Why Do Swimming Pools Need Chlorine?
Category: BlogNovember 6, 2019
Ask anyone to step into a large, dirty, and germ-filled swimming pool and they would likely refuse. Without modern chemistry, swimming pools would look like a swamp. A quick swim in unsanitized water exposes you to various illnesses like swimmer’s ear, diarrhea, athlete’s foot, and multiple skin infections.
Fortunately, chlorine does an excellent job of eliminating germs. It keeps the water clean and protects swimmers from harmful microbes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chlorine is the first and strongest line of defense against germs found in swimming pools.
What is Chlorine and why is it Added to Swimming Pools?
Chlorine is an natural element made from ordinary salt through a process known as electrolysis. The primary function of Chlorine is to kill germs. When added to swimming pools, it creates something known as hypochlorous acid which kills multiple bacteria including E.coli and salmonella.
How Chlorine Helps
Chlorine is known as an irritating agent, so it’s important to follow a strict chlorination schedule. When added to water, chlorine breaks down into certain chemical compounds known as hypochlorite ions and hypochlorous acid, both of which keep the water clean at all times. Chlorine’s chemical compounds attack lipids and enzymes found in bacteria, making it effective.
To ensure that chlorine is the most effective, you should maintain a pH level in your pool between 7.0–8.4 with 7.4 being the “sweet spot.”
In its pure form, chlorine is highly toxic. Its fumes, in ingested in enough concentration, can be hazardous to your health. However, when dissolved in water at the right level, chlorine poses no harm. In fact, it’s even added to drinking water to eliminate harmful microorganisms.
The Environmental Protection Agency lists the appropriate and acceptable levels of chlorine in both drinking and pool water.
Chlorine and other chemicals are invaluable in keeping pools clean and safe. Knowing what amounts and at what balance take both time, patience and expertise.