Roseanne from Kansas City, Mo, was apparently appalled by my last post–the one about peeing in the pool. She emailed the following question:
Dear Pool Master. Your post about urinating in public swimming pools was disgusting. Who does this? If you didn’t have the scientific proof noted, I would have screamed, “BALDERDASH!” Every Thursday with a group of senior ladies, we exercise in our indoor public pool.( I’m sure these ladies would never let something slip from their bodies! They are real ladies.) And because our public pool has such a strong odor of chlorine, I’m going to assume that this bladder cancer and asthma threat in a urine-infested swimming pool doesn’t hold weight here.
Please don’t put in a picture of senior ladies in a pool and ask who is the urine-spilling criminal. Thanks. Roseanne.
The really really bad news is: “That chlorine smell” is not chlorine that you are smelling. You are smelling chloramine. Chloramine is a by products of chlorine for disinfection and ammonia from human sources. A healthy dose of chloramine will present your with any or all of these symptoms: cough, eye irritation, and rash.
If you think I’m full of hooey, go to this website, or just check out the quote I lifted from the site: http://www.waterandhealth.org/newsletter/cleaning_air.html.
Chronic chloramines and the associated smell and irritation are caused by a variety of factors. Despite what many swimmers assume, the major cause of these problems is too little free chlorine rather than too much! “Free” chlorine, used to kill germs and help prevent the spread of waterborne illnesses, also oxidizes natural waste products from swimmers, including sweat, body oil, urine and other ammonia-nitrogen compounds. If the free chlorine levels are not sufficiently high to oxidize these nitrogenous wastes, the free chlorine combines with them to form noxious cholarmine compounds…
“Shock” more often with free chlorine. Shock treatment involves raising the free chlorine level to at least 10 times higher than the combined chlorine level.
Weekly is best for most pools but it may be required even more often for extremely heavily used pools.
Use a non-chlorine shocking agent like the monopersulfate-based oxidizers. These reduce chloramines without adding chlorine.
Many pool operators find alternating between traditional chlorine and the non-chlorine shocking agents works best.
You get the point, and the writer of the above link is dead-on with the reason why that “chlorine-smell” is a baaaaaad mamma-jamma, Momma.
Gee, if public pools could use my chlorine-free disinfection system, this chloramine business would so not relate. But that’s just another blatant self-promotion. If you are curious, check it out at www.riptidealchemy.com.
BTW, just got in some great questions about spa repairs and leaking motors. I’ll get those answers up ASAP.