To clean and disinfect the water of your pool, so you can swim safely, the most widely used and recommended product is chlorine. Whether liquid or in the form of tablets, it is certainly the most widely used disinfectant on the market.
However, not everyone is in favor of its use: if used in excessive quantities, this product can cause irritation to the eyes and skin, not to mention the unpleasant and pungent odor emitted by water too rich in chlorine.
But, are there disinfectant alternatives to chlorine? And what are they? Let’s discover them together!
What Happens If Chlorine Is Not Added To Pool?
If chlorine is not administered into the pool the water will get contaminated with viruses and other infectious pathogens which can make humans sick.
A pool without chlorine is statistically more likely to make you sick due to the chance of being exposed to organisms that are not controlled or killed by chlorine. Keep in mind that your skin is permeable, allowing microscopic pollutants to flow through. A pool without chlorine resembles a large puddle of murky water.
Disinfecting the water of your pool is a fundamental operation to swim and relax in clean and safe water. Chlorine is undoubtedly the most widely used chemical product as a deep disinfectant, but its excessive dosage can cause irritation and make the water smell unpleasant.
That’s why with this article we want to help you discover the best alternatives to traditional chlorine disinfection.
How To Choose The Right Disinfectant
Effectively disinfecting the water in your bathtub is a fundamental step to be repeated several times during the year to ensure clear and bacteria-free water. In fact, disinfectants act on all those harmful microorganisms that accumulate in the water, allowing you to swim and relax in complete safety.
Given the extremely small size of the microorganisms and bacteria that infest swimming pool water, it is important to give support to the filtration system, which can retain only debris and particles of a certain volume, failing instead to eliminate these inconvenient intruders.
For this reason, it is often necessary to rely on a chemical product created precisely for the purpose of disinfecting and purifying the water.
In general, the parameters to consider when choosing the most suitable disinfectant for your needs are 4:
- Range of action on different microorganisms
- Speed/time of action
- Absence of any toxicity to humans
- Good antioxidant capacity
So whatever disinfectant you want to opt for, we recommend you pay particular attention to these characteristics, to ensure the ideal effectiveness.
Alternative Disinfectants To Chlorine
If, as we said, chlorine is the most known and used disinfectant, there are other equally valid and less known ones. Among these we can find:
- Salt electrolysis
- Sodium hypochlorite
- Calcium hypochlorite
- UV light sterilization
Let’s see them more specifically.
An innovative method with great advantages, salt electrolysis allows for reducing the import of chlorine, producing the disinfectant directly in the appropriate doses and in a short time.
The saline electrolysis system uses simple salt, in very low quantities, and transforms it into chlorine through electrolysis. In this way, the chemicals used are minimal and healthy water free of irritating agents is guaranteed.
Furthermore, in many cases, the devices that carry out salt electrolysis are accompanied by a pump that allows for constant control of the pH values, thus becoming an even more useful tool. Acting automatically, the salt electrolysis system produces the necessary disinfectant as soon as the pH value is out of line.
Almost as popular as chlorine, sodium hypochlorite has been used as a disinfectant for more than 50 years, especially for disinfecting public facilities.
It is low cost and fast-acting, but its transportation and storage are rather cumbersome. This chemical is in fact distributed in liquid form, usually in large canisters, and therefore difficult to store in private homes.
Another possible disadvantage is that sodium hypochlorite tends to increase pH values, thus requiring more frequent control and adjustment of the parameter or the use of an automatic dosing system.
Unlike sodium hypochlorite, in this case, the disinfectant is distributed in the form of tablets, thus becoming easier to store than the classic chlorine, usually present in liquid form.
Calcium hypochlorite, moreover, has the advantage of not increasing the pH level, therefore ordinary maintenance is carried out with the classic timing, and does not need to be repeated more frequently.
An additional factor that could weigh on the choice is that this product also allows you to carry out shock treatments and chlorinations, allowing you to clean the water in a short time. At the same time, however, it must be admitted that calcium hypochlorite turns out to be slightly more expensive than traditional chlorine.
In this case, a particular material comes into play: oxygen. Disinfection with this product is advisable in tanks that are covered and regularly maintained, while it is more disadvantageous if applied in tanks exposed to the weather and light.
A distinction that must also be taken into consideration is that between liquid oxygen – dosed with a pump that ensures a constant minimum concentration of the product – and solid oxygen, distributed in the form of tablets or fast-acting granular compounds.
Among the advantages of oxygen treatment, there is certainly the fact that it is an excellent antioxidant, colorless and odorless, capable of preserving clear and clean water without causing irritation. In addition, oxygen is also an effective flocculant and anti-algae, making it an all-around useful product.
Also known as active oxygen, ozone is an excellent disinfectant and antioxidant. More powerful than chlorine, it eliminates 99.9% of bacteria and microorganisms present in the pool, thus ensuring an almost absolute safety regarding the healthiness of the water of your pool.
Also with regard to the ozone treatment, there are the benefits of a product odorless, colorless and free of irritants to skin and mucous membranes.
Being then a natural product, the chemical action is really negligible, constituting therefore also a valid choice to the environmental character. The only flaw that we can highlight is the cost: being a natural and powerful substance, ozone has a higher average price than more traditional disinfectants.
Distributed in slow-dissolving tablets due to its characteristic low solubility, bromine is a disinfectant capable of eliminating fungi, viruses, and bacteria through a process of oxygenation in which pollutants are degraded.
Moreover, this product is capable of acting perfectly even in case of high temperatures or waters with an unstable pH that often has higher values than the norm.
However, although it is a product with a greater disinfection capacity than chlorine, and costs significantly more, it must be said that bromine is an organic compound not stabilized and may be less effective as an antioxidant, thus not completely eliminating underwater formations such as algae.
Sterilization with UV light
Among the most environmentally friendly disinfectants, as completely free of chemicals, should certainly be mentioned the sterilization by UV light. Using a rather innovative methodology, this type of treatment is able to remove 99% of bacteria and germs by acting on their DNA.
The disinfectant action is in fact obtained thanks to the ultraviolet light rays that generate energy capable of eliminating microorganisms, algae, and viruses by destroying their genetic heritage.
In short, between saline electrolysis, hypochlorites, oxygen, ozone, bromine, and UV light, there is a wide variety of choice that allows you not to fall back on traditional chlorine-based disinfection.
By opting for one of the products we have seen in this article, you can be sure that you are following an alternative path that will certainly allow you to avoid those unpleasant irritating effects on your skin and on those who will share with you the sport and relaxation that your private pool offers.