Swimming Pool Blog

So you want a Chlorine-Free pool?

  So you want a Chlorine-Free pool?

Rob Cox, February 20, 2012

So you want a Chlorine-Free pool?

The image on the left is not the result of a pool left accidentally without chlorine, but rather a purposeful "greening" of the pool. Natural pools are swimming pools that are more like ponds, and are definitely chlorine free.

If you want to operate your pool without chlorine, it needn't be green, you CAN maintain a pool without chlorine and keep it blue and clear.

Some people prefer to swim in a non-chlorinated pool, for some of the following reasons:

  • Chorine irriation of skin, eyes and hair
  • Reduced production and transportation of chlorine products
  • Don't wish to inhale any chlorine gases
  • Don't wish to store and handle chlorine products

Whatever the reason - for personal allergies or for environmental reasons, operating your backyard swimming pool without chlorine is possible, albeit not as simple, if you follow these simple steps.

1. Convert to Biguanide: Biguanides are the most successful alternative to chlorine, and the only stand-alone system that will keep a pool clean and clear - without the use of any chlorine. Sold under names like Baquacil, Revacil and Splashes - biguanides are essentially a Hydrogen Peroxide based system that sanitizes the pool water. Users say the process is simple to follow, and the cost is roughly the same as chlorine.

One drawback to biguanide use is that it tends to "gum-up" pool filters, so you will need to clean your filter grids, cartridges or sand every year to remove the gummy substance (whatever it is). Aside from this, biguanides can keep a pool sanitary and clear, with minimal effort - as long as you are following the directions properly.

2. Go Low Chlorine: If you are OK with using a small, undetectable amount of chlorine in the water, consider installing a Nature2 purifier. Nature2 units purify the pool water with copper and silver ionization, and can reduce the amount of free chlorine needed down to 0.5ppm. It does require a chlorine shock to initialize the 6 month cartridge, but after that, you can allow the chlorine to drop to a low level, and then shock with non-chlorine pool shock.

Low-Chlorine pools should be using a DE filter, preferably a bit oversized. DE filtration helps reduce the sanitizer demand, because the water is so well filtered. DE filters can remove particles as small as 2 microns!

3. Go No Chlorine: OK, so you want to use -0- chlorine, and you don't want to use biguanide, and you want to keep your pool clear? Despite what your pool store may tell you, this IS possible - but it's also may be a bit more work, or more expensive. If you want to operate your pool without chlorine, follow these recommendations to compensate for the lack of a halogen in the water.

  • Use a DE filter, and run the filter at least 18 hrs/day or as needed.
  • Use a Clarifier, to help coagulate suspended particles for filtration.
  • Use an Algaecide, to keep them supressed.
  • Use an Enzyme product  to remove oils and organics from the water.
  • Install a Nature2 purifier, and a small Ozonator.
  • Shock the pool weekly, or as needed - with non-chlorine shock.

That's my recipe for a non-chlorine pool - I have successfully used the method on residential pools. Do you have any tips on operating a non-chlorine pool? Leave your comments below.