Common Pool Contaminants and How Your Pool Rids of Them   

by Pool Builders on 02-05-2012 in Articles

Swimming pools are often a meeting place for algae, bacteria, viruses, pollen, and other contaminants. Many sicknesses are spread through swimming pools, along with microorganisms and debris that can bother swimmers' skin or allergies. Ways that these contaminants enter your pool include:

The Weather

The weather, especially rain and wind, brings in all kinds of contaminants from the environment to the pool: un-chlorinated water, animal waste, algae spores, and anything else that grows nearby. Extreme weather like hurricanes and other storms can bring contaminants from miles and miles away. Pool covers can help prevent these contaminants from entering the pool, and after storms and strong winds, shock and clean out your pool accordingly.


When swimmers enter the pool, every single particle of dirt enters with them. It's a good idea to have swimmers shower before entering the pool and to use the bathroom inside because these human-related contaminants sometimes counteract with the sanitation chemicals, which can neutralize them. So not only are swimmers bringing in contaminants, but ones that make it more difficult for the pool's sanitation system to rid of them. Even suntan lotion and oils can offset the pool's chemical balance.

Animals, too, pose a danger to your pool's chlorination. Dogs that take dips in your swimming pool or animals like opossums that accidentally fall in and drown can bring in viruses, dirt, and bacteria, thus spreading dangerous illnesses. Wild animals will try to drink from pools and accidentally fall in. Especially at night, keep the pool covered, and try keeping a bowl of water by the pool in the hopes that the animal will drink from that instead.

So, how does your pool system combat these contaminants? There are four main mechanical components to pool sanitation and several chemicals:

Pump: the pump circulates the water through the sanitation system. Pumps push water through the filter and back.

Filter: the filter will use a variety of methods to trap and separate contaminants from the water.

Skimmer: the skimmer uses the surface tension of the pool to draw in contaminants from the water's surface and trap them into the skimmer basket.

Automatic Cleaners: a good pool cleaner can effectively rove around the pool's bottom and walls to remove dirt and debris from them.

Chemicals: the main chemicals used for sanitation include chlorine and bromine. Every so often the pool should be shocked, or super-chlorinated. There are other methods available€"an ozone system, a salt water system, among others€"but most of them require the use of these chemicals in addition to the system.

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