Living in Florida, residents possess an advantage over many other states: the ability to skip the winterization process and enjoy their pools year-round. It is a true delight to splash into those cool waters when desired, but this also means disinfecting your pool should be at the top of your list. Without a proper routine, owners may need to dedicate more days cleaning their private paradise instead of taking refreshing dips when high temperatures demand it.
If you need help with disinfecting your pool, keep reading. We’ll do a deep dive into this topic so you have all the tools necessary to make cleaning a simple addition to your schedule.
Why Pools Require Constant Cleaning
A pool is a part of your family – you will share plenty of memories with it and your loved ones, so its health is just as important. Disinfection is not a one-time task; owners need to frequently engage in this preventative maintenance to help their pool stay a safe focal point of the lanai. There are several reasons this part of cleaning cannot be ignored:
- Algae: Algae, the weed of a pool area, can be a common issue among owners. However, high temperatures and sunlight can make this organism blossom into a major problem. Untreated, algae can clog filters to the point of replacement and use up all available chemicals. On top of that, it can color pool water green, making quite the unsightly spectacle!
- Health Issues: When pool water lacking balanced chemical levels is exposed to an open environment, it can eventually become cloudy in appearance. This is known as stagnant water, a body of water laden with harmful bacteria and other materials. This can be particularly dangerous if anyone decides to take a dip while the water is in this state, leading to a variety of recreational water illnesses (RWIs). If you notice your pool water isn’t completely clear, take immediate action.
- Expenses: The biggest pain point brought on by improper pool maintenance is potential costs in repairs. Depending on what needs to be fixed, the cost could be as low as $10. However, for those needing to replace significantly damaged items (such as a filter) or requiring leaks and drains to be professionally fixed, it could cost upwards of $20,000. The cost for elements needed to disinfect a pool is relatively inexpensive, so consider buying cleaning items before poor maintenance makes you pay.
Chlorine Can Help…and Inconvenience
When it comes to disinfecting pool water, owners need a powerful disinfectant that can eliminate any bacteria lurking in the depths. The most popular element used for disinfecting pools is chlorine, possessing the ability to fight off anything from growing algae to bacteria and debris. Over the years, chlorine gained a variety of ways it can be introduced into a pool (tablets, powder and liquid), making it highly versatile.
Once entering a pool, chlorine immediately reacts with the pool water and any micro-organisms it encounters. This creates hypochlorous acid, this chemical’s main weapon, which kills pathogens by combining with and destroying their cellular structure. While effective, this element is highly susceptible to sunlight, so owners should add this cleaner in around dusk for maximum effect.
While chlorine makes pools safe for enjoyment, it can create another small issue. Notice your eyes and parts of your skin are itchy after a swim? Chloramines, chlorine’s post-cleaning form, are the culprits. This compound forms when hypochlorous acid combines with bacteria to deactivate it – essentially chlorine that sits in your pool, unable to further sanitize the waters.
If you’ve experienced the distinct smell of chlorine in the water, it means your pool has too little of the chemical for cleanup. You can only remove chloramines through shock treatment – adding in a stronger dose of chlorine that clears out the retired cleaners. However, this can incur a risk of throwing off a pool’s pH levels, requiring the use of more chemicals to properly adjust.
A “Salty” Alternative
Waterscapes understands the importance of disinfecting your pool, and we also want owners to fully enjoy their slice of paradise any time. That’s why we create saltwater pools for our customers. These waters will instill the feeling of being on a beach from the comforts of your lanai while providing numerous benefits:
- Effortless Disinfection: Chlorine is a vital tool for disinfection, but these pools don’t require the store-bought product. Saltwater pools still use chlorine, but the secret is in the salt circulating in the water. Waterscapes’ saltwater generators use electrolysis, a process where a small electric current in the generator transforms salt into chlorine. This provides a constant stream of chlorine in the pool, keeping everything clean while requiring minimal effort from owners.
- Easy on Skin and Eyes: The reason for red eyes and dry skin in a traditional pool is that users are still exposed to the chloramines that carry deactivated bacteria. The chlorine in our saltwater pools is a natural disinfectant that isn’t harsh on the skin. Additionally, saltwater pools have a tenth of ocean water’s salinity, so your eyes won’t sting if you open them underwater! For those with sensitive skin, saltwater is an effective exfoliating agent. The water will draw out any impurities and toxins in the skin, making a refreshing dip double as a helpful spa service!
- Low Maintenance Costs: Another reason for a saltwater pool’s popularity is the low cost. Maintaining a chlorine system can cost several hundred dollars in annual costs, but the pool salt needed for a saltwater system costs less than $100 annually. You can also factor in the costs of other cleaning chemicals. Saltwater systems ensure a consistent chlorine level, which will only make small level variations in a pool. Thanks to this system, you can save on supplies for testing AND adjusting chemical levels.
- Finally, Say Goodbye to Chlorine Smells: As stated earlier, chloramines are behind the “chlorine smell” that permeates a swimming area, indicating that pool owners need to add in more chlorine. Thanks to the steady chlorine input from our pools, you can enjoy the fresh air instead, making for a more enjoyable experience as you and your guests unwind poolside.
Pool water health should be at the forefront of an owner’s mind, but it shouldn’t overly-involved. As one of Southwest Florida’s most celebrated pool builders, Waterscapes creates luxurious pools that keep families cool and cleaning effortless. If you are looking to create a pool capturing your dream of the Florida lifestyle, contact us here.