It looks as though salt water pools are seeing an increase in popularity across the US, particularly on the East coast. While the salt water alternative to traditional chlorine pools saw an explosion in popularity in the 80s, a lack of education with pool technicians saw staining on pool surfaces that made a lot of people change back to the regular chlorine pool feeder systems. And that has remained the standard up until about a decade ago.
Bob Russell, a pool professional from Connecticut, says he thinks about 20-25% of pools in his area use salt chlorine generators. Just a reminder--salt chlorine technology isn’t entirely chlorine free. It produces chlorine through the conversion of sodium chloride into sodium and what’s known as free chlorine, the kind that doesn’t have a smell or irritate the eyes or skin.
Pool owners who choose a saltwater system can dial in the exact money of salt they need to produce chlorine rather than guessing with a traditional chlorine erosion-feeder. Russell says controlling the proper levels is much easier. Owners also like that it’s more eco-friendly.
Because you’re manufacturing your own chlorine sanitizer from low levels of salt in the water, that’s less chlorine being transported, less being manufactured, and less on the property with the potential for accidental chemical spills or cross contamination.
Real estate professionals in the area have also noted the trend.
One agent with Coldwell Banker said, “The feedback I get from our buyers and sellers is that they prefer the saltwater pools because they have lower levels of chlorine and are less likely to cause skin or eye irritation or damage hair. A lot of consumers are looking for healthier environments overall—less toxins wherever they can make the changes in their homes.”
The conscious choice toward healthier water seems to be a popular factor among owners. People are both building more salt chlorine generated pool systems as well as converting existing pools to chlorine alternative.
The initial cost is usually a little higher but quickly pays for itself as it has less yearly and month-to-month costs than a traditional chlorine sanitation system.
Most people’s big concern is that the water will taste salty but the water doesn’t have a high enough salinity to be bothersome. It’s more like being immersed in water that uses salt in a water softener system.
If you have any other additional questions, ask your local pool professional about salt chlorine pools or see our other post about salt water pools.