5 ways of treating your pool water without using chlorine
Chlorine is the most common chemical substance used for the treatment of private and public pools. However, it is not to everyone’s liking (particularly that of the environment). Here are 5 alternatives (more environmentally friendly and less irritating) to chlorine, when treating your water.
Why use an alternative to chlorine?
Chlorine is the number 1 product used for treating swimming pool water. And we can understand why: it is highly disinfecting, adapted to huge volumes, easy to use and most particularly, economic.
On the other hand, chlorine has its disadvantages when it is used incorrectly or when the quantity is not respected: it may cause irritation. This is due to chloramine, a substance which is formed when chlorine interacts with the swimmers, particularly with their sweat, saliva and other secretions. It is this substance which causes skin, eye and respiratory irritations.
That is why swimming pool owners who are not confident when it comes to mastering the use of chlorine, even with the quality that it offers today, prefer to choose an alternative. These alternatives seem easier to use and have less impact on the environment. Let‘s focus on 5 of them.
Alternatives to chlorine
The principle is simple: A lamp which produces ultraviolet rays (UV-C rays), is placed in the filter circuit. When dirty water passes through the lamp, the rays destroy the DNA of microorganisms. The water comes out disinfected… but not disinfecting! For this, one needs to use another type of treatment alongside the lamp (ideally active oxygen).
Here, it is not a lamp, but an ionising chamber which emits electrodes, that is placed in the filter. It liberates copper ions, which destroy algae and silver ions which eliminate bacteria in the pool. It enables the treatment of algae, fungi and bacteria. Having said this, ionisation is incompatible with cartridge filters and diatoms. And once more, it needs to be associated with a chemical treatment to be optimal.
An ozonator is placed in the pool’s pump room. Its objective is to suck in oxygen from the surrounding environment and transform it into ozone. The latter is then liberated into the dirty pool water to disinfect it. The purified water is then sent back into the pool.
Ozone eliminates bacteria, but that’s not all : it makes water clearer, eliminates odours and gives the water a good taste (it is also used to disinfect water used in homes).
MagnaPool®, based on magnesium
Treating water with magnesium is based on 2 processes: on the one side, we have MagnaPool® minerals, made up of magnesium, which act as a water treatment, and on the other, a new filtering medium which must replace the existing one (containing pure glass crystals, called Crystal Clear®). This complete system allows for the enriching of the water in terms of minerals; it is thus healthier and more environmentally friendly.
Bromium has the same properties (oxidising, disinfecting and anti-algae) and comes from the same family (halogens), as chlorine. It is available in slow dissolving tabs, or rapidly dissolving briquettes. It is also possible to place a brominator (semi-automatic slow diffusion) in the filter circuit. Briefly, bromium is relatively similar to chlorine, in its use, as well as its efficiency. The difference? It produces bromamines, which, unlike chloramines, are not irritating.
For optimal efficiency and performance, these alternatives to chlorine most often need to be used in association with another kind of treatment. Having said this, their use allows the diminution of chlorine, which is good news for sensitive eyes and skin.