Pool Chemicals and How They Work

by Pool Builders on 11-15-2009 in Articles

Swimming pools do not contain mere fresh water. Fresh water is not suitable for swimming pools because it contains too much microorganisms and can cause the pool to get moldy faster.

Swimming pools contain chemically treated water. Chemically treated water ideally is free from harmful bacteria. How exactly do we treat the pool water with chemicals?

In basic pool chemistry, the basic chemicals needed in treating pool water are chlorine and alkaline.

Chlorine kills bacteria and other microorganisms in the water and prevents more from growing any further. Mixing chlorine in the water however increases the acidity of the water. Highly acidic water can be very irritating to the skin and eyes. It can also corrode metal parts of the pool that it comes in contact with.

Acidity levels of certain solutions are measured in pH scales. The pH scale is measured with the numerical values 1 to 14. Seven, its median point, is said to be neutral; it is neither acidic nor basic. One such example of a completely neutral substance is pure water. pH values lower than 7 are considered as acids, with increased acidity in the lower values. Values above 7 are considered as base substances.

Bases are substances that can accept hydrogen ions. It is the complete opposite of acids. Base substances are also mostly referred to as alkali. Alkali substances are used in neutralizing acids. Now, how do these apply in the pool chemistry of swimming pools?

Chlorine is needed in order to disinfect the water from various bacteria. Adding chlorine to the water, as was mentioned, raises the acidity of the water, which can have a variety of harmful effects. In order to reduce the acidity of the water without sacrificing its disinfecting effect, alkaline is also added to the water. Note however that chlorine and alkaline are not simply poured into the pool water; it requires a carefully balanced mixture in order for it to be effective, hence the concept "balancing the pool water."

We all want to have a pleasant time when we remove the pool nets and then jump into the swimming pool. Improperly treated water however can take all the fun away. Be sure to take the time to properly treat your pool water. You need not be a chemist to do so, and you can always contact your local pool people for help.

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