In August 2020, Louisiana’s large chlorine production facility burned down, causing a Chlorine tab shortage of a prevalent form of chlorine in tabs for use in swimming pools. For many homeowners, the challenge once again comes down to: How do I use less chlorine? Many pool owners have always been uncomfortable with chlorine, and for obvious reasons — it kills things. We use it in our water to kill small things in small doses, but most consumers are looking for something a little more healthful to swim in. Or at least a little less harmful.
Homeowners who have pools are looking to use fewer trichlor tab feeders for two reasons:
- a price increase on tab feeders
- not enough supply to go around.
There are other forms of chlorine to sanitize an oasis, such as liquid chlorine, dichlor, calcium hypochlorite, and chlorine gas. However, no system can replace chlorine, but some technologies allow pool users to reduce the chlorine level up to ninety percent. On the other hand, there are chlorine reduction machines such as UV, ozone, minerals, and AOP systems. These artifacts will not only help solve the shortage problem and reduce the chlorine levels.
The ozone generator split oxygen molecules in two. It allows attaching to other molecules, forming ozone, a potent oxidizer. The use of O3 (ozone) can decrease chlorine residual dramatically, as much as 70% by some estimates, because the ozone is taking on oxidation, the central task of chlorine in the water.
Chlorine reduction is one of the benefits of UV sanitation that works well with other equipment and sanitizers by combining minerals, chlorine, bromine, biguanides, ozone, and especially salt.
The UV treatment works when water passes through, exposing it to a specific wavelength of light (254 nanometers). The function is to stop bacteria and living organisms from growing in the pool. Using this method can reduce the use and necessary amount of chlorine to a comfortable level.
The AOP is becoming more popular in recent years while more manufacturers are manufacturing and promoting technology. It uses technologies in sequence to create hydroxyl radicals. They may be short-lived, but they are potent oxidizers.
AOP machines go inline; as water passes through, the unit creates ozone and exposes it to UV light. Through the AOP process, the ozone end releases single oxygen atoms making hydrogen peroxide, helping to reduce chlorine levels dramatically.
The use of minerals is the oldest sanitizing method, especially to clean water. They effectively kill germs like ozone and UV, helping to reduce the pool’s dependency on chlorine. Some systems may contain a combination of metals like silver and copper, and, individually, each has a purpose. Silver oxide works as a sanitizer, eradicating bacteria in the water. Copper, on the other hand, works as an effective algaecide. These are usually popular to use with salt systems, helping to reduce the amount of chlorine.
Maintenance and Care
While equipment solutions are effective, any chlorine reduction discussion must include water maintenance strategies. It must include:
- frequent testing and monitoring of pH
- the use of low but consistent levels of stabilizer
- regular shocking with chlorine or non-chlorine product like potassium monopersulfate
- preventative levels of algaecide to head off blooms in dead areas of the pool
- the use of enzymes and phosphate removal products to help ease the burden on chlorine
When publishing this blog, we received news that the plant where there was, chlorine tab shortage, expects to reopen next Spring with additional capacity. Meanwhile, we hope that these recommendations will help you keep your pool clean until everything comes back to normal.