Alternatives to Water Chlorination

January 30, 2017

If you own a swimming pool or are thinking of installing one, you are most probably familiar with some of the maintenance involved in it. One of the most important aspects of this is water chlorination.

The reason why we chlorinate water is because chlorine is very poisonous to living organisms. Bacteria, various parasites and algae are killed by it, and your pool water is sanitized. At the same time, the amounts of chlorine in the water are small enough to be safe for humans and pets to safely enjoy.

However, chlorine is still somewhat abrasive, and people whose skin is sensitive may react negatively to it. Redness, itchiness or even swelling may present as symptoms. There are alternatives to water chlorination. A good swimming pool service in San Diego can offer you at least some of these options if you aren’t sure about chlorination.

What is the goal?

Apart from sanitation and disinfection, swimming pool chlorination is meant to keep the water quality to a certain standard. The pH scale, which ranges from 0 to 14, shows the acidity or alkalinity of a substance, with 7 being the neutral point. Swimming pools need to fall into the range of 7.2 and 7.8 according to Langelier Saturation Index, or 7.8 to 8.2 according to the Hamilton index. In both cases, nearing the neutral value of 7 is the goal. Higher pH causes the disinfectant chemicals to be less effective, while lower pH values cause discomfort for pool users, most notably stinging of the eyes.

The pH values should be checked regularly, in order to ensure that the water is safe for swimmers. Home use kits are available for purchase, so you can check these levels yourself. Kits come with simple instructions, so anyone can perform them with no previous training.


Similar to chlorine, bromine is a reactive element which kills various bacteria and parasites. Both chlorine and bromine are in the halogen group of elements. Apart from being good at killing algae and bacteria, they are also quite durable and can remain in water for some time, making them very effective. Bromine is normally used in its inorganic form, Br2.

Copper ion systems

These systems use copper or copper-based alloy bars to purify water. Water is channeled through these bars, while low current is circulating through them. The current enables the copper to ionize and free these ions to flow through the water and kill the microbes and algae.

Similarly to this, but much less common, there are systems which use titanium plates to create oxygen which helps dissolve any organic matter in the water. The current in both these systems is weak and doesn’t pose a threat to humans.


Ozonization is more cost effective than chlorination, but it is also more energy demanding. Ozone (O3) is released in the water, and it dissolves all organic matter, much like oxygen (O2) does. This is a good disinfection method, but it doesn’t leave any residual ozone in the water, meaning that the water is not protected once the purification process has stopped.

UV lights

UV lights aren’t an independent disinfection method but can be used in conjunction with other methods. Moderately strong UV lights kill many, but not all microorganisms, and helps dissolve some foul-smelling chemicals. This makes it a great supplementary sanitation method.

Swimming Pool Service San Diego

Having your pool water sanitary is hugely important if you plan to use your pool. Payan Pools Inc. is a swimming pool service in San Diego which offers a variety of pool related services, including sanitation. Contact Payan Pools Inc. to learn more or to hire our services.