Pool Chemistry

Thinking of the perfect swimming pool and visions of sparkling water and happy swimmers likely dance in your head. Keeping this scene intact involves taking the proper steps to sanitize the pool and prevent any health or aesthetic problems. The water will then remain clear of algae, free of disease causing pathogens and users won’t complain about red eyes or chlorine smell.

For general pool treatment, chlorine has three essential characteristics: it acts as a rapid and persistent sanitizer, an effective algaecide and a strong oxidizer of undesired contaminant. Understanding the role of chlorine in maintaining safe water is not difficult once you learn the basics of pool chemistry.

Basic Steps for Pool Treatment

Carefully read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions printed on the chlorine treatment package. Test the water regularly—it’s a simple process to use a test kit. You want to maintain water balance by measuring:

  • Free available chlorine (FAC), which should be in the range of 2 – 4 ppm, but never fall below 1.0 ppm
  • Total chlorine, to assure that combined available chlorine (CAC) levels are less than 0.2 ppm
  • The pH level to keep it between 7.2 and 7.8, indicating that the chlorine is working effectively
  • Total alkalinity to make sure that pH levels stay steady
  • Calcium hardness to protect pool surfaces from corrosion.