If you are the kind of person who loves to dip yourself into the pool while the sun is up and bright to get that tan color most people are obsessed with, or the type who loves to release any negativity through freestyle and butterfly stroke, I bet you are already familiar with that smell.
Yes, that strong, sometimes irritating smell that is present in all pools—the smell of chlorine!
But have you ever wondered why it seems a necessity for pools?
Chlorine and Its Types
There is no need for us to talk in-depth about chemistry and the periodic table here.
Basically, chlorine is a chemical that is used to disinfect any kind of liquid. But that’s not all. It is also used for paper, plastic, and medicine, among others.
Chlorine is not harmful to human health, but only if it’s in liquid form. But that’s not to say that you should expose yourself to it carelessly. If you come in contact with compressed liquid chlorine, for instance, you may acquire chemical burns and frostbites!
If it’s in gas form, however, then you should be more careful. It’s about time that you think twice before you come near it as it would make you prone to lung diseases as well as irritate your skin.
“If it’s not safe at all, then why do they even put chlorine in pools?” you may ask. It has been said that chlorine is a disinfectant. That said, its purpose is to maintain the cleanliness of pool water.
Chlorine’s role in pools is vital as a lot of bodies are in it, so a lot of bacteria, viruses, and germs are also swimming with them, finding their way to their next human abode.
There are several other reasons why using chlorine is important, but before that, it is important to know that there are different types of chlorine that are used commonly for pools, and those are sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite, and lithium hypochlorite.
Sodium hypochlorite is said to be the best type of chlorine for pools. It was first used as a bleaching agent back in the late 1700s, and it can still be used as one to date.
This type of chlorine is safe, considering that the concentration is specifically made for pools. Nonetheless, it can still cause one to acquire skin burns and irritated eyes, especially if the amount of concentration in the pool is too much.
Calcium hypochlorite is also safe. In fact, it is used to disinfect water from wells and bodies of water so that people can drink it. Like sodium hypochlorite, calcium hypochlorite is also a bleaching agent.
This type of chlorine easily reacts to the changes in temperature, which is why it is important that you make sure the container is tightly closed and it is stored in a place where moisture is avoidable.
Lithium hypochlorite easily dissolves in water, only taking about a minute. It is typically used for pools that are already filled with bacteria as well as organisms like algae, which is why it is known as a “shock treatment.”
It is colorless and is also used in spas.
Using Chlorine in Your Pool: Why is It Important?
Now that you already know the basics of chlorine, it is now time that you discover why it is important to use chlorine in your pool. But this will be quick as there are only two major reasons why.
Chlorine Maintains Pool’s Cleanliness
This is perhaps the most basic reason why chlorine is important to be added to your pool. Chlorine has components that are effective in killing bacteria and germs, and it is also great in keeping your pool water from being contaminated.
No one wants to swim in a pool that is filled with icky substances, not even you! And that’s why chlorine is a must-have and a must-use for every pool owner!
Chlorine Makes You Save Water
People who care about the Earth will love this. It is a given fact that chlorine does help in making the pool water as clean as it can be within a given time frame. With that being said, you don’t have to replace the water every single day!
Everyone knows how much water is needed to fill in a pool, and it’s tremendous! So, can you just imagine how much water you can save in a year and how happy the environment is with what you are doing?
How Much Chlorine is Safe?
If you are convinced and now thinking of using chlorine in your pool, you might be wondering, “How much chlorine is safe?”
That’s a good question.
Chlorine that is being used in pools are generally safe, but too much chlorine is indeed too much and may cause unexpected inconveniences that nobody would ever want to deal with, especially if they are supposed to be having fun!
If you want to avoid that from happening, then do something! Here are two things that you should do:
- Determine the pH level of the water
- Determine the volume of the water
It is important to determine the pH level before you do anything else because it is a factor that affects the effectiveness of the chlorine that will be added to the pool water.
The pH level should be between 7.2 to 7.6. Anything that’s above or below is not good as the chlorine would have no use at all. You can simply use a pH test paper to find out your pool’s pH level.
Don’t worry if it does not meet the ideal pH level. You can simply manipulate it through the help of acid or alkali if it’s high or low, respectively.
On the other hand, the volume of the water is one thing that plays a key role in the amount of chlorine that will be added. A safe pool contains chlorine level that is between 1 and 3 ppm.
1 ppm = (1 pound chlorine)/(1,000,000 pounds water)
If it exceeds, then your pool is dangerous and may harm anyone’s health—and that is something that I know you don’t want.
Adding the Chlorine
You already know the pH level and the volume of the pool water, now what?
It is now time to add the chlorine!
But first, know that chlorine can be stabilized or unstabilized. Stabilized chlorine has cyanuric acid, which is a chemical that protects the chlorine from the sun. It acts as a sunscreen.
That said, if you have an outdoor pool, it is much better if you opt for the stabilized one.
The majority of the pool owners use chlorine tablets or sticks, which are put into feeders or dispensers, to disinfect the pool. It is because it is the safest and a much cheaper option than other forms of chlorine.
It is not advisable that you use the pool right after you put the chlorine. Wait at least 4 hours. It is much better to contain your excitement for a little while than to wait for an irritated skin to heal!
Pool Shock and Its Purpose
To put it simply, a pool shock is the process of shocking a pool with too much chlorine. This is used to effectively and quickly kill bacteria, germs, algae, dirt, and other organisms caused by contamination, urine, rainwater, and others that disturb the pool’s sanitation for it to be safe for everyone’s use.
It is important to maintain the pool’s cleanliness as it would turn into a source of health problems if it is left untouched and uncleaned.
Pool shock is done during the start of the season, after a heavy rain, when the pool water is turning green, after having been used by a lot of people, and when the pool has been exposed to high level of heat, among others.
It is best if you do it regularly, too, so as to maintain the chlorine level.
The most used type of chlorine for pool shock is calcium hypochlorite. Nonetheless, it would not hurt if you use other types of chlorine. Just make sure it’s in powder form.
Pools are not just about digging a portion of a land, setting it up, and filling it in with water. It is also about ensuring the swimmers’ safety through maintaining the pool’s sterility, and that’s with the help of chlorine!
Chlorine is a chemical that pool owners have been using for many years already to make sure their pools are safe. It has been a part of the pool industry, and it will continue to be a part of it even in the next hundred years.
Its effectiveness in maintaining the pools’ cleanliness is unquestionable. It can fight off unwelcomed pool visitors and let the people enjoy and create the best moments of their lives!
But that’s not all! Chlorine helps pool owners be more environment-friendly. It is because it prevents them from replacing the water many times, and what’s not to love about that?
Small things can make a huge impact, indeed!