Chlorine-free pools are here to stay… Welcome to Ozone/UV
The Truth about Chlorine
The problems commonly associated with chlorine are almost always the result of water chemistry issues that are generally traceable to improper chemical maintenance, testing, and dosing.
Itchy skin (a result of insufficient chlorine in the water), green hair (excess copper in the water), and burning eyes (improper pH or an inadequate chlorine concentration) are all a result of the formation of eye-irritating ammonia compounds. In fact, those are waste byproducts that are a result of not enough chlorine in the pool. When that occurs, you might think (by smell) that it’s chlorine related, but your nose is playing a trick on you. What you smell is ammonia residue and gasses (the combination of chlorine and bather waste - skin, deodorant, sweat, etc.) that make the water smell like chlorine bleach. Due to the lack of chlorine, these ammonia compounds become chloramines (organic compounds containing a chlorine atom bonded to nitrogen). This is why a swimmer “smells chlorine” on his or her skin after getting out of the pool. In reality, the odor is sweat combined with chlorine. When there is sufficient chlorine in the water, chloramines are not present.
Chlorine-related issues have lead the industry to find alternatives for a “chlorine-free” pool. Over the years salt water pools have gained in popularity, but we now know they pose risks to the equipment and pool finishes. Additionally, as we discussed in our last blog, those systems are not maintenance free and have unreliable and complicated electronics. (Are Salt Pools Better?)
The two main components needed for proper sanitation of water are: 1- oxidation, 2- sanitation. While they’ve been on the market for some time, Ozone Generators, Ultraviolet Systems, and Metal Lionizers are some of the most common alternatives whose benefits are being given a close second look. Ozone specifically has more oxidizing power than chlorine.
Combining these systems works best. Ozone and UV together take charge of the complicated undertaking of breaking down all the various particles in the water allowing the chlorine to perform its sanitization job efficiently. The key is the amount of chlorine is so small that is undetectable to bathers. Today nano/micro technologies are also available.
The combination of these systems makes the water literally drinkable and optimal for bathers (even for people with skin problems and major allergies) eliminating all the chlorine-related issues.
Benefit of Ozone and UV as the Alternatives
Ozone combined with UV eliminates countless biological contaminants efficiently, including Staphylococcus, Cryptosporidium, E. coli, Legionella pneumophila, Zica and West Nile virus, as well as human and animal (those swimming dogs) pathogens carried in blood, saliva, feces, urine, sweat, etc.
So the alternatives to a chlorine-free pool are these systems with manual or electronic dosage dispensers that, in very small quantities, dispense (undetectable to humans) the proper amount of chlorine that will result in a real Chlorine-Free pool.
How it works – UV. As water circulates thru the equipment in a UV chamber a high-energy light destroys germs and bacteria before the water is returned to the pool.
How it works – Ozone. Not only do Ozone generators destroy germs and bacteria as stated above, but they’re also powerful sanitizers in breaking down foreign particles (makeup, lipstick, suntan lotion, shampoo, etc.).