For a new pool owner, the term “chemicals” may have some negative connotations. Even for veterans of swimming pools, there may be hesitation or skepticism when the idea of pool chemicals is brought up. The truth of it is, however, that most pools don’t use that many chemicals to stay clean – and the ones they do use are critical for their upkeep and safety. We want to help you rest easy knowing that your pool is perfectly safe and usable, even if some chemical solutions are necessary to keep it balanced.
The most common pool chemical we hear about is chlorine. Pool chlorine is actually a chemical mixture (usually including calcium or sodium) that reacts with the water to create a mixture that will kill bacteria and other pathogens. If balanced properly, a chlorine solution should not cause any damage to those swimming in the pool, but rather keep them safe from other bacteria that enter naturally through plants, animals, and insects that end up near the pool.
Most chlorine solutions also include a stabilizing agent to keep the chlorine more stable and less susceptible to breaking down through UV rays. These agents are helpful pool chemicals, but chlorine still can combine with other chemicals over time to become chloramines (ineffective mixtures that have a strong smell and irritate the eyes and skin). When this happens, a professional can come shock treat the pool, which is a process that basically resets the chlorine levels to where they need to be.
Although chlorine solutions are usually enough to keep a pool running smoothly for a while, there may be other pool chemicals required at various times in a pool’s life. pH increasers or algaecides can also help balance the levels in your pool and keep unwanted organisms from thriving within it, all with the same safety and practicality of chlorine.
Overall, you don’t need to worry that the pool chemicals you’re using are harming your family or friends. If you’re worried, you can always ask a professional for their recommendations, but the chemicals used in pools are tried and true, tested for safety, and effective at helping you enjoy your pool!