5+ Different Types of Pool Water and Their Benefits

Understanding different pool water types helps choose the best option. Chlorine is effective but harsh, while saltwater provides a gentler feel. Mineral pools are mild but may need additional sanitizing. Ozone and UV systems offer alternative sanitization methods.

types of pool water

A swimming pool can be the centerpiece of a beautiful backyard. Still, you need to understand different types of pool water to avoid ending up with a nightmare.

So keep reading to ensure you know all the options and benefits of different types of pool water. 

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1. Chlorine Swimming Pool Water

The most common type of swimming pool water uses chlorine as its sanitizing agent. 

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In many applications, chlorine is ideal for keeping your pool water safe and sanitary. 

Chlorine is readily available in multiple forms and from most pool supply vendors, making it nearly ubiquitous in the industry. You can buy chlorine in bulk amounts and in three main forms:

  • Liquid chlorine
  • Slow-dissolving chlorine (pucks or sticks)
  • Fast-acting chlorine granules 

Chlorine levels need regular maintenance. So, while the specific method for adding chlorine to a pool can vary, there is usually a fair amount of testing required.

Most chlorine pools need at least weekly checks to ensure that the level of chlorine is adequate and that there is also enough chlorine stabilizer in the water. 

Some pools have special dosing canisters called chlorinators that can add a bit of chlorine to the water as it circulates through the filter system. Another method uses a plastic floater of chlorine to dissolve it into the water slowly. 

It’s also straightforward to manually add doses of liquid chlorine to the pool. And, when your chlorine levels fall low, you can add doses of fast-acting granular chlorine to kill bacteria and algae quickly. 

However, chlorine isn’t without drawbacks. It is caustic, irritates your mucus membranes and skin, and can stain clothing. When inadvertently mixed with other chemicals, it can even create poisonous gas, so you need to be careful when using it.

In addition, chlorine tends to burn off in direct sunlight, so you will need to use a stabilizer called cyanuric acid to help prevent that loss. Plus, as chlorine sanitizes the water, it loses its potency. So, regular testing gives you awareness of when to add more chlorine and when to adjust your other chemical levels. 

In commercial applications, it’s fairly common to find an overabundance of chlorine. While this approach certainly keeps bacteria and algae from growing, it can cause severe irritation of swimmers’ skin, discolor their hair, and even dehydrate them. Plus, the aroma of heavy chlorination is unpleasant. 

Despite the need for testing, routine dosing, and harshness, chlorine is very effective and reliable as a sanitizer for swimming pools. 

Benefits of Chlorine Swimming Pool Water

  • Readily available in multiple forms
  • Can be purchased in bulk for discounted pricing
  • Extremely effective
  • Automated dosing equipment is available

2. Salt Swimming Pool Water

Salt swimming pool water has a reputation for being gentler on your skin, which is quite true. However, some incorrectly believe that salt pools don’t use chlorine. They are completely wrong!

Ideally, salt pools have a salt concentration of about 3400 parts per million. That’s about one-tenth the salinity of the ocean, so salt pools have a slight salt taste but are nowhere as strong as the sea. 

Sodium Chloride, or salt, is a common compound. When salt molecules come in contact with electricity, they can break into sodium and chloride, the individual parts that make up the compound we call salt. 

Salt pools take advantage of this process to keep pool water sanitary. After dumping bags of salt into the pool and achieving proper salinity, the system circulates the water like a regular chlorine pool. But, instead of adding chlorine manually, a salt cell does the work for you. 

As the water passes through the cell, it zaps it with small amounts of electricity, breaking the salt molecules into sodium and chlorine.

This process provides a steady trickle of chlorine as it breaks down your salt, keeping your water sanitary and safe without adding massive doses of chlorine. 

This effect is the major benefit of a salt system. There is never a huge buildup of chlorine’s smell or hazardousness, and you don’t have to handle as much chlorine. 

However, when you have an algae bloom or an issue with your salt cell, you will still need to use a potent sanitizing agent, like granular chlorine, to keep the water clear and safe. 

Salt cells also require a fair amount of maintenance, so most salt pool owners use a bit of chlorine to supplement their pool water, and they have plenty on hand in case something malfunctions with their salt system. 

Benefits of Salt Swimming Pool Water

  • Added buoyancy for swimmers
  • Less chlorine exposure for everyone
  • Steady trickle approach to adding chlorine saves money on chemicals

3. Mineral Swimming Pool Water

Mineral pools work best on a small scale. Larger pools have too much volume for this mild form of disinfection to work. In general, mineral pools are less common than saltwater or chlorine pools and aren’t as pristine.

The most common chemicals in a mineral pool include magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, and sodium chloride. 

Minerals like magnesium are healthier for our skin than standard sanitizers, but they don’t work as well.

Mineral pools often have supplemental systems that help clean the water more than the minerals alone can, and sometimes you’ll need to use some chlorine to avoid losing control of germs and algae.

This setup is great for people with extremely sensitive skin, as they don’t develop the itchy eyes, irritated skin, and dry hair commonly reported by chlorine pool swimmers.

The downside is that the pool may have a bit of algae growth. When necessary, these pools may need supplemental chemicals or alternate means of sanitation, like an ozone or UV cell. 

Benefits of Mineral Swimming Pool Water

  • Better for skin & hair than standard sanitizers, silky and soft water
  • More natural feeling, akin to a lake 
  • Reduce chlorine usage and consumption significantly

4. Ozone Swimming Pool Water 

Ozone pools feature a system that injects ozone gas, a form of oxygen, into the water. This sort of system typically uses electricity to create ozone from the oxygen already in the pool’s water.

