Bromine Pools: Are They Safer?

by Pool Builders on 06-10-2011 in Articles

To keep your pool healthy and safe enough for those who would use it, it will require proper circulation and sanitation. Proper water circulation is achieved by the use of filters, whereas, sanitation is achieved with the use of chemicals, either chlorine or bromine. These two are the most commonly used in treating pool water against bacteria and fungi.

They have some similar characteristics and have the same use or aim, but they have distinctions that may force you to choose one over the other. When chlorine is added to pool water, it separates into hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ions. These attack the cell walls of microorganisms and destroy the structure and enzymes in their cells. When this happens, microorganisms will now become harmless. They are now in an oxidized state.

But, after the chlorine has combined with the microorganisms, they can no longer be used to destroy other microorganisms. Hence there is a need to add chlorine to the pool water everyday. When bromine, however is added to pool water, it forms a substance called hypobromous acid. This acid is an effective sanitizer and oxidizer which can also kill microorganisms in the water.

When these process occurs, the hypobromous acids and the organisms form a combination of bromines called bromamines. The difference however, is that bromamines remain active as an oxidant. It can still continue to disinfect the pool even after it has reacted with other microorganisms. This means that you would need to add bromine less frequently compared to chlorine treatments. These are not the only differences in these two chemicals. Bromine is pre-stabilized whereas chlorine is not. Since a bromine pool is pre-stabilized, it can work better in warmer temperatures than chlorine.

Thus, it can be better used in spas and hot tubs. The only setback is that Bromine dissolves more slowly in water than chlorine does. It needs to be added therefore through some automatic feeder in the pool. One other distinction between chlorine and bromine swimming pools is that the latter is less harsh than the former. Bromine is less likely to cause irritations in the skin or the eyes. People, however, should not think that Bromine is chlorine-free since bromine is actually based in chlorine. It will not therefore be a safer alternative for people who experience allergies to chlorine.

But aside from that, bromine is a good alternative since it doesn't emit as much odor as chlorine does. This will definitely work well with those who do not favor the strong unpleasant smell of chlorine. Although bromine produces less of an odor than chlorine, removing the smell of bromine from the skin will take a longer period than that from chlorine. And aside from that, bromine is also more costly than chlorine as a pool sanitizer.

But if you have a skin condition that will not allow you to be exposed to harsh chemicals and if you have a certain aversion to strong odors, it will be worth your spending money to buy bromine as an alternative to chlorine.

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