Swimming Pools

Ozone Provides Healthy, Crystal-Clear Water for Swimming Pools

Ozone can be used for private and municipal, city or commercial swimming pools. There are incredible health benefits associated with ozone systems, but one of the chief benefits of ozonated pool water is comfort. The idea of red eye, rashes, swim suits fading and other chlorine-related problems (even if you are using chlorine!) are a thing of the past. So even if you are using chlorine or chloramine, chlorine regeneration (salt systems), you can swim in an Ozonated pool without the health and comfort problems typical of a chlorinated pool.

Chlorine Problems Reduced or Eliminated

The objective of any swimming pool operator is (or should be) to provide as healthful environment to their patrons and employees as possible. Since most swimming pool regulations in North America require a chlorine residual and if you are in compliance with this regulation, why should you even consider adding Ozone to your swimming pool? There are a number of health-related and system-related answers to this question including:

  • Prevent or reduce chloramines (bound chlorine)
  • Prevent or reduce chlorine off-gassing
  • Inhibit the formation of chloro-organic byproducts (toxic)
  • Lessen or eliminate caustic gases that eat pool infrastructure
  • Reduce or greatly eliminate the chlorine smells in the pool

System-related benefits: Less chlorine off-gassing which means less chlorine-induced corrosion and wear and tear on the pool environment. Less ventilation which will decrease energy costs and still maintain air quality. Less cleaning. Better filtration (cleaner water). Better microbial kills (including crypto and giardia). Quicker pool recovery times. Reductions in pipe cleaning chemicals (Ozone will actually remove biofilms).

Private Pools

The best indicator of an Ozone system in operation is the crystal clear sparkling pool water typical of Ozonated pools. No red eye, rashes or other chlorine-induced skin reactions (even in a combined Ozone/Chlorine system) and no chlorine smell in the pool area are typical of these systems. In fact, the red eye and rashes and skin problems indicate that a serious health problem is taking place. It is your body’s way of telling you that you’re in a toxic environment.

Some interesting information on Ozone in pools vs. Chlorine Systems:

“While swim training may improve fitness and reduce morbidity associated with asthma, there is both anecdotal and scientific information to suggest that there are health-related problems associated with swimming in chemically-treated pool water. Swimming pool water is disinfected in the interests of public health, although it would appear that chemical disinfection of the pool water may be the cause of many of the health-related problems that have been reported. There is medical evidence suggesting that exposure to chemicals such as chlorine and its derivatives, chloramines or chloroform may damage the respiratory epithelium and cause increased vascular permeability and oedema of the mucous membranes lining the airways and lung, both of which may result in severe inflammatory reactions.”

Sports Medicine [SPORTS MED.], vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 256-261, 1996

Ozone is the Sanitizer of Choice

As problems with chlorine systems continue to be documented, most notably the production of carcinogenic (cancer-causing) by-products called chloro-organic compounds including trihalomethanes (THMs), Ozone is becoming the sanitizer of choice for pool managers. It not only eliminates the production of these compounds, but it also increases the overall effectiveness of your entire filtration system.

In Germany, which has long set the standard for drinking water and pool water quality worldwide, Ozone systems are the sanitizer of choice. Europeans are so accustomed to the pristine environment of swimming pools without chlorine, that a group of European swimmers at the Atlanta Olympics refused to enter a chlorinated pool. The pool was subsequently switched to an Ozone treatment system.

Eliminate red eye, rashes

In swimming pools, chloro-organic compounds including THMs (a known carcinogen) may accumulate to very high concentrations. Red eyes and rashes are the most instant and obvious effects and should be considered signals of a much more serious risk to human health. On average, the human body will absorb about half a litre of pool water every hour. The best pools have their water quality in compliance with the standards for drinking water supplies.

Why Ozone?

Ozone kills bacteria, viruses and protozoa such as giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium organisms which can cause severe gastrointestinal illness and which chlorine is much less effective in killing. As well, it also prevents airborne endotoxins which occur in standard chlorine water treatment and which may be breathed in by patrons and lifeguards. These toxins can cause chronic coughing and wheezing among lifeguards called Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis.

Ozone eliminates pool odors common to traditional pool systems and actually oxidizes and destroys oils and other contaminants in water.

Not only does Ozone accomplish all of this, it is PH neutral and adds no contaminants to water. Ozone does not break down into irritating substances. In fact, where pools use a dual system of sanitation (ie. Ozone and chlorine or bromines), Ozone actually inhibits the formation of chloro-organic byproducts and THMs.

Other benefits of Ozone include:

Filtration support. Ozone assists flocculation of organic waste materials, thus enhancing the effectiveness of sand filters or other filtration systems.

Water purification. Ozone directly decomposes organic waste by oxidation.

Water sanitation. Properly dissolved ozone residual of .05 mg/l or higher assures a 100% kill of all bacteria, viruses and fungus.

Clear Water. Unused Ozone reverts to normal Oxygen and remains dissolved in the water to the point of saturation. This makes the pool water clean, sparkling and appealing.

Ozone is produced on site and does not require storage or transportation.

Ozone prevents calcium carbonate scaling, removes existing scale, cleans and it also cleans and prevents greasy sediments on pool sides. Ozone treated water has a much lower cleaning cost.

The Bottom Line

In commercial pools, you’ll have a much healthier environment without the aggravation of chlorinated off-gassing. In privately owned pools, you can convert to Ozone exclusively. Ozone is produced electrically so there are no on-going costs for chemicals or additives to the pool. Ozonation eliminates the outbreak of serious waterborne diseases and improves the general performance, health and quality of life for swimming pool patrons.