Quick Definition:

Contaminates in swimming pools include any foreign substance or material not naturally found in balanced pool water, of which microorganisms and unwanted organic or inorganic compounds are often grouped.

What are Contaminates in swimming pools?

Contaminates are generally described as unwanted materials introduced into an environment that do not naturally occur in that environment, and can range from simple molecules of harmless substances to toxic, caustic, and dangerous materials.  Organic contaminates can produce undesired effects in the environment to which they have been introduced, including pathogenic (infection-causing) or non-pathogenic (non-infection-causing) bacteria.

Swimming pool contaminates can be introduced by a variety of sources, such as environmental sources, intentional or accidental spillage of chemicals in or near the pool area, and swimmers.  Environmental contaminates include windblown dirt and debris, algae spores, bird droppings, small rodents, and insects.  Adding incorrect amounts or simply the wrong chemicals when treating swimming pool water can also be a source of contamination.  Contaminates introduced by swimmers include organic materials like microorganisms, body oils, sweat, cosmetics, urine, saliva, and fecal matter.  Pathogenic contaminates are the riskiest of all and a lot of caution has to be taken against the since they are responsible for most recreational water illnesses.  Most of the pathogenic contaminates include; viruses, protozoa, bacteria, and fungi.

Chlorine and bromine-based sanitizers are key chemicals used to counteract swimming pool contamination.  The interaction between chlorine used for sanitation and pool water contaminates produce chloramines, or combined chlorine.  Once a swimming pool develops combined chlorine, the best way to rid the pool of combined chlorine is to apply a shock treatment to the pool water.

Devices and installable systems like mineral-based replaceable pool water sanitizing cartridges and ultraviolet (UV) light emitters can aid in pool sanitation by neutralizing organic contaminates and reduce the amount of chemical sanitizer needed.


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