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What is Chlorine?

Chlorine is one of the most abundant chemical elements on Earth. It is ubiquitous in soils, minerals, plants and animals. Seawater is a huge reservoir of dissolved chlorine weathered from the continents and transported to the oceans by Earth's rivers.
A major advantage is that chlorine provides a residual level that continues to protect long after it is applied..

Why is chlorine added to swimming pools and spas?

Chlorine kills harmful microorganisms that can cause health-related problems in swimming pools and spas. Chlorine-based swimming pool and spa disinfectants help prevent swimmers’ ear, athlete’s foot, skin rashes and diarrhea. Legionnaires ’ disease and Pontiac Fever can also be prevented with proper chlorination, particularly in the hot tub and spa environment. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) calls chlorine and proper pH, “the first defense against germs that can make swimmers sick.”

What are the signs of a “healthy pool?”

The Healthy Pools partnership recommends you use your senses to help recognize the difference between a healthy pool and a potentially risky one. What should you notice?

Sight: Look for water that’s clean, clear and blue. The painted stripes and drain should be clearly visible at the bottom of the pool.
Touch: Check for tiles that feel smooth and clean. Sticky or slippery tiles are caused by algae and other unwanted organisms.
Smell: Make sure there are no strong odors. Chlorine helps keep pools healthy, and will not cause a strong chemical odor in a well-maintained pool.
Sound: Listen for pool cleaning equipment. Properly running pumps and filters make sure that clean, disinfected water reaches all parts of the pool.
Taste: Never drink or swallow pool water. In fact, try to avoid getting it in your mouth at all.
Common Sense: Do your part to protect yourself and others. Always shower before you swim, and never swim when you are ill with diarrhea.