Chlorine in swimming pools!
Hi there swimmers and families! This is Ugur Taner, Facilities Director at La Petite Baleen Swim Schools. Today I want to share with you some information regarding chlorine in our pools and the importance of safety as our number one priority.
I’m very proud of our family business and the fact that we take safety very seriously. The California Code of Regulations requires a minimum free chlorine residual of 1.0 parts per million (ppm) and recommends no more than 10 ppm to be present in pool water. This means that, by law, every swimming pool in California is required to use chlorine in the pool water as the primary sanitizer and disinfectant. Chlorine is our first line of defense against any recreational water illnesses. In order to minimize the amount of chlorine in our pool water without compromising safety and health, we use Ultra Violet light as a secondary source of sanitization and disinfection. 100% of our pool water passes through our Ultra Violet machine, which destroys all living micro-organisms (viruses, bacteria, parasites). The result is extremely clean and safe pool water. Because the UV machine purifies the water so well, we don’t need to use as much chlorine for sanitation and disinfection!
What’s the deal with Saline pools? You may have heard that some pool owners have chosen to treat their pools with salt. What’s important to remember here is that the salt is added to the pool water in order to produce chlorine. Salt pools are still required to maintain the same 1.0 ppm of residual chlorine as pools that do not use salt. Although salt water can be more gentle on the skin, it presents other problems as well. First of all, salt systems require a minimum of 3000 ppm of salt in order to generate enough chlorine to meet the state requirements. That amount of salt increases the total dissolved solids (TDS) in the water, making the UV less effective. If you add the TDS that is introduced into the water from regular bather load on top of that, your TDS levels can near 5000 ppm. The recommended TDS levels for a swimming pool is not to exceed 2000 ppm. High TDS can also contribute to problems with heaters and water balance. Since safety is our number one priority, we have determined that maximizing the effectiveness of our UV machine will provide us with the safest and purest water while at the same time, minimizing the amount of chlorine needed to maintain our 1.0 ppm residual.
Whether your swimmer is an infant, toddler, or older child, the biggest safety concern is not the chlorine, but recreational water illness. Most micro-organisms are killed by chlorine. Even very dangerous ones such as HIV and Hepatitis B are killed by a properly chlorinated pool on contact. There are some, however, that are more resistant to chlorine. That’s why we use UV! Nothing that goes into the UV chamber, comes out alive!
If you’re concerned about the safety of the pool water at your local community pool, ask the aquatics director at the facility in question about their water safety policies and procedures. They should be able to share with you the steps they have taken in order to ensure the safety of their pool water. At La Petite Baleen, our goal is to provide our customers and staff with the cleanest and safest pool water possible. It’s my privilege to oversee my staff of 4 Nationally Certified Pool Operators who are committed to this level of excellence and quality 7 days a week. For links and more information about the equipment we use at La Petite Baleen, please visit our website at swimlpb.com.
"If all of the pools I inspected were like La Petite Baleen, I'd be out of a job!" Ken Robinson, San Mateo County Health Inspector