Keeping the water in your swimming pool clean and clear is the top priority for swimming pool operators. Moreover, finding environmentally friendly, sustainable ways to do so is a new challenge.
Using salt for pools has proven to be efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly. This includes saltwater pools as well as salt chlorination methods, and could prove a great alternative for your pool disinfection.
In this article, we’ll cover:
- How you can use salt for swimming pools;
- Why saline electrolysis is a functional and efficient alternative to chlorine;
- What products to use in electrolysed pools.
Chlorine is the most popular disinfectant used by public and private swimming pools to ensure water cleanliness and the health of their users. It keeps the pool water free from algae, bacteria and other elements and has generally proven to be the product of choice in this area.
However, pool operators have increasingly begun to use saline chlorination systems to disinfect their water. This allows them to stop using chlorine products such as hypochlorite or chlorine tablets, and rely on salt instead – a far more natural and environmentally friendly approach.
Which salt is used for pools?
Pool salt is basically the same as table salt, just with a coarser grind and larger crystals. This works well with chlorine and bromine generators. The main consideration for it to work as a disinfectant is knowing the right amount of salt required for each facility.
Salt concentration levels
In addition to having the correct saline concentration when you first start operating your pool, you also need to account for how this level fluctuates over time. The salt concentration in a pool will decrease due to evaporation, filter washing and additional water that comes into the pool during regular use.
However, you don’t need to constantly add salt to the pool to keep it at the right levels – just measure the saline level regularly and ensure this is within the desired parameters:
- If the saline level is too high , metal elements and accessories that come into contact with the water may corrode, while the water may start to taste really salty and become cloudy;
- If, on the contrary, this level becomes too low , natural chlorine will not be generated – leading to a less hygienic pool.
The ideal concentration levels for salt are 4-5 grams per litre of water. This means that 4-5 kgs of salt need to be added for every cubic metre of water. There is also saline chlorination equipment that works with 1 gram per litre only: low salinity equipment.
How often should you check salt levels?
For residential or smaller pools, we recommend checking the salt levels at least twice a month, whether the pool is being used daily or not.
For larger pools, including public and commercial, a much more frequent method of checking is needed. An automated salt chlorination system works best, as it can measure pH and other parameters in real time.
Unlike traditional chlorine, saline chlorination keeps pools clean and hygienic without unpleasant chlorine odours, while effectively fighting against bacteria and algae.
Salt systems generate chlorine by electrolysis – a process that separates elements from any compound by means of electricity. In this case, they use salt water to dissolve chlorine and instantly sanitise the water. Such is the case of the Neolysis and Freepool2 treatments, which also feature ultraviolet technology in the same salt electrolysis equipment.
Using swimming pool salt instead of chlorine delivers great benefits for operators and an enhanced swimming experience for users:
- Savings in maintenance operations and on chemical products;
- No need to handle chlorine products – a healthier alternative for everyone involved;
- Sustainability – saline chlorination generates hypochlorite, which turns into salt after decomposing. It doesn’t require the constant addition of more elements, reducing waste and carbon footprint;
- Swimming pool salt reduces the unpleasant chlorine odour;
- Much less harsh on hair and skin;
- Does not cause swimmers’ eyes to sting;
- Makes water clearer, and “softer” as well;
- Minimises possible eye, nose and respiratory issues.
If you choose to use a saline chlorination system for your pool disinfection, you’ll need to be aware of the specific products suitable for electrolysed pools.
This product eliminates the suspended particles from the water, also preventing the formation of lime (calcareous deposits). It further prevents calcification of filters and the corrosion of metallic elements that make up the water recirculation and filtration system.
This granulated inorganic compound allows active chlorine that’s generated by the electrolysis to turn into bromine, which disinfects and keeps the water clean.
This is a pH reducer that helps you adjust levels to between 7.2 and 7.6. With a pH dosage and control system, this task is automated.
Algaecide and anti-calcareous agents
These are non-foaming, quick acting compounds that help prevent and remove algae, while also preventing the formation of calcareous deposits (lime). Additionally, this is useful for preventing calcification of the pool filters and corrosion of the metal parts of the water recirculation and filtration systems.
Electrolyte cell cleaner
A ready to use acid cleaner that eliminates calcium deposits, organic residue and sediment build-up on electro-chlorine cells, without causing damage. This is a risk-free product thanks to the lack of concentrated acid in it, which helps avoid any potential accidents.
Saline electrolysis allows pool operators to keep pool water clean with fewer chemicals, in a more cost effective and environmentally conscious way. Switching to salt can be a considerable initial investment, but your costs will be recovered quickly as saltwater pools can prove a lot less expensive to maintain than traditional chlorine pools. Moreover, the original concerns around potential damage to filters and pool equipment that could have been raised when using salt have been eliminated by new technology. Therefore, saltwater pools can make a great alternative nowadays.