Q: My facility has used chlorine in our pools with patients. (we have had very little complaints since our facility checks the water 3x daily and makes adjustments) The facility is now looking at the new trend of rehab facilities changing to salt water pools for their patients. Does anyone have experience of using salt water? I am interested in pros, cons, and any input! Any resources would be of great help.
A: The salt used in pools is a NACL molecule. What a salt water system does is apply electricity to split those molecules to divide the NA(sodium) from the CL. CL is of course Chlorine. Instead of adding another chemical like bleach or a calcium compound, salt is inserted into the water and the Chlorine is generated using the electrical process. It is still a chlorine pool. It is more expensive to maintain if it is not maintained at the manufacturer recommended PH levels extremely consistently because of equipment failure and salt scaling in the pipes. Usually there is a better option than a salt generation system unless you just want it to capitalize on the misconception that a salt water pool is not a Chlorine pool, which is definitely financially advantageous in some cases but maybe not very honest.
The same parameters apply in all Chlorine pools and most pool chlorine issues are caused by a failure to maintain breakpoint chlorination not the type of chlorination system.
We operate a commercial pool management company in Raleigh, NC. We have maintained one indoor pool and spa that has worked out really well. About a year ago, I joined a wellness club to use the pool, for my aging body. They operated on salt for about two or three years prior to me joining. They had salt and switched back to cal hypo, because of all the issues they were having. My theory is they didn’t get through the learning curve before they gave up or didn’t have proper education from the installer.
I think that there is a slightly different buoyancy in salt water but every time I bring that up people get salty. For the most part the reason these pools perform better because their electronic control system.