Take a dip in a saltwater pool

NO MORE TEARS: A swimming pool worth its salt. Photo credit: Wikimedia

IT was supposed to be a community swimming pool, but many people stayed away because they couldn’t tolerate the biting, nose-curdling odour of chlorine. Others experienced breathing and skin problems.

So a community centre in the USA, converted its 65,000-gallon chlorine pool into a saltwater pool. People who had stayed away are now coming back, getting exercise and therapy, while socialising with others.

Across the country, traditional chlorine pools are being converted into saltwater pools, sometimes called saline pools.

Swimmers noticed the difference right away after the switch, making their pool experience much more enjoyable. The new system also meant softer water without harsh chemicals that sometimes required a shower to wash off.

Then advantages of a saltwater pool over that of a traditional chemical pool are:

  1. Simplified, more convenient maintenance. Saltwater pool owners don’t have to buy, transport, store and handle hazardous chlorine chemicals. This saves time and money.
  2. Water that’s gentle on skin, eyes, nose and hair. Saltwater pools have approximately one-tenth the salinity of ocean water and about one-third the salinity of human tears, with no unpleasant chlorine smell.
  3. A more environmentally friendly approach. Routine pool maintenance doesn’t involve the handling and storage of manufactured chlorine and lessens the need for other potentially hazardous chemicals.

But how do they work?

Saltwater pools use a generator to convert the salt into mild chlorine that keeps the pool free of harmful bacteria. This chlorine is added to the water at a constant rate, displacing the bad smell and burning irritation we normally associate with chlorine and maintaining the right amount. Once the chlorine sanitises the pool it converts back to salt. The process continues, over and over again, conserving the salt and keeping sanitiser levels balanced.

The other good news for homeowners is that pool salt is far cheaper than traditional chlorine. The initial construction and installation cost of an electrolytic converter is very small and easily made up in maintenance savings. Even converting an existing chlorine pool to saltwater pool can pay off quickly.

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