A proper balance of the previously described water chemistry factors will provide water that will not damage pool components and is non-irritating to swimmers. It is then necessary to provide for disinfection of the water to prevent the spread of disease organisms from person to person and prevent unwanted growth of bacteria and algae in the pool.

The most commonly used disinfectant for swimming pools is chlorine. In its elemental form chlorine is a heavy greenish yellow gas which is so toxic that is has been used as a weapon in chemical warfare. Because of the extremely high potential for injury or death from improper use of chlorine gas, a number of chlorine compounds have been formulated to provide chlorine in forms that can be handled and used safely by swimming pool operators.

The following forms of chlorine are commonly used in swimming pools:

Gas Chlorine: 100% available chlorine

Advantages: Disadvantages:
Cheapest form of chlorine Extremely dangerous
No residue from carriers Special room needed for chlorine
Feed equipment is expensive
Special training and safety equipment needed
Lowers pH, must constantly add pH increaser
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Water Chemistry for Swimming Pools

Proper water chemistry is essential to maintaining safe and consistent swimming pool operation. Chemicals used in swimming pools include: Disinfectants to destroy harmful or otherwise objectionable organisms; Alkalinity and pH Adjusters to maintain a consistent acid-base relationship and acid buffering capacity; Chlorine Stabilizer to prevent unnecessary loss of chlorine; Algicide to kill and prevent algae, and Filter Aids to help remove foreign material. Following is a discussion of various factors which affect water chemistry, how they affect swimming pools and how to use pool chemicals to restore a properly balanced water chemistry.

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