Traditionally, domestic and commercial swimming pools have been sanitized by the use of liquid, granular or gas chlorine. The storage and application of chemical chlorine has fallen out of favor in many countries due to environmental concern. The danger of having hazardous chemicals around your home, the cost of chlorine based chemicals, the cost of automatic dispensing machines or tedious manual application and the health hazards of these chemicals have all led to alternative sanitizing methods.
In Australia, for nearly 50 years, the use of chemical chlorine has been greatly replaced by saltwater sanitizing technology to such extent that approximately 98% of swimming pools are now sanitized using this process. Saltwater sanitizing technology is now fast becoming the standard throughout the world, with Australian companies being recognized as the market leader in this field.
First, the perception is wrong
that swimming in a saltwater sanitized pool is equivalent to swimming in ocean water. A saltwater sanitized pool system does require the addition of salt to the swimming pool water, but only
in a very mild solution
. Saltwater sanitizers typically require a concentration of only 0.50% salt (about half as salty as a human teardrop). This compares to sea water and our own bodies, which have a salinity concentration of 3.75%.
This mild , pleasant saline water is sanitized through the process of electrolysis. This electrolytic cell, through the use of a small electric current, breaks down the water into it's basic elements, Hydrogen and Oxygen. By adding small quantities of granulated salt (much like household table salt-NaCI), Hypochlorous Acid (common chlorine) is produced. During the process, the Hypochlorous Acid (Chlorine) is ultimately converted back to salt. Thus, the salt does not get "used up". Salt only needs to be "topped off" once or twice a year and only to replace salt lost due to water splash-out and/or filter backwash.