High Chlorine Levels in Community Pools

by Pool Builders on 11-28-2010 in Articles

When you go to an indoor public pool you immediately notice the smell of chlorine; regulations mandate that public pools have up to double the amount of chlorine as a residential pool. It is noticeable in an outdoor pool, but in an indoor pool the air is heavy with it, some people actually getting nauseous with the fumes. Are these high levels of chlorine necessary? Are there safer, or natural alternatives?

Why High Chlorine Levels are Necessary

You can never be sure about the people that are swimming in a public pool. If they have been sick recently they can easily pass it on in the water. Dead skin cells, oils and lotions also wash off in the pool changing the pH level. Once the pH is too high or too low the chlorine will not be as effective. Anytime the chlorine is not working properly algae and bacteria can grow and thrive, even if you can't see it yet. Keeping the chlorine content higher than it has to be ensures that the water is free from bacteria.

Does High Chlorine Content Mean the Water is Safe?

There has been much debate as to whether inhaling or even having such high amounts of chlorine absorbed through your skin is good for you. While it certainly isn't the healthiest of things, it is much better than a whole community breaking out with an e. Coli infection. Many people do develop a rash from the chlorine, others get sleepy and cranky.

An Alternative

There is, however, an alternative to having to keep such large amounts of chlorine in the water of a public pool. If the pool uses a system that will keep both the chlorine and the pH at proper levels throughout the day, then they would be able to lower the amount of chlorine in the water. A salt sanitation system uses salt and turns it into chlorine in the water. It can be set to be self regulating, turning on and off as the amount of chlorine fluctuates throughout the day. If the pool also uses CO2 instead of acid to keep the pH between 7.2 and 7.8 it will allow the chlorine to work properly. The CO2 system can also be self regulating.

As more and more community pools change to salt and CO2 systems, health regulations can change, allowing them to not over-chlorinate. It will make the swimmers much more comfortable and still keep them safe.

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