Chlorine has been traditionally used as a chemical to keep swimming pools at safe levels with regards to bacteria and pH. This element, however, can be harsh on the skin and environment, making non-chlorinated cleaning methods a desirable option. Ozone, copper, and other ions have been utilized recently to give pool owners safer options.
An ozone pool is an alternative to chlorine that may be healthier. Chlorine helps keep pool water sanitary, but chlorine byproducts have been linked to higher incidences of asthma, lung damage, miscarriages, and other health issues. A viable alternative to chlorine is ozone treatment. Ozone is made from oxygen and is converted to ozone through electricity. Ozone is a more powerful oxidant than chlorine but it doesn’t last long and must be produced on-site for swimming pool cleaning. This occurs through ozone generators that take oxygen from the air to convert into ozone.
Pros and Cons of Varying Cleaning Methods:
- Chlorine: This is the most widely-used chemical for sanitizing swimming pools. It effectively kills bacteria for long periods of time and is relatively inexpensive to use. Byproducts of chlorine are called chloramines and trihalomethanes, which can cause irritation to the eyes and skin.
- Salt Chlorine: This technique uses salt and water through electrolysis to form hypochlorous acid to sanitize bacteria. It is able to recycle itself, converts back to salt, and then the process repeats. Salt chlorine is almost a neutral pH level, so fewer chemicals are needed to balance pH in pool water.
- Ozone: This is an unstable gas that needs to be supplied in higher concentrations to be effective. It is a powerful oxidizer that is about 100 times stronger than chlorine. Using ozone reduces swimming pool maintenance costs and can break down contaminants such as oil and grease. The disadvantage of ozone is its short life; it has to be used soon after it’s produced, and it can be dangerous in high concentrations.
- Ionizers: This is the release of copper and hard metal ions, such as silver, into swimming pool water that kill bacteria. The metal ions created by ionizers take time to act and need several hours in the water before they start cleaning, so they may still require some amounts of chlorine if the pool is used frequently.
To determine the best method of maintaining the pH level for your backyard pool, contact the experts at Olympus Pools, your Lakeland Swimming Pool Builder, today.