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.

 


Jacuzzi FX2 Jet

The Theraputic Uses of the family spa

Muscle relief  is one of the most often thought of therapeutic uses for spas, but did you know owning a hot tub can help you get a better night’s sleep and other healthy results?

Therapeutic Results:

  • A Better Night’s Sleep:

The National Sleep Foundation, which offers sleep-related education and research, included this in a Facebook post on Healthy Sleep Tips: “Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as a warm soak in a whirlpool bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music.”Photo of women sleeping therapeutic syracuse pools canon

  • Rejuvenation & Better Circulation:

Warm water or Hydrotherapy promotes stress release and can ease minor aches and pains. The heat of the water helps increase blood circulation which is essential to getting your body the vitamins, nutrients, and oxygen it needs to function.  Relaxing in a hot tub can increase vasodilatation which allows vitamins and minerals to more easily flow through the bloodstream, helping soothe sore and overworked muscles.

  • A Bonded Family:

These days with activities and tech gadgets ruling our days as well as our children’s owning a  hot tub can be a great way to bond together as a family without distractions.  A hot tub offers a place to connect and relax as a family. Parents can remove stress from their day and the kids love to play. Having trouble connecting with your teen? The family hot tub can offer a great time to talk with your teens without the distraction of computers, cell phones, and video games.

Family Bonding photo in the fields syracuse

  • Less Anxiety:

In the early 1900s, mental institutions in the United States used whirlpool tubs and other forms of hydrotherapy to calm agitated, out-of-control patients. According to “A History of Somatic Therapies,” published by the Veterans Administration Mental Illness Research and Clinical Center, doctors in the 1920s were able to document positive physiological changes when patients were treated with submersion in a special whirlpool tub. The water flow and temperature were adjusted by an attendant, and notable changes in blood pressure, pulse, and respiration were observed and documented in the agitated patients. Similarly, whirlpool therapy can alleviate the stress and anxiety you may be experiencing from work or family issues. A demanding career and the search for a healthy balance between work and family are reasons to use a day spa to help you unwind. The day-spa experience can be created at home with a whirlpool tub, aromatherapy sea salts, candles, and soft music while you soak and relax. (source Livestrong.com)