The weather is getting hotter and hotter, and if you haven’t done it already, you are probably getting ready to open your pool and start the swimming season. Having a pool in your backyard is wonderful, but it requires quite some effort before you actually get to enjoy it. Whether you do it alone or hire professionals to clean your pool, it still needs to be cleaned, maintained, occasionally repaired; it requires time, energy, and money. But at the end of the day, it’s definitely worth it.
It is also important to keep your pool safe in every possible way, including having your water bacteriologically satisfactory. Of course, the common way is to use chemicals, chlorine being the most popular one, but this type of maintenance can be quite expensive for bigger pools, plus it can have different side effects, besides the usual eye and skin itching. There has been a growing need for an alternative, and over the years some new, healthier alternatives have surfaced which can help you save a bit of money, have a healthier pool and which no longer require so much effort. Here are some of them.
If you are thinking ‘hey, oxygen is in the air, it’s not doing much for my pool as it is’, you are right, because you can’t use any oxygen for pool cleaning. Standard O2 isn’t going to fit the bill. Instead, tri-atomic oxygen, that is, ozone being used for cleaning water. You may be familiar with the term from the layer which covers our planet and protects us from the worst of the sun’s UV radiation. You may also know the smell of ozone from standing next to electric motors, but ozone has an application in our everyday lives, too – water purification.
This type of purification is absolutely harmless as it uses a naturally occurring oxidant which destroys all the microorganisms without using any harmful chemicals. After use ozone immediately reverts back to regular oxygen which makes this the purest of purifications, having no toxic residues. This method is the most popular one and it accounts for 90% of purified water. Besides being completely natural, it is far more effective than chlorine. It literally makes the water sparkle and silky-smooth. It doesn’t cause any of the typical chlorine side effects like eye burning, itching skin, or faded bathing suits. All you need is an ozone generator which requires a corona discharge system or a UV bulb, and you can enjoy a chlorine-free swimming.
This trend is becoming more and more popular as people replace their freshwater pools with the saltwater ones. Unlike the previous method, the salt sanitizer does use chlorine, but in a significantly different way. Namely, unlike the traditional way of simply putting chlorine tablets or liquid into the water, in this case, salt is transformed into one form chlorine gas through a regenerative system. That gas is then injected into the water. The salt sanitizer is a type of electrolytic converter which destroys all the bacteria, algae, viruses and other impostors.
However, it does have its downsides as well. First of all, it needs to be part of your pool’s system, meaning already existing pools need to be rebuilt at some cost. Second, this purification process works on a cycle. Still, this type of purification is much gentler to the swimmers and requires less maintenance than the regular harsh chlorine. Be warned, though, it is not ideal for everyone as salt is corrosive and this method can speed up decay and damage of some of your pool’s parts, so it’s not perfect for long-term use.
Even though we are constantly warned about the harmful nature of UV radiation, it can still be put to good use. Ultraviolet light can be used for pool sanitation as it uses short-length light destroy or disable various microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, algae and other by physically disrupting their DNA. This type of treatment can even kill the pathogens which are untouchable for chlorine, E. Colli being among them.
The sanitation takes place in an enclosed chamber within the pool system, where the water circulates, being subjected to UV light, and then going back to the pool. This method is mostly used for medical water sanitation and sterilization. Being incredibly safe, it is becoming more and more popular for commercial use as well. It requires less maintenance than the standard chlorine treatment and it has absolutely no side effects or toxic residues, just like the ozone purification.
These are the most popular and widely-spread methods of non-chemical pool water treatment, but there are yet others, including for example copper sanitation. So if you’ve had enough of that annoying smell, burning eyes and itchy skin, you do have many other, much better options.