Many homeowners struggle while trying to select sanitization systems for their swimming pools because they have many options to choose from. The truth is: no single system is best. Different swimming pools call for different systems. You should therefore consider a number of variables when selecting a sanitization system, including initial costs, maintenance costs, maintenance tasks, climate, and number of swimmers. In this article, I briefly discuss five popular swimming pool sanitization methods and list advantages and disadvantages of each.
Chlorine has historically been the most widely-used chemical for swimming pool sanitization, though several alternative sanitation methods have recently gained popularity. It kills bacteria by undergoing a simple chemical reaction. In this chemical reaction, chlorine breaks down into hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ions, which then oxidize bacteria until they are neutralized or destroyed.
Advantages of Chlorine Sanitization
· Chlorine has a long half-life and can therefore be stored for long periods of time.
· It is available to consumers in many different forms. It can be found as a solid granules, liquid, gas.
· Chlorine has a residual effect: not only does it neutralize contaminants when it is first added to swimming pool water, but it also continues to neutralize long afterward.
Disadvantages of Chlorine Sanitization
· By-products of chlorine are chloramines and trihalomethanes (THMs), which cause skin and eye irritation to swimmers.
· After being added to a swimming pool, chlorine dissipates very quickly. Swimming pools that utilize chlorine must therefore be regularly tested and maintained.
· Chlorine By-products have been associated with a number of health issues, including respiratory problems.
Salt chlorine generators utilize a chemical process called to form hypochlorous acid from salt and water. The key characteristic that distinguishes salt chlorine from its sanitizing counterparts is its ability to recycle itself. After the hypochlorous acid sanitizes the swimming pool water, it reverts back to salt, and then the process repeats. Salt chlorine generators have gained much popularity with homeowners recently, and the market for them is likely to expand further in the near future.
Advantages of Salt Chlorine Sanitization
· Because the chlorine generated is so concentrated at the point of production (inside the salt cell), swimming pool water is superchlorinated when it passes through the energized cell. This superchlorination helps combat the buildup of chloramines.
· Swimmers experience less skin and eye irritation in salt chlorine swimming pools than in traditionally-chlorinated swimming pools.
· Salt chlorine produces nearly neutral pH levels, so few additional chemicals are required to balance the pH levels in salt chlorine swimming pools.
Disadvantages of Salt Chlorine Sanitization
· Salt chlorine generators typically cost between more as its spares.
· Salt cells must be replaced once every three to five years.
· Excessive salt concentration is corrosive and can contribute to the breakdown of handrails, lighting systems and other equipment.
UV Systems has proved that ultraviolet treatment with low levels of free chlorine has major benefits over any of these traditional methods.
The greatest benefit of UV treatment is that short-wave ultraviolet light has a photo-oxidation effect that destroys chloramines and other toxic by-products of chlorine. This is done without adding any further chemicals to the water. Much less chlorine needs to be used to provide bacterial control, so water quality and atmospheric conditions are considerably improved.
The primary UV disinfection process destroys all bacteria passing through the treatment plant. In particular, and unlike ozone systems, this protects bathers against bacteria in the filter media re-entering the pool.
Advantages of UV Sanitization
UV destroys these pollutants releasing free chlorine back to pool.
UV acts instantly. Only low level chlorine residuals are necessary.
UV cuts costs by releasing the combined chlorine
Maintenance costs of UV equipment are lower, and do not increase significantly with age.
Disadvantages of UV Sanitization
UV water purifier kill bacteria and viruses but does not remove dissolved impurities
Ozone is an unstable, inorganic gas that is created when free oxygen atoms collide with oxygen molecules. It is manufactured by subjecting oxygen molecules to either a high-voltage ionization process or to ultraviolet radiation. Most ozone generators utilize the high-voltage ionization process because it results in a much higher concentration of ozone (20% by the high-voltage ionization process versus 5% by ultraviolet radiation).
Advantages of Ozone Sanitization
· Ozone is a strong oxidizer. Specifically, it is 100 times stronger than chlorine.
· It reduces the need for swimming pool maintenance: it breaks down filter-clogging contaminants such as grease and oils.
· Ozone has no effect on the pH levels of swimming pools. Swimming pools that utilize ozone, therefore, require much less pH adjustment. This translates to less chemical usage.
Disadvantages of Ozone Sanitization
· Ozone has a short half-life: it cannot be stored, but instead must be used soon after it is produced, and is only effective as it mixes with the water in the return line. After it returns to the pool, Ozone is released back to the atmosphere.
· It alone is not a sufficient sanitization method for most swimming pools, as it cannot eliminate all swimming pool contaminants. However, Ozone is compatible with Chlorine or Bromine.
· Ozone gas is harmful in high concentrations.