Owning a swimming pool is a wonderful thing. Swimming is a great exercise, and it’s an excellent way to relax, especially during the summertime. In addition, owning a pool can increase the value of your home. However, there are some disadvantages to owning a pool as well. The water must be properly maintained, or it becomes dirty and unusable for swimming. Water that becomes dirty is filled with bacteria, algae, and other nasties. It means that to keep the water clean you will need to use different chemicals regularly to eliminate these contaminants.

What Do Swimming Pool Chemicals Do?

If the swimming pool remains untreated, it can easily be compared to a pond. The water can become dirty and covered with algae. Algae thrive on sunlight and the warm temperatures of a pool, so if you want to avoid it, you need to properly maintain your pool using certain chemicals. The water may also become corrosive, which means you’ll have to replace the equipment more often. The water may also become cloudy, or it might turn green. This is all prevented by using certain chemicals that treat the water and keep it clean and clear of harmful contaminants.

Pool Chemicals help you Avoid Health Risks

By using pool chemicals you won’t have to worry about many health risks that are connected to unclean water. The most common risk is that you will be exposed to unwanted contaminants. If the pool is not properly treated, the water may contain bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause ear infections, respiratory problems, skin irritation effects, or even death if swallowed.

How Do Swimming Pool Chemicals Work?

The good news is that the process of maintaining a pool is not difficult, but it can become costly if you don’t properly maintain it. The chemicals are added to the water regularly to ensure that everything remains safe and clean. If you try to avoid this process or skip steps, then you run the risk of exposure to these contaminants. You can avoid this exposure by regularly treating your pool with the right chemicals. Three types of chemicals need to be used regularly in any swimming pool: algaecides, clarifiers, and oxidizers/chlorinators. These different treatments help ensure that the water is safe for swimming.

Types of Chemicals Used in Pools

  • Sodium Bicarbonate – A common chemical often used to adjust the pH level is sodium bicarbonate. In swimming pools, it may be used to either increase or decrease the acidity of the water depending on which minerals are already present in the water. Also known as baking soda, it can also help to reduce contamination from metals such as copper and iron that naturally occur in the soil surrounding a pool.
  • Algaecides – Another common type of chemical used to maintain a pool is algaecides. These chemicals are added to the water regularly to prevent algae from growing inside it. If an algaecide is not added, then algae will grow on the walls of the pool and also start to grow in the water.
  • Clarifier – Another type of chemical that is commonly added to swimming pools is a clarifier. This chemical helps to clear up cloudy water by making it more transparent. The process with which this works is still unclear, but it seems that clarifiers affect some molecules found in the water, allowing them to link up with other molecules and become more transparent.
  • Chlorine – Another chemical used to clean pools is chlorine. It can disinfect the water by killing harmful microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses which are often transmitted through swimming in public pools. Sodium hypochlorite or calcium hypochlorite are common types of chlorine added to the pool water. Adding too much chlorine, however, can irritate swimmers’ skin. It can also cause their eyes to become red. Another chemical that is sometimes used to kill bacteria in pools is cyanuric acid (CYA). It prevents the chlorine from evaporating by “storing” it which makes the treatment of pool water more efficient. The foam produced when CYA reacts to an oxidizing agent is called chlorohydrin. It may cause respiratory problems, throat irritation, and disruption to the central nervous system if inhaled.

Water should be clear and blue with no standing water or debris. Iron can produce water that looks orange often due to the accumulation of iron oxide which forms rust, or iron hydroxide which reacts with the chlorine to create ferric chloride.  In addition to these chemicals which can help to maintain a clean and safe swimming pool, other chemicals such as pesticides can be added to prevent insects from contaminating the water.


In conclusion, pools require strict maintenance for swimmers to enjoy their experience safely. While it may seem that owning a pool is an easy feat, constant checking of pH levels, as well as the chemical composition of treated water, is essential.