5 Facts About Chlorine in Swimming Pools

When you think about relaxing in sparkling pool water on hot summer days, you don’t imagine yourself floating around in a giant petri dish full of germs. Without chlorine, this is exactly what swimming pools can be. Pool water that is not sanitized by chlorine can become a home to a host of germs and bacteria that can result in illnesses such as diarrhea, skin infections, and athlete’s foot, to name a few.

It is the use of chlorine that keeps these harmful microbes at bay in swimming pools. But while you know that pool water is treated with chlorine, you might have recently also come across reports about how chlorine is harmful to the human body.

To help you understand chlorine, its advantages, dangers, right usage, the importance of quality pool filter, and more, here is a list of 5 important facts about this popular swimming pool sanitizer-

1. Chlorine is a Preferred Choice Over Other Pool Sanitizers

A major reason why chlorine is a preferred choice for sanitizing pools is because even in low concentration, it is able to eliminate bacteria very easily and quickly. And compared to other sanitizers like UV and ozone, chlorine works for a considerably longer duration.

Chlorine creates a type of “residual effect” to continue protecting the pool water for several days once added. Once the right chlorine level is achieved, you only need to test that level on a weekly basis and add more if required. How often and how much chlorine you should add to the pool depends on many different factors, such as weather and environment, but overall, it’s a pretty simple process.

2. Smell of Chlorinated Pool

Most people can easily tell whether a swimming pool is chlorinated through its strong smell. An interesting fact is that chlorine itself is not responsible for the smell. The smell is due to chloramines (chemical compounds found in pools) being disinfected by the chlorine. Chlorine + oils, urine, and perspiration of swimmers = chloramines.

So, in a way, it is wrong to believe that a swimming pool with a strong smell has a lot of chlorine added to it. The smell is due to contaminants in the water, brought in by swimmers. The best way to avoid this is by taking a brief shower/rinse before entering the pool.

3. Chlorinated Pool and Red Eyes

A lot of people believe that the eyes turn red in a swimming pool because of the high chlorine content in pool water. Again, this has no direct relation with chlorine or the amount of chlorine in the water. Just like the smell, chloramines are responsible for causing red eyes.

Swimmers can use lubricating eye drops before and even after their swim to prevent red eyes. To prevent the build-up of chloramines, swimmers should follow healthier and cleaner swimming practices. Pool managers and homeowners with indoor pools should use quality cartridge replacements to keep the pool water clean.

4. Dangers of Chlorinated Swimming Pools

Some recent studies suggest that pool water that is sterilized with chlorine could result in skin irritation and aggravate skin conditions like psoriasis, acne, and eczema. This is possible because chlorine is a strong chemical which can destroy oils that naturally reside on the human skin.

But this is mostly the case when you are overexposed to chlorinated water. As long as the chlorine level in pool water is right, there is generally nothing to worry about.

5. Getting the Chlorine Concentration Right

It is generally recommended that the chlorine concentration in swimming pools should be in the range of 1-3 ppm. However, this level depends on several factors like the pH level of pool water, how often it is used, and the number of contaminants like body oils, lotions, urine, sweat, etc. present in the pool.

While pool managers can regularly check the chlorine level and use the best cartridge pool filter, even swimmers can play an integral role in keeping the pool water safe and healthy. As long as the chlorine concentration in the water is right and swimmers are aware of the right swimming practices, there are no dangers of swimming in a pool that is sterilized with chlorine.

Using Chlorine Granules or Tablets?

The decision entirely depends on the pool owner/manager. While both chlorine granules and tablets are effective in killing pool microbes, tablets are known to be long-lasting as they dissolve very slowly in water and give longer protection.

However, chlorine tablets are generally not recommended during winters as the tablets generally do not dissolve if the water temperature is below 60 degrees F. Also, consider high-quality unicel pool filter cartridge replacements for the filtration system as the cartridge will also impact the rate at which the tablet dissolves.