Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Swimming Pool Chemicals

After a streaming and red-eyed experience while swimming in a local pool, I got in touch with Belfast City Council to see if they could let me know what chemicals are used in council swimming pools. After a long wait, I got the following list of chemicals from the manager of the pool:

Calcium Hypochlorite tablets are used to generate Chlorine that is required to destroy the organic contaminants in the water.

Poly Aluminium Chloride is a flocculation agent which helps the sand filters to remove very finely suspended matter and algae, colouring matter and a portion of the bacteria in the water.

CO2 gas is used for pH control while Ozone and UV treatment is used for pool disinfection and helps reduce the level of chlorine required in the pool.

Liquid Algaecide kills or inhibits the multiplication of algae in the pool.

Sodium Bicarbonate is used to raise pH while Sodium Bisulphate is used to lower pH.

Chlorine is used in all Belfast City Council pools. A few pools in the UK use Bromine-based disinfectants but apparently there are doubts about the evidence for their effectiveness as compared to chlorine-based disinfectants. With heavy bather loads, such as in Belfast pools, Chlorine use is recognised as best practice within the industry.

After an on-line search, I found this site, which explains that eye irritation usually arises because of an inadequate water-balancing process (i.e. the relationship of different chemicals to each other in the pool). Therefore, it would appear that the red eyes occurred due to an inadequate amount of chlorine in the pool.


JC Skinner said...

Thanks for that pertinent bit of research. Clearly, we're no longer swimming in water but in a chemical soup.
It's disgraceful. But perhaps marginally preferable than doing the front crawl around the floating turds that kids liked to leave in the Grove last time I was there.

Phil said...

i havent been swimming in years. now im never going swimming again!

rockinwiththebest said...

jesus wept

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John Jones said...

Great tips, thanks for sharing. I know they are good because we got similar advice from the company we used when we were in the UK that sell swimming pool chemicals.

Kristen Dockery said...

Thanks for these tips about swimming pools and the chemicals needed to keep it sanitary. My husband I recently got a swimming pool, but we don't know how to take care of it so I am glad that I came across this article and the information in it. We are so excited for our pool and for the memories that we will be created in it over the years. http://poolchlornv.com

PST Pool Supplies said...

Bromine is more prominently used for indoor pools and spas. Chlorine is dissolved a lot faster compared to bromine. Bromine is also more stable in hot water. That's why it's used a lot for hot tubs and spas.

If you need bromine generators for your hot-tub or spa:

Bromine Generator / Brominator for Spa & Hot Tub