Have you seen bottles of ionized water in your health food store? Water that is ionized has been purified by an electrical process, usually involving copper and silver. Copper and silver are ionized, or given a positive electrical charge, and then these copper-silver coils are placed in the pool. As the water circulates around the ionized metal, sanitizing water ions are released back into the pool.
Algae, bacteria and viruses are cleaned out by the ions. You will still need to use a very small amount of chlorine in your pool, however, if you choose ionization; but it will be far less than the saturation normally required for pool cleaning.
These are a viable option for small pools and hot tubs. Oxygen and electricity combine to produce ozone, which is then pumped into the pool water. For larger pools, however, you will need to add a small amount of chlorine or other sanitizer in addition to the ozone.
In this type of pool cleaning, you add a small amount of salt to the pool water once or twice a year. The slightly salty water is pumped to a cell chamber, where the salt is chemically separated into its individual components, sodium and chloride. This produces chlorine gas, which is mixed with the water in the chamber.
The chlorine gas cleans the water, which is then released back into the pool and the chloride and sodium go back together into salt once again. The system uses chlorine gas, not liquid chlorine, and none of the chlorine is released into the pool itself (the reaction takes place in the cell chamber).
Your local swimming pool supply store should have a stock of chlorine-free chemicals that will clean your pool. However, make sure you research the chemicals that are involved in these cleaners, and make sure that you are comfortable using them. In other words, chlorine-free can, but does not necessarily, mean non-toxic. Biguanides, which use hydrogen peroxide as a base, are a popular, chlorine-free, liquid pool cleaner.
Choose the Right Filter
What kind of filter your swimming pool has determines a great deal about the cleanliness of the water. Activated charcoal filters, such as are used to filter drinking water, are very effective but expensive. Filter cartridges, made from material that is something like paper, are less expensive and can last more than four years if properly maintained. Sand and diatomaceous earth are other natural filter options.
If you want to cut back on pool chemicals, make sure you choose the most effective filter for your pool size and type.
We hope that troubleshooting pool, keeping your swimming pool clean without the use of toxins helps you enjoy your pool and stay healthier this summer!