The primary method of disinfecting swimming pool water is the use of chlorine. This one is ruthless to bacteria and microorganisms, effectively eradicating them. Not everyone is keen to use it because of its strength, but there is an alternative disinfection method. It is active oxygen, which has its advantages but, as is usually the case, is not ideal and also has its drawbacks.

  • Active oxygen is an alternative method of water disinfection safe for allergies and children
  • The method is effective but weaker than water chlorination
  • The use of active oxygen additionally requires the use of activators

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Which gives active oxygen in the pool

When expressing active oxygen disinfection, the term "safe" often appears, and for good reason, as it is healthier for humans. This method of disinfection is particularly recommended for people who have sensitive skin or who often have an allergic reaction. So, if you have to use one washing powder because the others cause itchy spots to appear on your skin, this method will be for you.

If chloramines are formed in the water, the water has a characteristic and intense smell that can irritate the respiratory tract. This happens with poor quality pool chlorine and poor dosage. When active oxygen is used, the problem does not occur, but it is less effective.

Expert Advises!

How to use active oxygen in a pool

Active oxygen can be purchased in various forms. The formulation is used in liquid, tablets and granules. The form in which it is purchased has no effect on its effectiveness. It is only related to the way it is dosed.

On the market, the preparation is available in tablets. We do not recommend throwing them directly into the tank. This will result in discolouration of the walls or bottom of the tank. The tablets should be inserted into a special dispenser in the form of a buoy or skimmer. Tablets are usually available in two weights 20g and 200g. This is to facilitate dosing in small tanks. Exact instructions can be found on the packaging. However, depending on the manufacturer, 200g of active oxygen in a tablet should be used for 10-30 m3 of water. Dose every 7-10 days or, in the case of some manufacturers, until the tablet dissolves.

Granulate is the form that also needs to be poured into a dosing buoy or skimmer. Active oxygen in this form dissolves much faster. It is dosed in a similar quantity to the tablet formulation. Detailed dosing information can always be found on the packaging. It is customary to attach a measuring cup to the granules so that the user can measure the precise weight of the preparation.

Active liquid oxygen is designed for automatic dispensing stations. The devices will dispense the set amount of oxygen themselves. Depending on the manufacturer, this value will vary. For the first use, it varies between 1-3 litres for every 10m3 of water, and later between 0.5-1.5 litres/10m3 once a week. Detailed information can always be found on the packaging.

When you decide to disinfect with active oxygen, it is worth using it together with an activator. This is a special agent that supports and enhances the action of oxygen disinfection. It is composed of cationic polymers that support the oxidative action of oxygen and have bactericidal, algicidal and fungicidal effects. It is added with the preparations in the amount according to the instructions on the packaging.

See the offer for active oxygen chemicals for your swimming pool

Active oxygen or chlorine for the pool?

It may seem that active oxygen is the ideal alternative to chlorine disinfection. However, the reality is not so colourful. From our point of view, supported by many years of experience, we recommend using the chlorine method in the absence of allergic contraindications. When using active oxygen anyway, shock chlorination is recommended once in a while to keep the water crystal clear. Compared to chlorine, active oxygen is less radical and is therefore supported by additional measures (activator, algaecides, etc.), and this increases disinfection costs.

Active oxygen is a good solution for people who have skin problems and using chlorinated water causes allergic reactions. The product dissolved in water is more skin and eye-friendly. In addition, active oxygen works very quickly and is classed as a shock method.

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Opinions on the effectiveness of active oxygen

We can certainly say that active oxygen disinfection is effective, but not as effective as the chlorine method. Active oxygen has its advocates because of the absence of the irritating smell of chlorine. We do not in any way discourage the use of this method, it is a very good alternative. However, we prefer classic chlorine disinfection. Due to the fact that it is cheaper and more effective.

Active oxygen is very popular with spa and Jacuzzi bathtub owners. However, due to the maintenance of high temperatures, the use of chlorine disinfection is definitely a better solution. Chlorine works far better than active oxygen in these conditions. You should not be afraid of it, as the use of the right quality agents does not intensely affect the smell of the Jacuzzi water and negatively affect our body and well-being.

All opinions on the effectiveness of active oxygen are positive, but each emphasises the lesser effectiveness. Active oxygen is a very good solution for allergy sufferers, for whom contact with chlorinated water ends in itchy patches on the skin.

Can chlorine be dispensed with altogether?

When active oxygen is used, shock chlorination is recommended as a preventative measure anyway. If the water turns green and algae appear, shock chlorination cannot be avoided.

In which form is active oxygen most effective?

Active oxygen in liquid, tablets and granules is equally effective. It all depends on our preferences and the equipment we use.

Is the use of oxygen alone enough to keep the water clean

No, filtration and regular cleaning of the basin is required to keep the water crystal clear.

Is active oxygen better than chlorine?

Chlorine definitely disinfects water better, but this does not mean that active oxygen is a bad disinfectant for water disinfection. When using the 'safe' method, it is much more difficult to keep the water perfectly clean.

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Tomasz Tomkowicz

Pool Technology Specialist

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