Are Salt Water Swimming Pools More Healthy?

There are many questions about the benefits of salt water swimming pools. Firstly, what exactly are salt water pools and why should you want one? Are they just like swimming in the ocean? How can you make the water safe and clean for kids? Doesn’t it use chlorine? And finally, is the salt water swimming pool healthier and better for the environment?

There are many misconceptions and suppositions regarding salt water swimming pools. One of the most evident is related to the belief that these pools don’t use any chemical or chlorine. However, this isn’t true. Despite they are healthier, they still use chemicals like any normal chlorine pool.

When you have a salt water swimming pool, you’ll need to install a salt generator that manufactures its own chlorine. And this is the major difference regarding regular pools, where you need to add the chlorine directly to the pool water. What happens in salt water pools is that the system uses electrolysis, which will release the chlorine gas directly in the water. Once they get mixed, it creates liquid chlorine, which provides the cleaning component to the pool system. 

You probably already noticed that sometimes, when you’re near a regular pool, there’s a strong chlorine smell. This is a part of the decontamination process when you’re using chlorine directly on the water. However, you won’t be able to notice this smell around a salt water swimming pool because the salt water generators deliver a constant stream of chlorine. And this has a positive effect when you’re using this kind of pool because your skin and eyes will be less irritated. According to the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine assistant professor of clinical medicine Mary Pohlman, M.D., who is also a member of the United States Masters Swimming Sports Medicine Committee, in addition to the skin and eyes benefits, some swimmers tend to suffer from asthma-like symptoms and lung irritation when they use pools with high contaminant levels. 

Despite some positive effect, the real benefits are still on debate. Experts cannot agree on whether the salt water generators are effective enough to act as decontaminants, as well as the electrical consumption required for the process to work can be quite expensive. However, the fact that you don’t need to buy chlorine means that you don’t need to store it in your house. And this may lead to better safety especially if you have kids or pets walking around the house.