Testing Pool and Spa Water
Pool and spa water testing is essential for the safety and health of the bathers. Untested water can lead to skin rashes and other diseases if bacteria are allowed to flourish. It is important to keep pool and spa water clean to control the risks of infection. By regularly testing your pool or spa water, you can maintain safe levels to protect your family and friends.
You want your pool/spa water to be fresh and inviting, and free of unpleasant odors, infectious agents, irritant substances, algae and harmful bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa.
Typically, a spa has a much higher bather load than a pool as the water volume is far less. In large public pools, the maximum bather load, in order to maintain the health and safety of bathers, is usually about 1 bather per 15 square feet in the shallow end of 5 feet of water or less, and 1 bather per 20 square feet in the deep end because there is more water volume there. While it is easier to properly maintain pool water, both must be tested and controlled for optimal health.
A thorough test of swimming pool water involves checking for free available chlorine, combined chlorine, pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness and even Cyanuric Acid - often many times a day in a public environment. Thankfully, in private pools with much lower bather loads, testing is done somewhat less frequently, though the old-school chemical balancing act still may burden pool owners. It is important to properly maintain pool filters and equipment to help keep the water clean and safe.
Spa water treatment is generally more involved than pool water treatment due to the heavy bathing loads in a small volume of water at high operating temperatures. Factors that can pollute your bathing water are from the atmosphere and from the bathers, including hair, mucus, saliva, urine, cosmetics, lotions and more. To minimize bather contaminants, it is recommended that people shower before entering the spa, refrain from wearing skin creams or sun tan lotion and no bathing children under 4.
Spa water treatment can be divided into filtration and disinfection. It is important to regularly clean/change the filter in your spa and maintain proper water levels for optimal flow. In hot tub water, chlorine has a lower off-gassing temperature than bromine does, so some hot tub owners use bromine instead. Each country may also have their own laws as to what is required of a sanitizer. In Czech Republic and other countries, the use of bromine in hot tubs is actually prohibited. Although a cadre of chemicals seem necessary to battle bacteria and allow bathers to enjoy water without the risk of skin rash or disease, the side effects of using harsh chemicals in the water include watery eyes, irritated skin and a strong chemical odor among other, more serious issues.
Reduce Water Treatment Maintenance