Ok,   here’s the big secret:  There is   chlorine in saltwater pools.



I was always under the impression saltwater pools are The Green Alternative   to chlorinated pools. How did I get this idea in my head? Doesn’t it seem as   if saltwater pools are marketed that way?    Not to mention the fact that we think salt, we think natural.  We think chlorine, and we think   chemicals.

I wanted to do a blog post about saltwater pools, touting all their   benefits, ready to yell from the highest mountain how AMAZING they are, but   in the process, I learned they are not some sort of magical green   alternative, and as the green designer at S. Lee Wright, I thought it was   important to post my findings to dispel the misconceptions.

Just to get this out of the way, if you have ever swum in a saltwater pool,   you are not crazy that they do feel different.  The water is, indeed, softer.  Your skin doesn’t dry out in the same way,   nor is there the same chlorine smell.

Why is that?

Chloramines are what make your eyes burn, your skin itch, your bathing suit   lose its elasticity, just to name a few well-known annoyances.  In a saltwater pool these chloramines are   virtually eliminated through electrolysis, which softens the water by   reducing alkalai minerals.

The biggest difference between a chlorinated pool and a saltwater pool, is   that saltwater pools use a chlorine generator, whereas a conventional pool   needs chlorine to be added manually.    This chlorine generator, through electrolysis produces a chemical   reaction of hypochlorous acid (HCIO) and sodium hypochlorite acid (HCIO).   Hypochlorous acid is plain old chlorine, it is just produced naturally through   the saltwater generator.  Then the   electrolysis burns off the chloromines, which as I mentioned are what   irritates your skin, and produces the smell.

What have I learned?
1. A saltwater pool costs more to install, however over time the lack of   needing to buy chlorine can really add up.

2. No smell.

3. Better for your skin.

4. Chemical output of chlorine is essentially the same just produced in a   different way.
And that’s a wrap on saltwater pools!

Now I want to go for a swim!