Chlorine may help kill germs and algae in the water. However, it can create problems in its own right, such as gasses you don’t want your family exposed to and creating chemical compounds that linger in the water itself. Here are several safe and natural water sanitizing options and their benefits to make your pool water as safe as tap water.
Mineral / Salt Water Pools
Salt water pools still create chlorine, but the form it takes doesn’t generate chemicals like chloramines. As the salt passes through a salt cell, electricity breaks off the chlorine as free ions that kill germs and plants without the same nasty odors. This is a safe form of natural water purification that doesn’t get too exotic, so it is something you could quickly adapt for your current swimming pool.
The only downside is that the initial switch can be expensive, and you’ll need to replace the salt cells every few years. However, a saltwater pool needs less maintenance than a standard chlorine-filled freshwater pool.
If you don’t want to use a salt water system, you can use a mineral system. It operates on the same principle, reducing chlorine use by up to half. They’re easy to maintain and create soft water. Unlike saltwater systems, not all mineral systems rely on electrically created ions; this eliminates the risk of the ions discoloring the pool surface. The downside is the high initial installation cost.
Ozone generators use ozone to purify the water. They are one of the most popular alternative water sanitizing solutions on the planet. About 90% of the world’s purified water is purified this way. It’s popular because you can create ozone with UV bulbs or corona discharge systems. When the ozone “breaks down”, it reverts back to standard oxygen molecules, so no toxic by-products.
Ozone generators cannot completely sanitize a pool, but they can reduce the quantity of chemicals needed by up to 90%. Benefits of this approach include the elimination of calcium scaling and creation of soft water. It is pH neutral, so the water won’t burn your eyes or irritate the skin. The only downside is the initial cost. Conversely, it essentially halts the accumulation of chemical deposits in your pipes and pool. When the ozone generator uses UV bulbs, those need to be replaced every year or two.
UV sanitation systems use UV-C light or short wavelength UV light. The light kills algae, bacteria, and even pathogens that are resistant to chlorine. This system is so powerful it is commonly used in medical facilities and sterile work sites like labs. It is only now starting to be used on a large scale to sterilize drinking water and pool water. One benefit of the UV light system is that it works just as well in all climates, though it relies on electricity to work. It leaves no unwanted chemical compounds in the water, so there’s nothing to bother your skin.