The Importance of Properly Sanitizing your Swimming Pool and Spa Water
There have been many articles written and product statements put forward that espouse the “evils’ of Chlorine. These are usually written by individuals or companies that offer an “alternative” product to chlorine or bromine.
This article will give swimming pool and spa owners the information they need to make responsible decisions with regards to their water maintenance program and the protection of all bathers.
Municipalities first started chlorinating drinking water in 1908. In the next hundred years waterborne diseases such as typhoid fever and cholera were all but eliminated. This is one of the major contributing factors to our life expectancy increasing over that century from 46 years to over 80 years.
In May of 2000 the Town of Walkerton water supply became infected with the highly dangerous 0157:H7 strain of E.Coli bacteria. 5 people died and 2,500 became ill. The cause of this was a failure to adequately dose chlorine into the water supply and a failure to properly monitor chlorine residuals daily. The chlorine level and exposure time “CT” to eradicate E.Coli 0157:H7 is 0.5–1. This means it would take 0.5 ppm of free available chlorine with one minute of contact time to inactivate 99.9% of the organism. A very low level of chlorine would have saved lives.
When statements are made that chlorinated drinking water causes cancers in older people the fact is we have never lived this long to know what other health issues we may have.
We have developed new challenges in extending our lives but safe, potable, chlorinated drinking water gotten us this far.
Other Waterbourne Diseases which are all eliminated by 1.0 ppm of chlorine or less.
Legionella (Legionares Disease)
Outbreak Hits European Spa Trade Show in Belgium
- 80 people who attended show developed symptoms
- Infected vaporized air above the spa
- 13 confirmed cases
- 4 fatalities
- Elderly couple using their own hot tub
- Ozonator with no sanitation
- Both die
Most common and most documented cases. Infects hair follicles causing lesions, abscesses and reddish itchy rashes. Also causes ear, eye, throat and urinary tract infections.
Bacteria that originates from bathers skin as well as oral and nasal tracts.
Can cause serious skin infections, eye, upper respiratory and urinary tract
Bacteria that causes strep throat, bacterial pneumonia, swimmers ear and
Urinary tract infections.
All of these and many other waterbourne diseases are easily killed by a low constant level of sanitizer in the water.
In Canada Chlorine and Bromine are the only two approved sanitation products for use in swimming pools and hot tubs. The reason for this is that they have demonstrated the ability to satisfy Health Canadas three requirements. These are to sanitize, oxidize and leave a protective residual.
When you are selecting a water care program for your swimming pool or hot tub it is your responsibility to protect yourself, your family and your friends from waterbourne diseases. To do this you must select a program that incorporates chlorine or bromine as a daily santizer.