Six Common Swimming Pool Myths: Setting the Record Straight

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Swimming pools can get a bad rap, but often this is because of some popular myths that don’t have much of a basis in reality. Most of these myths are passed on through word of mouth but have little to do with actual science 

Here we explore some of the common swimming pool myths and break down the truth behind the fairy tales.

Myth #1:  Chlorine Turns Your hair green

Some people believe that swimming pool chlorine turns your hair green. While chlorine can damage swimmers’ hair, it’s not actually the chlorine in swimming pools that leads to green-colored hair. 

To combat algae, copper sulfate is added to many pools which can bind to proteins in your hair and cause a green coloration. The green color is most obvious in blonde hair, particularly hair that is artificially bleached, but brunettes can also get a green tint from spending time in a swimming pool. While copper may cause the green color, chlorine may also damage your hair by making it dry and brittle, so it is best to limit your hair’s exposure to heavily chlorinated pool water. 

By using an Advanced Oxidation (AOP) water treatment system, you can reduce your pool’s chlorine levels to the bare minimum – about the same amount found in tap water. This allows you to enjoy a safe, healthy pool without worrying about too much chlorine damaging your hair or clothes.

Myth #2: Dye Will Change Color When You Pee in the Pool

Although a surprising 52 percent of people believe pools can have dye in it that will show when people pee in the pool, urine indicator dye does not actually exist, and chemically, it is nearly impossible to produce. Be warned, though – while the pool won’t turn purple when you pee, the most sanitary thing to do is to get out of the pool and use the bathroom. Urine in the pool can combine with chlorine and other chemicals to produce toxic chloramines and other disinfection by-products that cause skin and eye irritation and negative health effects. 

Using an AOP system is the best way to keep your pool sanitary and destroy both contaminants and chloramines in the water, reducing irritation and odor while keeping you safe and healthy.

Myth #3: Chlorine Kills Everything in the Pool

Chlorine kills some bacteria and can help prevent the spread of some waterborne diseases, but chlorine does not effectively kill certain recreational water illnesses (RWIs), like Cryptosporidium, otherwise known as Crypto. Crypto is one of the more common RWIs and can cause severe gastrointestinal illness. Even swallowing a small amount of contaminated water can cause up to three weeks of illness, including diarrhea, stomach pains, nausea and vomiting.

Crypto outbreaks have been on the rise in recent years and are very hard to detect immediately, but AOP pool sanitation has been found to eliminate Crypto by 99.99 percent.

Myth #4: Chlorine Causes Pool Chlorine Smell

When you walk into an indoor pool and get engulfed by the chlorine fumes, it is not actually chlorine that is causing the odor. The toxic chloramines, which are formed during the reaction of chlorine with sweat, urine and body oils, are also what causes the pool “chlorine” smell. These chloramines also cause skin and eye irritation, along with a number of negative health effects.

Chloramines can be effectively reduced and eliminated by using AOP water treatment to oxidize and disinfect your pool water. Clear Comfort’s AOP pool and spa systems use safe, naturally occurring hydroxyl radicals to make water clean, clear and healthy without any odor or irritation.

Myth #5: Chlorine Pool Smell Means the Water Is Clean

Piggybacking on the previous myth, if you walk into a pool and it smells like chlorine that does not mean it is clean. In fact, the opposite can be true. Once again, chlorine pool smell means that there are a lot of chloramines in the water because the pool has too many contaminants in it for chlorine to tackle effectively. A faint chemical odor is probably ok, but a strong and saturated odor is a warning sign that your pool has too many chloramines and is not being sanitized effectively.

To make sure that your pool is properly sanitized and healthy, use an AOP system to give your pool an extra layer of protection that basic water care alone doesn’t offer.

Myth #6: You Must Wait One Hour After Eating to Go Swimming

Many children are told that swimming on a full stomach is dangerous because you might get a cramp, leaving you unable to swim which could lead to drowning. Though this might be a helpful parenting technique to get your child to take a break from the pool, there is no scientific evidence to support this. 

Eating within one hour before swimming does not increase the likelihood of getting a cramp. Getting a cramp or stitch while swimming can happen anytime, so it is best to swim only in depths where you feel comfortable or where you can to keep an eye on your children playing in the pool.

There are many myths, half-truths and rumors when it comes to swimming pools, some of which are based in reality and some of which are completely untrue. Owning a pool should be easy and fun, and with Clear Comfort’s AOP water treatment system you can sit back, relax, and let go of your worries knowing that your pool is getting the safest and healthiest water with the least maintenance.

To learn more about how AOP pool water treatment compares to other treatment systems, download our pool treatment system comparison.


* Originally published on: Jun 3, 2015

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Little boy aged 8 jumping into swimming pool. The boy is caught mid air.