Chlorine levels in pools


Courtesy of Hanovia Ltd - a Halma Company

In response to a SportExcel CPD seminar in April 2004 on pool water disinfection ISRM is reissuing this updated guidance. Also, recent press reports have highlighted the theoretical risks of high chlorine levels in swimming pools in relation to both pregnant women and levels of childhood asthma. This further reinforces the need for operators to provide the highest pool water standards possible. Pools can be operated safely at low levels of free chlorine. Always providing that the pool meets the microbiological standards of PWTAG and that this is closely monitored. A pool operated at a low free chlorine level is going to be a much healthier, non smelly pool for chloramine production is also minimised, and so too is the amount of chemicals used. Bathers want good clean water to swim in with no risk of cross infection. They don’t want to swim in a chemical soup. Free chlorine – absolute levels The free chlorine residual should be at the lowest concentration that gives satisfactory microbiological quality; this should be possible at less than 1mg/l
(0.5mg/l for fully ozonated pools and full treatment UV pools). The absolute minimum free chlorine level given that there needs to be a residual of active disinfectant to prevent the risk of cross infection is 0.2 to 0.3 mg/l. When operating at low free chlorine levels the pH value of the water must be around 7.2 to 7.4 to obtain the greatest disinfection effect.

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