool to keep it clean and clear. This process is so safe, effective, convenient, and cost-saving that as of 2016 70% of new pools use salt chlorinator systems.
Beyond the cost savings and greatly reduced maintenance, the other big benefit of Salt Chlorine Generators over traditional chlorine is that you no longer have the irritation & other nasty effects of chlorine tablets and shock. The water is luxuriously smooth, and it provides you a better swimming experience.
To put it simply, there is no more cost-effective way to maintain the pool, no way to have nice water, and no way to have fewer maintenance headaches, than with a swimming pool salt system.View Salt Systems
Ozone sanitation technology has been around for decades, and an ozone generator is an excellent accessory to pool chlorination. As a sanitizer, ozone is so effective that its approximately two thousand times faster-acting than chlorine, and provides a broader range of sanitation (even removing tough-to-kill germs & parasites like cryptosporidium). However, because ozone is so powerful and fast acting, it is unstable and does not create the necessary “residual” sanitizer level that stays in the pool. That’s why it must be paired with chlorination in some form. Ozone generators are an especially effective combination with salt chlorinators because you get the best of both worlds - consistent low-cost chlorination and low-chemical water with maximum purity. When used together correctly, they can also create a third form of sanitizer called “Hydroxyls”, which are even more effective at oxidizing and removing impurities. This synergetic combination is an advanced oxidation process that gives your pool unrivaled water quality and extremely effective sanitation.View Ozone Systems
pH Control Systems
pH Control Systems are a great way to maintain the swimming pool's balance, making the pool as "hands-off" as possible. These are not sanitation systems, but they work hand-in-hand with your sanitation system's ability to work effectively. Sanitation doesn't work effectively at high pH levels, and sanitizers like chlorine dissipate more quickly at low pH levels. Worst of all, imbalanced pH can hurt your swimmers and even damage your pool! Since pH is such a critical component of your pool's balance, you have to have a way to manage it effectively. Traditional pH management systems were mainly used for commercial pools because they involved large tanks of corrosive acid, acid feeder pumps, and expensive pH sensors installed in the plumbing. However, modern pH management systems actually don't require any use of acid whatsoever, and are easy drop-in additions to the pool! Newer technology allows the infusion of CO2 directly into the pool return line, which is just as effective at controlling the pool's pH, while eliminating the danger of strong corrosive acids and the expense of complicated equipment. Pairing a pH Control System with a Saltwater Chlorinator is an excellent combination to keep your pool balanced naturally and virtually automatically.View pH Systems
Using UV light is a newer application of existing technology, and it is a supplement to swimming pool sanitation for extra purification. It uses high-end UV light spectrum; germicidal lamps produce output near the 253.7 nanometer range of the UV-C spectrum. How it works - the germicidal lamp is installed in the return line of the pool equipment in a housing that allows its UV light to shine through the water that flows through the pool plumbing. When UV light passes through the water, it kills 90% of microorganisms that are exposed to the lamp’s glow. However, the most important thing to note is that the UV light does not add any residual sanitizer whatsoever in your pool, in other words, it is only effectively sanitizing the portion of water passing through it while the circulation pump is in operation. While this equipment alone can’t keep your pool clean and sanitized, it is a great way to have extra purification that reduces the demand for chlorine or chemicals.
An ionizer’s purpose is to reduce some of a swimming pool’s chlorine demand. It is important to understand that an Ionizer does NOT sanitize the pool water like any of the previously mentioned systems – meaning, it is not an “oxidizer”. It does not eliminate the bad matter in a pool, such as organic contaminants, viruses, parasites, etc... Instead it essentially creates a form of algaecide, which makes it more difficult for plant life to grow in the water, which in turn means less chlorine needs to be added to sanitize (oxidize) the pool.
An ionizer works by using copper (or silver) plates that are energized at a low voltage, which gives off copper/silver ions into the pool water passing through. Silver ions are bacteria-fighting, though at a much slower rate than chlorine & less effective. Copper ions (the more commonplace ionizer system) are an effective algaecide, meaning it helps inhibit the growth of plant-based organisms.
When using an ionizer, be sure to check the copper & silver levels in the pool (measured in PPM), because high levels of copper can stain pool surfaces & even cause your fingernails to turn green. It is very important to remember that an ionizer is purely a supplement to keeping your swimming pool clean and you still need an actual source of sanitation (oxidation) from either chlorination, salt systems, etc...
Natural Swimming Pools
As many pool owners continue their pool’s traditional chemical usage, the idea of a Natural Pool has been developed in recent years. A Natural Pool ultimately looks more like a pond, without perfect clear, clean, filtered water. Natural pools use added plants and sediment to help capture impurities floating in the water. Natural pools have been popularized mostly in Europe, and they are in fact illegal in many parts of the US. This is because of the critically important fact that since there is no source of sanitation - there is no way to get rid of bacteria, parasites, viruses, human & animal waste, and other organic contaminants – which can cause medical issues that can eventually become life-threatening. For example, research has shown that natural pools test positive for having accumulated excessive amounts of Escherichia coli and faecel enterococci in natural pools, as published in the “International Journal of Hygiene & Environmental Health.”
Another issue to consider is the significant additional costs and extra space required. A Natural Pool requires as much as 50% of the pool’s area to be used as shallow “planted area” where plants & sediment are used to perform some of the pool’s filtration needs. If your pool doesn’t have a large very shallow area, new construction must be done to add these, which can not only double the pool’s footprint but also the circulation equipment and plumbing required.
As not enough is known about Natural Pool’s long-term ability to guarantee the microbiological safety of swimmers, scientists suggest doing research before considering a natural pool because you need to know the risks involved.