|Swimming Pool and Spa Sanitation|
The purpose of sanitation is to reduce the numbers of microorganisms,
such as bacteria and viruses, to safe levels. The warm water of swimming
pools and the hot water and low volume of spas is a favourable environment
for the growth of microorganisms. Swimming pool and spa users can get sick
if pool or spa water is not properly sanitized. Pool and spa owners must
be vigilant in ensuring bather safety by carefully monitoring water
balance (adequate sanitizer levels, pH, total alkalinity, and calcium
Hot weather, sunlight and insufficient sanitizer levels can stimulate
growth of algae. Algae is not harmful to bathers but can create a
potential hazard by making pool and spa surfaces slippery and the water
cloudy. The presence of algae reduces the effectiveness of sanitizers as
more of the available sanitizer is taken up by the algae. A reduction in
sanitizer level increases the potential for the growth of microorganisms.
Regular use of a sanitizer should prevent the excessive growth of algae.
However, algicides such as copper sulphate-based products or quaternary
ammonium chloride-based products may sometimes be required to tackle
specific algae problems.
Chlorine-based and bromine-based products are effective sanitizers
which also control algae. When added to water, chlorine-based products
release hypochlorous acid and bromine-based products produce hypobromous
acid. Hypochlorous acid and hypobromous acid are the primary chemical
compounds responsible for sanitation in pools and spas. Chlorine and
bromine can be purchased either as a chemical (pucks, tablets, or liquid)
or as a device (generator or dispenser).
Swimming pool and spa chemicals must be used according to the directions on the label. The label indicates how much of the product to use as well as how to handle the product safely. So you should always:
READ THE LABEL BEFORE USING THE PRODUCT
Swimming pool and spa devices which generate or dispense a sanitizer have detailed instructions for use in the userís manual, on the package and on the device itself.
ALWAYS READ THE LABEL AND THE USERíS MANUAL BEFORE INSTALLATION AND USE OF A DEVICE
In addition to using the chemical or device according to label
directions, regular testing will help you determine if the level of
sanitizer in your pool or spa is adequate to protect swimmers from
disease-causing microorganisms. This level is called free available
chlorine or equivalent bromine. Water testing can be done using good
quality test kits or by bringing water samples to your swimming pool or
The presence of organic matter in swimming pool water reduces the
effectiveness of sanitizers. In some cases, the label directions of
swimming pool sanitizers and algicides may instruct residential pool
owners to maintain a minimum chlorine level of 0.6 ppm. Reducing sanitizer
levels from 1-3 ppm (as recommended above) to 0.6 ppm is possible only
when the organic matter content in swimming pool water is controlled.
Check the directions for use on the product label.
When Using Swimming Pool and Spa Chemicals
After Using Swimming Pool and Spa Chemicals
Please note that these are general precautions. You should consult the label of the product for clarification and additional information.
In Case of Accidental Poisoning