Proponents tout saltwater pools as being a natural solution for keeping your pool clean. They’re supposed to be safe, gentle and kind to the environment. After all, a large portion of the earth is already saltwater, so it must be good. However, when you look at the facts, that argument just doesn’t hold water. Here’s what happens to your water and why Mother Nature wants you to have a salt-free swimming pool.
In the Pool
Once you’ve set up a saltwater system and everything is stable, Mother Nature will occasionally toss rain, dirt and other debris into your water. This includes bacteria and other nasty things that the salt isn’t prepared to handle. The only way to restore it to safe levels again is through chemicals. This means you’ll be adding chlorine or other harsh things to shock the water. Depending on the size of the unit you purchased, you may also end up adding stabilizers weekly. That’s not natural at all.
Down the Drain
From time to time, you will have to drain the water. Some municipalities don’t allow you to drain it into the sewers and for a good reason. The water you remove will flow into the city’s system and raise the salinity of all the water being drained. Most municipalities are set up to remove solids and make the water clean enough to be released again. However, their systems aren’t set up to remove salt. Not only can this cause wear and corrosion to their equipment, but when the saltwater is released into the environment, it’s bad for the ecosystem.
Back to Nature
Now the saltwater from your pool finally makes its journey back to the environment. The problem is, the wildlife and plants there are specially adapted to certain levels of salinity. This means that if the water is flushed onto regular land, it will kill vegetation. As more water is flushed out, the salt in the soil will build up, resulting in unfertile conditions. If the water flows into a freshwater reservoir instead, it will be overly salty for any plants or animals there as well, and it will kill them off too. It would seem that the best course of action is to send it out to sea. However, if it’s released too close to shore, it won’t be salty enough and will damage the ecosystem there, too. This means that the solitary safe way to dispose of saltwater is to send it miles out into the ocean, which is cost-prohibitive.
The only sensible alternative is to start with a salt-free swimming pool. It may sound natural to use saltwater, yet the chemicals needed to maintain it are anything but. Moreover, unless you live in the ocean, the water from your pool can cause damage to the environment.