How to Sanitize your Swimming Pools  

by Pool Builders on 10-21-2007 in Articles

Swimming pool sanitation plays a very significant role in preventing diseases from being transmitted from a swimmer to another swimmer. Water management in a swimming pool should be one of the factors that pool operators should give sufficient attention to, just like how they provide a lifeguard to ensure the safety of swimmers. Highly maintained swimming pools are less likely to have health hazards. The pH, total alkalinity and clarity of the water are taken into consideration in order to meet the standards.

Sodium hypochlorite, a simple chlorine compound, can be used as a strong oxidizing agent while bromine and ozone are also utilized as disinfectants. Chlorine and bromine can be passed through an electrical current on the pool water and ozone can be generated on site through the air. When putting any chemicals in the pool, it is very critical to achieve the right pH to maintain a safe concentration. The desired pool pH ranges from 7.2 to 7.6. A higher pH loses the effectivity of chlorine to sanitize. A lower pH on the other hand, can cause irritation to the bathers especially to the eyes. When chlorine mixes with urea in urine excreted by swimmers, it produces nitrogen trichloride which has a tear-gas effect.

A "balanced pool" meets the requirements of having a pH of 7.6, sodium bicarbonate level of 120 parts per million (ppm), residual chlorine level of 1.0 to 2.0 ppm and calcium hardness of 200 ppm.

Other materials or systems that can be used to sanitize the swimming pool are ozone generators, ionization systems, biguanides and salt systems or chlorine generators.

Ozone generators can come in two forms: fluorescent and catalyctic cracker. The latter is much more effective but utterly costly. These equipments can reduce the usage of chlorine for about 75%. Ozone lasts for a very short time but it can effectively kill pathogens in the water.

Ionization systems use copper and silver to eliminate bacteria and algae. These systems also minimize the use of chlorine thus, compared to chlorine, it costs higher.

Biguanides are one of the recent sanitizers introduced in the market. It is generally considered less harsh and stable in the water but may become harsh when in contact with chlorine and other sanitizers.

Chlorine generators eliminate the handling of harsh chemicals and may cost lower compared to the other chemicals used to sanitize the pool. The popular sanitizer, chlorine, is generated through electrolysis of dissolved salt.

Whichever system or chemical sanitizers you will use to maintain the sanitation of the pool, make sure that the usage of these materials should be in accordance with the standards to prevent any side effects or bad consequences on the side of the swimmers and the pool owners and more importantly, to ensure the health and safety of the bathers.

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