Quick Definition:

Oxidation is the chemical process that occurs when oxygen is exposed to another substance, combining with the substance by sharing its electrons.

What is Oxidation in swimming pools?

Oxidation refers to the reaction of a substance in the presence of oxygen.  The process of oxidation can be constructive and destructive, either adding benefits to the oxidized result, or reducing the overall strength, durability, or usefulness of the oxidized substance.  Anodized aluminum is an example of constructive oxidation, resulting in a durable outer coating on aluminum surfaces.  Iron rust is a common example of destructive oxidation, as iron is transformed to iron oxide, or rust, in the presence of oxygen.

For swimming pools, the role of oxidation is critical to sanitizing pool water.  Organic and inorganic contaminates can be eliminated by oxidation, such as shocking the pool water, through the consistent addition of chlorine or bromine as a sanitizer, and through use of a specialized cartridges that can be installed that have an oxidizing effect as the water returns to the pool.

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