I enjoy doing research on new things, as my husband Ed can tell you, usually with a smile. I also want to do things that keep our family pool friendly to the environment. After some investigation, I found some great options to keep our pool clean a more natural way.
1) Ultraviolet pool cleaners. This is a cleaning process which cuts down on the amount of chlorine or pool cleaners that are needed. A sterilizer is installed between the existing pool filter and the water return line to the pool. These systems have been around in other countries, but are just now becoming popular in the U. S. They are very efficient, and use ultraviolet light to eliminate chlorine byproducts.
2) Ozone pool systems. This works on the same principle as ultraviolet, by generating ozone through a type of ultraviolet light. Then jets or some form of circulation system mixes the ozone in pool water, where it breaks down and eliminates unwanted contaminants in the water. The system still needs chlorine, but the advantage is that the amounts are greatly reduced.
3) Saltwater Pools. I thought this would turn your pool into ocean water – a lot of salty water and no chemicals. In checking it out for PoolCenter.com, I found out that salt water isn’t able to provide the sanitation component needed in a closed water environment like a family swimming pool. What actually happens is that salt water is added to the pool, and a special generator creates chlorine naturally. Some of the systems can oxidize and burn up contaminants like body oil, urine and sunscreen. The pool is not chemical or chlorine free, but the amount of products needed is greatly diminished.
4) Natural plant pools. I discovered that these pools have been around in Europe for decades, and are just starting to be noticed here in the States. The Euros call them swimming ponds. The pool starts with some form of plastic type liner, and then a separate area is built next to the pool, which is then planted with aquatic vegetation. The plants act as a biological filter. Enthusiasts say the water is crystal clear, and provides a self-cleaning system. The systems reportedly have lower maintenance costs, and the installation is not much more expensive than standard designs.
5) A robotic pool cleaner. If you’re not prepared to install a new type of pool system, then just making the pool cleaning process simpler and more efficient is a great option. A robotic cleaner makes sure the chore doesn’t get overlooked, which would allow more debris building up in the pool filter, making the filter and pump work harder. With a robotic in place quietly sliding around the pool continuously, the pool stays clean and works more efficiently.
Migrating to a more eco-friendly way of cleaning the pool involves a decision – which system works best for a particular situation. Then the cost has to be evaluated. Looking at choices and moving toward pool cleaning solutions that were friendly to the environment has been a rewarding experience.
Becky Flanigan writes freelance for PoolCenter.com. She has 3 kids with her wonderful husband – two boys and a girl – and two lovely golden retrievers. She has learned many valuable tips on pool maintenance over the years from hands-on experience. She is also an ambitious runner and is diligently training for her first half marathon.