Environmental Essay on Swimming Pools

SITUATION: If your goal is to protect the health of swimmers at a local recreational pool, would you recommend using ozonation or chlorination for treatment? Why? Please be sure to support your position with evidence.

The safety of swimming pools is traditionally very important since they are used by people of different ages and the presence of some dangerous elements may affect the least protected swimmers, such as children or elderly people. This is why the treatment of water in swimming pools should be highly effective. At the same time, it should be said that traditionally to treat swimming pool water effectively chlorination is used, though, there are some alternatives which are considered to be safer for human health, such as ozonation.

First of all, it should be said that the main goal of chlorination and ozonation of water is to make this water safe. This means that by means of chlorification and ozonation dangerous bacteria and microorganisms are killed and swimmers can safely use swimming pools without any serious risk of catching some diseases. At the same time, it is necessary to underline that chlorination is traditionally used to treat swimming pool water as well as water used for drinking and this method is considered to be quite effective because it kills practically all bacteria and microorganisms preventing the spread of infectious diseases through water. As for ozonation, it is used for the same purposes and it can also destroy bacteria and microorganisms that are dangerous to human health. It is worthy of mention that ozonation is basically used for killing microorganisms in air and water. Also specialists estimate that ozone can inactivate Cryptosporidium and potentially improve the water quality.

However, in spite of obvious similarities in the purposes of the use of chlorination and ozonation, it is still important to define the substantial difference between these approaches to water treatment in order to define the better one. In this respect, it is necessary to refer to the effects of chlorination and ozonation. The latter, being quite effective, still may represent a serious danger to swimmers health as chlorine tends to the formation of organochlorine compounds that can provoke serious health problems. In contrast, ozonation does not have such negative consequences and, therefore seems to be safer to human health.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to remember that ozone does not remain in water after treatment that means that swimming pools may be exposed to the risk of spreading dangerous bacteria and microorganisms in case ozonation is not made frequently enough to keep the water safe and clean. In such a case, ozonation will be safer than chlornation and, thus, more preferable to be used in the local recreational swimming pool.


Anon. (1998, Jun). Use of reclaimed water in municipal drinking-water supplies. Journal of Environmental Health. 60(10):39-41.
Bartram, J, Lewis, K, Lentron R. et al. (2005, Feb.-Mar.). “Focusing on improved water and sanitation for health.” The Lancet. 365(9461):810-812.
Pool Fence, Swimming Pool Safety and Toddlers. Retrieved August 31, 2007 from http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/

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