You may have heard of the trend of saltwater pools and wondered if sea salt could be a handy alternative to regular pool salt. After all, the sea is nature’s original saltwater pool, right? The answer, however, isn’t quite as straightforward as it might seem. Let’s dive in and explore whether sea salt is suitable for pool use.
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Understanding Sea Salt
To answer our question, we first need to understand what sea salt is and how it’s produced. Sea salt is harvested from evaporated seawater, primarily through two methods: solar evaporation and mechanical evaporation.
Solar evaporation is the traditional and most natural method. It involves allowing seawater to evaporate in large, shallow ponds under the sun’s heat. As the water evaporates, salt crystals are left behind. These are then collected, cleaned, and packaged for use.
On the other hand, mechanical evaporation is a more modern technique that speeds up the evaporation process. It involves heating seawater in large pans until the water evaporates, leaving behind salt crystals.
While both methods produce salt, they can leave behind various impurities that could be problematic for your pool.
Sea Salt and Your Pool: A Cautionary Tale
Sea salt, while natural and unrefined, can host a variety of microscopic aquatic life. Think tiny seaweed, brine shrimp, and other minuscule marine organisms. Now, these creatures are perfectly harmless in the sea but can become a problem when introduced into your pool.
When you add sea salt to your pool, these organisms can create a welcoming environment for bacteria and algae. And anyone who’s had to deal with a green, algae-infested pool knows that it’s an issue you’d rather avoid.
Furthermore, the impurities left over from the evaporation process can also pose problems. Organic contaminants from solar evaporation and unwanted minerals and metals from mechanical techniques can interfere with the pool’s water chemistry. This can lead to issues like cloudiness, staining, and even damage to pool equipment.
The Best Salt for Your Pool
Now that we’ve established that sea salt isn’t the best choice for your pool, what should you use instead? The answer is simple: salt specifically made for swimming pools.
Pool salt is usually a type of mined salt. This means it’s extracted from salt mines rather than the sea. Mined salt has undergone processing to remove impurities, resulting in a product that’s purer and better suited for pool use.
When used in a saltwater pool system, this type of salt works in tandem with a salt chlorine generator. The generator uses a process called electrolysis to break down the salt and produce chlorine. This chlorine then helps keep the pool clean, clear, and free from harmful bacteria and algae.
While the idea of using sea salt in your pool might seem tempting, it’s not the best option due to the potential for introducing microscopic aquatic life and unwanted impurities. Instead, opt for a specially formulated pool salt to keep your swimming environment clean and safe. Remember, the key to a great saltwater pool is the right type of salt and proper maintenance. Happy swimming!