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What is the best sanitizing system for a swimming pool?

Different swimming pools call for different systems. Many homeowners struggle while trying to select sanitization systems for their swimming pools because they have many options to choose from. The truth is: no single system is best. You should, therefore, consider a number of variables when selecting a sanitization system, including initial costs, maintenance costs, maintenance tasks, climate, and a number of swimmers. In this article, we briefly discuss five popular swimming pool sanitization methods and we list the advantages and disadvantages of each.

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Chlorine has historically been the most widely-used chemical for swimming pool sanitization, though several alternative sanitation methods have recently gained popularity. It kills bacteria by undergoing a simple chemical reaction. In this chemical reaction, chlorine breaks down into hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ions, which then oxidize bacteria until they are neutralized or destroyed.

Salt Chlorine
Salt chlorine generators utilize a chemical process called electrolysis to form hypochlorous acid (a sanitizer) from salt and water. The key characteristic that distinguishes salt-chlorine from its sanitizing counterparts is its ability to recycle itself. After the hypochlorous acid sanitizes the swimming pool water, it reverts back to salt, and then the process repeats. Salt chlorine generators have gained much popularity with homeowners recently, and the market for them is likely to expand further in the near future.

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Bromine is very similar to chlorine as it applies to swimming pool sanitization, though bromine's byproducts differentiate it from chlorine. When chlorine reacts with contaminants in swimming pool water, chloramine is formed. Similarly, when bromine reacts with contaminants in the swimming pool, bromamine is formed. The difference lies in the effect of these byproducts on the swimming pool. Whereas chloramines offer no benefit to swimming pool water, bromamines retain the sanitizing characteristics of bromine. For this reason, many homeowners have turned to bromine as their swimming pool's sanitizing agent.

Ozone is an unstable, inorganic gas that is created when free oxygen atoms collide with oxygen molecules. It is manufactured by subjecting oxygen molecules to either a high-voltage ionization process or to ultraviolet radiation. Most ozone generators utilize the high-voltage ionization process because it results in a much higher concentration of ozone (20% by the high-voltage ionization process versus 5% by ultraviolet radiation).

Ionizers release ions of copper and hard metals into swimming pool water. Basically, they kill bacteria by exposing them to these ions. Two forms of ionizers exist. The first is an electric ionizer, which utilizes electricity to charge the metals until they release ions. The second is a mineral cartridge ionizer, which utilizes the water flow through a mineral packet to steadily release the metal ions.

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