Looking for pool chlorine alternatives? A non chlorine pool is achievable in a number of ways and offers many health benefits. But is it affordable? In this article, I outline the alternatives to the traditional chlorine pool.
Alternative to traditional swimming pools, many swear by saltwater pool systems, as the pool owner does not have to add chlorine and regularly maintain the pool. However, saltwater systems use sodium chloride which produces chlorine in the water. So while this option can save costs on regular maintenance and eliminates the need to add chlorine, it still introduces chlorine into the water via conversion processes. These systems produce chlorine in a way that does not damage skin and eyes or smell like chlorine in the way that traditional pools do. Saltwater pools can, however, because of their salt content, erode interior pool lighting and masonry and kill surrounding plants.
For many pool owners, the goal is eliminating maintenance costs and toxic chemicals and their damaging effects on hair, skin, and eyes by going completely chlorine-free. Several options have been made available for pool disinfection, each at varying costs.
Non-chlorine chemical alternatives
Hydrogen peroxide, when combined with UV light can be a powerful disinfectant that oxidizes organic contaminants. This option is not compatible with many pool filters, and is not as powerful of a sanitizing agent as chlorine (30-40 parts per million hydrogen peroxide versus 1-5 parts per million chlorine to sanitize and disinfect a swimming pool). For this reason, it is a more expensive option, and concerns with damage to hair/skin may be problematic.
Shock treatments without chlorine may be used to oxidize organic contaminants, but many are not sanitize pools on their own. Many non-chlorine shock treatments are often paired with chlorine. The non-chlorine shock oxidizes the pollutants, reducing chloramines, allowing the chlorine to sanitize the pool.
Bromine is often used as an alternative to chlorine for sanitizing purposes, but is limited to indoor pools and spas that are not exposed to UV rays from sunlight. Bromine is a more expensive alternative to chlorine as a sanitizing agent.
Ozone Generators and Mineral Systems
Ozone generators and mineral pool water systems are becoming popular options for chlorine-free swimming pools. The reason for this is they make pools chlorine-free and easy to maintain. Unlike more expensive maintenance solutions for chlorine pools such as bromine, hydrogen peroxide, or non-chlorine shock treatments, they are complete system solutions. Ozone generators break down organic contaminants, reducing the amount of chemicals or minerals needed to sanitize the pool by up to 90%. Mineral systems are also available that automate sanitizer generation. Mineral systems work by feeding small amounts of metals or a combination of minerals and salt into the pool to soften and clean the pool water and reduce or eliminate chlorine use. Many ozone systems or mineral systems are likely to involve a more costly initial investment, but should again be viewed as systems that cut down on time and money involved in routine maintenance.
Whether you are trying to reduce or eliminate the amount of chlorine in your pool to get rid of unwanted damage to hair, skin, and eyes, three main types of solutions exist to accomplish this. Saltwater systems are healthier alternatives to traditional chlorine pools, but the salt cells in these systems still create chlorine. Non-chlorine chemicals such as bromine or hydrogen peroxide can provide alternatives to shock treatment in some pools, but many still need to be paired with other sanitizing systems and solutions to be effective. The fastest growing solutions for pool sanitation are complete systems solutions such as ozone generators and mineral systems, as they cut down on maintenance costs and the need for chemicals such as chlorine.