5 alternatives to chlorine for treating collective pool water

Chlorine is a common treatment for collective pools, but it has some drawbacks and not always the only answer. Find out your options!

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Thanks to its undeniable advantages, chlorine is the most commonly used product in the world for treating the water in private and public pools. However, some may decide to choose a solution more in line with their specific needs. Do you? Below is a list of alternatives to chlorine. Each has specific benefits.

Why stop using chlorine to treat pool water?

Chlorine is number 1 in the treatment of swimming pools, thanks to its antibacterial and algicidal properties. It is suitable for large volumes, easy to use and, especially, cheap. On the other hand, chlorine also has some disadvantages when it is incorrectly dosed or incorrectly used: it can be irritating.

Last but not least, there can be chlorine supply problems in peak seasons and over stabilization phenomena. This is why, even with the good quality offers that exist today thanks to automation, pool managers might look for alternatives.

The specific case of salt electrolysis

Many pool managers and owners think that salt electrolysis is a chlorine-free alternative, whereas in fact this treatment technique makes chlorine in smaller doses. We will thus not discuss this method here, but go to our article on salt electrolysis to understand its benefits.

UV radiation: eco-friendly and usable in all pools

The principle is simple: a lamp which produces UV-C ultraviolet radiations is fitted in the filtration circuit. When dirty water passes through the lamp, the rays destroy the DNA of the micro-organisms. Water emerges silky and disinfected… but not disinfecting! For that, the lamp must be connected to a complementary treatment: ideally, active oxygen or bromine. This add-in dosage can be manual or via a proportioning pump.

UV pool treatments can be installed quickly, do not need daily servicing, are reliable and ecological and can be fitted to all pools with top quality filtration systems. UV treatments do not cause corrosion nor prematurely age materials. 

Copper-silver ionization: excellent flocculation

An electrode housing is inserted into the filtration circuit and releases copper ions into the pool which attack viruses and bacteria and open the way for the silver ions which kill them. An algicidal, fungicidal and bactericidal shock treatment which nevertheless needs the addition of a small dose of chlorine to enable catalysis. 

The copper-silver treatment of pools by ionization has the benefit of the flocculation power of copper and delivers crystalline, taste-free water. This technique is helpful for the maintenance of tiled pools, easy to use and its cost is amortized over time.

Ozone: preferred by many public pools

To create the chemical reaction necessary for pool treatment with ozone, an ozonizer is installed in the technical locale. It sucks in oxygen from the air and converts it into an odorous and oxidant gas (ozone), either via an electric field or by a UV lamp depending on the ozonizer chosen. The ozone is then released into dirty water to disinfect it, before returning cleansed and limpid water to the pool. It is twice as effective as chlorine.

Ozone makes water pleasant, odorless and good-tasting (it is also used to disinfect drinking water). This is why it is very popular with public pools which can amortize its high cost of acquisition more easily.

Bromine: the less irritant little brother of chlorine 

Bromine has the same oxidizing, disinfecting and algicidal properties of chlorine and comes from the same family (halogens). It is relatively similar to chlorine. It comes in slow-dissolving pellets or fast-dissolving blocks in water with a pH of 7.5 to 8.0. It is also possible to fit a semi-automatic slow diffusion brominator in the filtration circuit.

Less irritant than chlorine, bromine requires regular maintenance to eliminate brominated organic compounds which are not biodegradable.

MagnaPool® magnesium treatment: the latest innovation

This innovation by Zodiac combines two processes: magnesium and potassium chloride pellets to treat the water and a new filter medium called the Hydroxinator which contains crystals of pure glass, called Crystal Clear®. 

This system ensures healthy and eco-friendly water with no other chemicals needed. Its other benefit is that it enriches the pool in minerals that relieve muscular pains and stress.

The pool sector constantly evolves so that users swim in cleaner, more pleasant, eco-friendly water and develop products that are easier to use and store. Check out all these innovations at Piscine Global Europe!

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