How often do we go about our lives doing things the way that they’ve always been done, but never questioning why? If it ain’t broke…right? In the interests of education, we’d like you to question why you use chlorine to keep your swimming pool clean. Knowing how it works will also benefit you when things start to go pear-shaped and your pool is totally the wrong colour.
What Exactly Is Chlorine?
Chlorine is far more than an element on your periodic table. Most often used in a liquid or granular form, when added to water it forms a weak acid. This acid is known as hypochlorous acid (HOCI) and is a fast-acting weapon against bacteria present in your swimming pool. It works by breaching the bacteria cell walls and wreaking havoc within the cell’s internal structure. This process begins within seconds of adding chlorine to your swimming pool, and once it has done its job it gradually breaks down into single atoms which render the chlorine inert.
Clever stuff, don’t you agree?
However, there is more that you can do to help our valiant element do its job even better.
How Can I Keep My Pool Clean For Longer?
Chlorine is a chemical which means that you have to be careful to get your dosage right in your swimming pool. Too much will cause skin irritation for some swimmers, and will also start to bleach your swimwear and towels. Too little means the bacteria are likely to have a pool party of their own.
Therefore, keeping a healthy pH balance of between 7.4 and 7.8 allows the chlorine to get its job done effectively while not affecting the sensitive skin of your family.
Encourage swimmers to shower before jumping in. Why? Simply because certain pathogens are carried in human sweat, urine and faeces which have a hardy outer membrane. This means that chlorine will have a tough time breaking down the bacteria and allow it to take root in your pool. It can also result in diseases like e-Coli.
Remember too that sunlight speeds up the breakdown of chlorine, so you’ll have to keep a close eye on your pH levels during peak swimming season.
So there we have it, folks. Now you know how and why chlorine works in your swimming pools. If you have any other questions please give your friendly Pool Spa team a call.