By Fred Dyck, YWCA Fitness Manager
As many of you may know, the pool has been closed for annual maintenance. Over the next couple of weeks we will be completing annual maintenance activities which include attempting to clean discoloration on the swimming pool tile. The main objective is re-grouting over wear areas of the tile. Water flow within the pool has a pattern and, over time, will wear the grout around the tiles causing sharp tile edges which of course are felt on the feet! Therefore, the pool has been drained and the annual maintenance process has begun. A swimming pool without water just does not look right and we are anxious to get back to regular swim programming on the 6th. I am sure our regular pool users feel the same way.
A Member recently asked about Chlorine versus Salt Water Pools:
Recently, we received a comment card from a member asking if we could consider changing the pool over to a system other than one based on chlorine. The comment from the member indicated a preference to a different system as it might be a “healthier” choice to have one based on something other than chlorine; presumably a salt water system. So, the question becomes is a salt water system healthier than the system we use? As this may be a question other members have I thought outlining some explanation here might be helpful. By no means does this blog cover all of the information a person might wish to know about our filtration system versus a salt water system. After reading this article, if you would like more information about our pool filtration system, I would be happy to discuss in person.
First, it is important to know that both salt water systems and systems like ours use chlorine to maintain a clean swimming environment; it’s how the chlorine gets into the water that is the difference.
The web site healthypools.org was asked a very similar question with the following question and reply:
Question: Chlorine pool vs salt water pool which one is safer from germs and bacteria?
“Actually, a salt water pool IS a chlorine pool. You are essentially asking about the same thing. They are both chlorine pools and the way that the chlorine is introduced is what is different. Salt pools use a generator to convert the sodium chloride in the pool into active chlorine. With regular chlorine pools, the chlorine is dosed directly. Regardless of how the chlorine gets there, they both provide the same protection vs. germs and bacteria when proper levels are maintained.” Follow the link below for more information from this web site.
Pool maintenance excepts report that a salt water chlorine system often requires closer monitoring to maintain the appropriate chlorine levels. And, when a salt water chlorine system experiences inappropriate levels,it can take a longer period of time for those types of systems to readjust compared with the ability to maintain levels in a system such as ours. As any of you will know if you visit the ocean, salt water can be corrosive with potential difficulties keeping equipment functional. One can imagine the added responsibility to shower off all aqua fitness equipment following each class if we moved to a salt water chlorine system.
At the YWCA, we strive to maintain excellent health standards with our pool and take pride in our maintenance processes and procedures and feel we offer a very healthy swim environment. Many of you may not know this but our pool water is tested three times every day and we keep our measured levels well within the guidelines set by the Government of Saskatchewan. Although some people do report minor eye and skin irritation from pool systems such as ours (hotel pools seem to be typical of this type of complaint) we rarely receive those comments from our members.
The pool filtration system we have works very well, has passed all regular inspections and continues to offer all us swimmers and aqua fitness participants a healthy way to enjoy the water.
If you would like to know more about how the Government of Saskatchewan provides oversight to our pool and all other public swim facilities in the province you can follow the link below:
Thanks for the question and please continue to ask us about our programs and processes. Your inquiries and questions are an important aspect of us striving to offer the best in programming and service. For your information, here are a couple of other web site links you may wish to visit to learn more about the differences between a salt water chlorine system and a fresh water chlorine system.