Pity the poor pool owner. All we want is a clean pool at a reasonable cost. We just want the water to be clear and inviting for ourselves, our kids and our neighbors. In the 21st century, it seems like all we get are 19th-century treatments or new technologies that cost a fortune.
Most people have a love/hate relationship with their pool. We love the convenience of being able to cool off in hot weather and as a social center for family and friends. But we hate it when the water suddenly turns green or cloudy when we rush off to the pool store to spend $200 on toxic chemicals to bring the water back to normal. All that time and money and hassle. Does it really have to be like this?
Here’s what I know and what I’ve learned:
Like most pool owners, I asked myself if there are viable alternatives to traditional chlorine pools. But when I asked the so called “professionals” all I got was a condescending look and advice to just stick with the program, or I’d end up with a mess on my hands. So, there being few places to look outside my experience, I just decided to go with my own experience.
All disinfection is an oxidation process. For example, chlorine (or bromine or hydrogen peroxide) molecules in water combine with contaminants in the water and then oxidize up and out of the surface of the pool. Bacteria, viruses, and algae removed from pool water by this oxidation process. Beyond disinfection, the second line of defense is your pool filter (you already have a filter on your pool).
What about salt pools?
Salt pools are chlorine pools. Salt systems create chlorine from salt added to the water and are no different than regular chlorine pools. The salt equipment requires regular servicing and salt pools have the additional problem of being extremely corrosive to decks, ladders, and pool surfaces. Most pool owners who have had salt pools are looking for an alternative with fewer problems.
Oxygenated pools use two old technologies in combination to produce a fully oxidized pool. They use a mechanically produced oxidizer (ozone) in conjunction with a powdered activated oxygen blend that eliminates the need for chlorine for most residential pools. By continuously feeding ozone into the pool water and regularly shocking with the nonchlorine additive, the oxidation potential of the water is greater than chlorine.
Until recently, the cost of the oxygen generating machine has been an obstacle to using oxygenation in residential pools. But one such generator costs only $349 for smaller pools and is simple enough to install yourself with common household tools.
Beyond the expense of the oxygen generator, the monthly cost of running an oxygenated pool are about the same as a chlorinated pool and, many times, less since the water is not likely to suddenly turn green or cloudy which often happens in chlorine pools.
Oxygen based water treatment is not new nor is it magic. It’s just oxidation of organic contaminants using oxygen itself rather chlorine to oxidize. I didn’t believe it until I tried it and been amazed at how easy it is and how great the water looks.