Chlorine Hand Dipping in Pool Test Stripes

Let's Explore the History of Chlorine in Pools

For the last hundred years or so, chlorine (in one form or another) has been the go-to option for pool and spa sanitation. But, have you ever wondered why or how? Over this series of posts surrounding the history of chlorine and its use in pools we're going to dive into how chlorine became the de-facto choice for water treatment, explore its role in the rise of the swimming pool, and offer some insight on newer technologies that can help to ween our dependence, and exposure to chlorine.

Chlorine Molecule (Gas)

While there's plenty of evidence to show that the Ancient Romans and Greeks were prolific users of "public baths" (early precursors to the swimming pool), for much of western history, bathing was performed only infrequently and very few people even knew how to swim.  In the nineteenth century, British enjoyed public baths in India and Japan and brought the modern concept of the swimming pool back home to England. Prior to the use of chlorine, water wasn't really "treated" at all. It was filtered through large sand filters and changed often as it became foul. In 1894, however, it was first suggested to use chlorine to disinfect water to make it "germ-free", and following a serious outbreak of typhoid fever caused by a faulty sand filter in England in 1905, chlorination became the norm. The practice made its way to the US via New Jersey's Boonton Reservoir, in 1908. By the mid-1900's waterworks engineers had mastered the use of chlorine and filtration, and educators and health professionals appreciated the value of swimming for physical fitness.  All of the elements of the "modern" swimming pool were in place, and in 1910 Brown University's 70,000-gallon Colgate Hoyt Pool was chlorinated by graduate student John Wymond Miller Bunker and became the first pool to use chlorination as its primary method of disinfection. He published his findings in a paper called "Hygenie of the Swimming Pool" in the  American Journal of Public Hygiene,  Bunker applied hyperchlorite of lime (calcium hypochlorite) to 2L of pool water at a concentration of 1 ppm. According to the New York Times, the pool remained sterile for four days.

Sodium Hypochlorite Molecule (Liquid Bleach)

Chlorine kills bacteria though a fairly simple chemical reaction. The liquid chlorine solution you pour into the water (sodium hypochlorite) breaks down into many different chemicals, including hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hypochlorite ion (OCl-). Both kill microorganisms and bacteria by attacking the lipids in the cell walls and destroying the enzymes and structures inside the cell, rendering them oxidized and harmless. Once the HOCl and OCl- are done cleaning the pool, they either combine with another chemical, such as ammonia, or are broken down into single atoms where they pose little to no health risk to us.

While there's more to "dive into" on the science behind how we keep your water safe and clean, keep posted for more posts as we explore pool and spa water treatment.

 


BioGuard 3 Step Water Analysis Center tarson pools syracuse

Help the longevity of your pool with proper balancing

A number of factors determine the life of your pool liner.  The average life of an in-ground pool liner is about 8-10 years.  With good care, they can last much longer, even 20 years or more.  Assuming that the liner fits and was installed correctly, the most important factor is water chemistry.  Keep the water in balance and properly sanitized.  It might sound simple, but keep the pool clean!  Usually, your pool only needs a few minutes per day, but it is an important few minutes. THE most important factor that determines the life of your pool liner is water chemistry.

Pool Liner Radiant Smoothing Tarson Pools

 

Special coating protects vinyl liners that make them withstand the extreme sun, temperatures and constant exposure to treated water but you can help maintain your liner life by following these steps:

 

– Keep Proper pH levels: Proper pH levels are between 7.2 and 7.6, which should be tested daily. When your pH level drops below 7.0 this can cause your liner to discolor, swell and create unwanted wrinkles. Having a pool with a higher than 7.6 pH level accelerates the aging process of your pool.

– Careful with Chlorine: Chlorine abuse is major cause of liner degradation. Keeping your pool’s chlorine level too low will not kill enough of the bacteria in the water. While chlorine levels that are kept too high can attack your liner and cause bleaching.  It is important to note that if you are using granular chlorine dissolve it completely in a bucket of water first before putting it into your pool. Never allow chlorine to come in contact with your liner before it has been dissolved.  It is a best practice to run your circulating pump for a minimum of four hours after the addition of chemicals.

Kid swimming underwater in a tarson pool Syracuse swimming pools

– Water Levels: Although your pool liner is coated to protect against the sun, it is extremely important to keep your pool full of water at all times. When the water level of your pool gets low it exposes your liner to the sun that can lead to drying out and shrinking.

– Keep your Liner Clean: Your pool will develop a “bathtub” ring above the water line. It is important to keep this area clean as these contaminants that include body oils, suntan lotions and airborne contaminants can get “baked” onto your liner causing it to crack and dry out. To clean this area you should talk with us about what products will work best for your liner. DO NOT use CLR or household cleaning products.

 – Chemicals: More is not better when it comes to chemicals. Do not add more chemicals than needed to your pool. This can cause your pool liner to disintegrate and also can be very expensive.

 

 


insta-test strips pool spa Tarson Pools Syracuse

Keep that pool looking stellar this summer

Having a pool is a wonderful amenity and a great way to have fun all summer long. This summer spend less time worrying about water quality and clarity and more time splashing in the sun.

Here are 8 ways to take care of your pool water this summer:

  1. Take advantage of our FREE water testing. It doesn’t matter where you purchased your pool, Tarson will test your water free. It’s important to maintain a proper chemical balance.
  2. If you own a Salt Water Pool, keep a supply of BioGuard SaltScapes on hand. There are 6 different products that help to keep your salt water ready for summer time fun:
    1. SunShield Stabilizer helps to shield against the sun which in turn minimizes cell run time.
    2. pH Reducer which corrects high pH levels.
    3. Scale Defender and Cell cleaner keep the cell generator free of scale.
    4. Chlorine –Free Shock Oxidizer eliminates contaminants.
    5. Balance Test Strips will help to ensure that you have proper water balance for swimmer comfort, equipment protection and sanitizer efficiency.
    6. Salt Level Test Strips help to ensure correct salt levels in your pool.
  3. AlgaeFree BioGuard chemicals Tarson Pools BioGuard Freshen Up is a water purifier that will destroy unwanted contaminants that cause your water to be dull, lifeless and sometimes stinky.     After 15 minutes you will be swimming again!
  4. BioGuard Goodbye DRY! Can be used in both salt water and chlorine pools. This product helps to soften the feel of your water, so you can enjoy silky feeling water as well as making your hair tangle-free and your skin softer and itch free.
  5. BioGuard Tonic will remove phosphates and at least 10 other unwanted contaminants including skin oils, rain pollution, dirt, pet dander, pollen, grease, dust, lotions and hair care products.
  6. BioGuard Silk Tabs and Silk Sticks contain a revolutionary technology called SilkGuard that helps to protect against corrosion and staining while making your pool water soft and smooth.
  7. Use the Angry Egg Pool Treatment after a water changing event such as a severe rainstorm or big pool party. It works in both above ground and in ground pools and with all pool sanitization programs including chlorine and salt.
  8. Dolphin M3 Automatic Cleaner is a light weight and easy to use cleaner with a timer so you can set it to clean when you need it too. It scrubs and vacuums and filters all pool surfaces in just 3 hours.

Stop in to your neighborhood Tarson Pools location for expert advice on pool clarity and quality and to find out which product is right for you and your pool. Call us today if we can help with any questions in regards to your pool or spa or to meet with a sales representative text or call (315) 291-8800