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Date Posted:01/30/2019 04:57:45Copy HTML

This is probably way off topic, but I don't know where else to put it.  

Why are some pools -- especially indoor ones -- so chlorine filled?  I mean some smell like the Clorox Bleach factory!  It does not seem to have anything to do with the age of the pool.  It does not seem to have anything ot do with the pool or room size.  It does not seem to have anything to do with what health jurisdiction it is in, since pools right next door or across the street do not smell so bad.   As I understand it, the Chlorine must be at a specific level set by the local laws and regulations.  Do some places simply dump a lot of Chlorine in to make sure they are in compliance, while others monitor pools more closely and only add chlorine when needed?

I have always wondered about this.  I always take some older or cheeper swimwear with me when I travel, just in case I run into a really bad case of what seems like over Chloination.  These I can pitch out if they fade or are damaged.  I don't mind throwing out a $7.00 suit made overseas, but would not want to mess up an expensive suit or one of my favorite swimsuits.  I do wonder what all that Chlorine does to my skin also.  I can't image that the reaction on skin is good.

tiggerix #1

Re:Why do some indoor pools have so much chlorine?

Date Posted:01/30/2019 11:08:07Copy HTML

@Mary0826 as I understand it the chlorine smells more when the water gets dirty, so in many cases it is a whole bunch of people that haven't showered before entering that causes the chemicals to give off the chlorine smell. It is also the case that some pool staff throw a large dose of chemical in where the pumps operate rather than trickling it in as they should. Generally a pool should be re-charged with chemicals overnight to allow them to distribute evenly in the water. Plus the usual sample testing that should be carried out during operating hours. So it's either dirty swimmers or bad pool management - either way, probably a place to avoid.
ithongit #2

Re:Why do some indoor pools have so much chlorine?

Date Posted:01/30/2019 10:41:34Copy HTML

Randy used to work at the "Y". One day the chlorine system broke down, and they decided to replace it with a new one (the chlorine got into the controls and corroded them to the point they no longer worked. Money for a new system was not immediately available, and they had to wait for people to dontate enough to get a new one. During the down-time, someone had to check the chemicals every 4 hours -- day or night. Randy often had to go over in the middle of the night to check the chlorine and add some when needed. They could have saved a lot of money on labor and just tossed a few gallons of chlorine in the pool now and then, but it would not have been the "right" way to deal with the situation. The new system monitors the water quality at the filter and adds a very tiny stream of chlorine to the water when needed. If the water really needs chlorine, then a higher amount is added. In any event only sufficient chlorine is added to keep things right. Randy says in some manual systems, when a lot of dirty people use the pool, the water starts to support bacterial growth. Adding a batch of chlorine kills the bacteria, but the chlorine odor lingers. He also says that some pool managers think they are doing the boss a big favor by shocking the pool with chlorine. People go into the pool area and say "I smell lots of chlorine, so it must be safe water." And there is a smaller chance a health department will shut down the pool for too little chlorine when too much is added. There are also other chemicals which can be used -- some as a supliment, and others as the only disinfectant. Some of these have virtually no odor at all. Airiating the water also causes the odor to go down. Big municipal water treatment systems add chlorine when the water is pumped from its source. The water is often areated as part of the cleaning process, and this can elimanate most if not all of the odors. A pool with a fountain like water feature will normally circulate pool water through the fountain, which will aeriate some of the odor away. But he does agree with the general points made by tiggerix -- a strong chlorine odor is an indication that something is not right.
chad_nw_oh #3

Re:Why do some indoor pools have so much chlorine?

Date Posted:01/30/2019 10:44:12Copy HTML

More info on this.. https://chlorine.americanchemistry.com/Science-Center/Chlorine-Compound-of-the-Month-Library/Chloramines-Understanding-Pool-Smell/
Thongsc #4

Re:Why do some indoor pools have so much chlorine?

Date Posted:01/31/2019 07:35:43Copy HTML

If you walk into a pool area and you smell chlorine, I wouldn't go in the water. The chlorine smell is an indication that the pool water is dirty and the chlorine is doing what it is intended to do, clean it. The smell is not indicative of the amount of chlorine in the water. You can dump a ton of chlorine in the water, and if the water is clean, you won't smell it.
ohiothonger #5

Re:Why do some indoor pools have so much chlorine?

Date Posted:01/31/2019 09:02:28Copy HTML

The "SENSE-ABLE" Swimming Check List USE YOUR SENSE OF SIGHT. Does the pool water look clear and blue? You should be able to see through the water down to the drain or stripes painted on the floor of the pool. If the water is cloudy and colored, there may be algae in it. DON'T GO IN! USE YOUR SENSE OF TOUCH. Does the pool wall around the water line feel slimy? If it does, there are probably germs living on the wall. DON'T GO IN! USE YOUR SENSE OF SMELL. Is there a strong chemical odor around the pool? If there is, the pool manager may have to treat the water. DON'T GO IN! USE YOUR SENSE OF HEARING. The sound of pool-cleaning equipment is a good sign! DON'T USE YOUR SENSE OF TASTE. Just don't taste the water! If you do get some water in your mouth, don't swallow it. USE YOUR COMMON SENSE. Shower before entering the pool to remove the substances that can help form chloramines. Encourage young children to take regular bathroom breaks, and never go swimming when you have diarrhea.
Grabeach #6

Re:Why do some indoor pools have so much chlorine?

Date Posted:01/31/2019 10:13:43Copy HTML

Indoor pools are usually smaller in length, width and depth. Maybe only a tenth the volume of water of an outdoor pool. At the pools I go to, there is often about the same number of people in each. However the outdoor pool is mainly adults whereas the indoor pool is young children. All this suggests indoor pools have more germs per litre of water. I would assume this means more chlorine is added to indoor pools. I'm not a chemist, so I don't know what this means smell wise, though as indoor pools are less ventilated, any chlorine smell will take longer to dissipate.

Filledthong #7

Re:Why do some indoor pools have so much chlorine?

Date Posted:02/01/2019 08:43:43Copy HTML

Some pools use bromine instead of chlorine. So, if you don't smell chlorine, don't be alarmed. The indoor pool where I used to swim was a bromine pool, and in an enclosed area it was much better odor-wise.
T_for_2 #8

Re:Why do some indoor pools have so much chlorine?

Date Posted:02/02/2019 01:15:21Copy HTML

chad-nw-oh is correct. As an owner of an inground swimming pool for 28 years, I can confirm that you will get a chlorine odor when the water is "dirty" and there is an insufficient amount of chlorine thus resulting in the production of chloramines. I know that this seems contrary to what one would think, but it is actually what happens. With indoor pools having a large number of users, it can be quite difficult to maintain a proper water/chemical balance.
pikeman #9

Re:Why do some indoor pools have so much chlorine?

Date Posted:03/05/2019 07:18:26Copy HTML

What you smell is combined chlorine and it's the waste that stinks. That's a lazy pool owner. But, even a good clean indoor pool will have a little waft of chlorine, which is why ozone is the ideal sanitizer for indoor pools. I recently converted my outdoor pool to salt water, and although it's still a chlorinated pool, there is no odor at all, ever! And it never was allowed to develop combined chlorine previously. This isn't a difficult thing to manage, you just need to pay attention.
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