The resulting ozone gas is highly reactive and works as an oxidizer and helps kill bacteria and other contaminants in the pool water. 

An ozone system can be pretty effective, especially when it has a helping hand from mild doses of chlorine. Plus, ozone systems are very good at killing chlorine-resistant bacteria. However, ozone can be very corrosive and may damage some pool systems, rubber gaskets, and plastic components. 

Benefits of Ozone Swimming Pool Water

  • Silky water feel
  • Reduces chlorine usage
  • Fairly inexpensive to maintain

5. UV Swimming Pool Water

UV pools use an ultraviolet lamp to damage bacterial DNA in the water. The disinfecting UV lamp sits inside of the plumbing, and its rays break down the bacteria genes as it flows by in the water.

Typically, this sort of system supplements a standard sanitation system, cutting chemical consumption and also acting to eliminate any chlorine-resistant bacteria. 

The downside of a UV swimming pool is that the UV light only works when the water passes through the cell. The water doesn’t gain any sanitizing power. Chlorinated water maintains disinfecting power and continuously sanitizes until it runs out. 

Benefits of UV Swimming Pool Water

  • Helps reduce chemical consumption
  • Effective on chlorine-resistant microbes and bacteria
  • Relatively inexpensive add-on

Benefits of Different Types of Pool Water: Explained

A swimming pool’s water must be sanitary and safe for swimming. Otherwise, people can get sick from enjoying time in the pool.

However, the most effective sanitizing agent, chlorine, is pretty rough on our skin and hair and is harsh and unpleasant to handle. 

Therefore, it’s common for people to use alternate sanitizers to limit the amount of chlorine they need. Of course, it’s almost impossible to eliminate the use of chlorine, but even minor reductions in chlorine consumption can yield a more pleasant feeling for swimmers. 

Additionally, some sanitizing systems that work with chlorine can save you money on chemical bills. 


Some questions about pool water are common. 

What are the different types of Pool water?

Chlorine, mineral, and saltwater pools are the three main types. Other systems like UV and ozone help sanitize the water. 

Is shock or liquid chlorine better?

‘Shock’ is sometimes used to refer to granular chlorine. Both granular chlorine and liquid chlorine are fast-acting and highly concentrated, so one is not really better than the other. 

More FAQs

What are the different types of pool water?

The different types of pool water include chlorine, saltwater, and mineral swimming pool water, which are the most popular options. Understanding the uses of each type can be aided by considering the aforementioned information.

What is the other type of pool besides chlorine?

The other type of pool besides chlorine is a salt system. Saltwater pools have gained significant popularity in recent years, with over half of in-ground pools using salt-created chlorine. This alternative is known for its reliability, convenience, and relatively lower cost compared to traditional chlorine.

What are the different colors of pool water?

The different colors of pool water include green, which indicates the presence of copper; brown, which typically signifies the presence of iron; black, which often means silver is present; purple; and cloudy water.

Are there different grades of pool chlorine?

There are indeed different grades of pool chlorine. Trichlor, which is widely used for regular pool maintenance, has a high Chlorine saturation and can impact the pH of the pool. On the other hand, Dichlor has a neutral pH level and does not affect the pool’s pH. Additionally, Dichlor has a high Chlorine saturation, dissolves rapidly, and is particularly suitable for spas.

What is mineral pool water?

Mineral pool water refers to a type of pool water that contains minerals instead of salt. It is an evolved version of a saltwater pool, where minerals like magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride are added to the water instead of salt.

What are the three types of pool water?

The three types of pool water are chlorine, saltwater, and mineral. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the best choice depends on the specific swimming pool.

What is the difference between chlorine and Dichlor?

The difference between chlorine and Dichlor is that Trichlor, which is the most popular type of Chlorine for regular pool use, has a high Chlorine saturation and can affect a pool’s pH. On the other hand, Dichlor has a neutral pH level and does not affect the pH of the pool. Additionally, Dichlor has a high Chlorine saturation, dissolves quickly, and is particularly suitable for use in spas.

Is chlorine or bromine better for pools?

The statement being rephrased is: “Is chlorine or bromine better for pools?”Rephrased answer: Chlorine is typically preferred for pools, while bromine is commonly used in spas due to its greater stability, especially in warm water. However, it is important to note that both chemicals are susceptible to degradation when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light, with bromine breaking down at a faster rate.

What is the difference between a mineral pool and a chlorine pool?

A mineral pool and a chlorine pool differ in the way they are treated, as in a mineral pool, minerals such as magnesium chloride, sodium chloride, and potassium chloride are added instead of salt to the generator. This alternative treatment method reduces the reliance on chlorine by approximately 50%.

What is a brine swimming pool?

A brine swimming pool is a warm pool filled with salt water that offers numerous benefits when utilized. One of the advantages is its potential to alleviate stiffness in joints and muscles.

Do all swimming pools use chlorine?

All swimming pools use chlorine, whether it is generated on site from sodium chloride in salt-water pools or added through chlorine tablets or sticks in other types of chlorinated pools.

What is the best type of water for a pool?

The best type of water for a pool is chlorine, which is considered the “gold standard” due to its effectiveness in eliminating bacteria. It works by neutralizing impurities like sweat, dirt, urine, sunscreen, or body lotions through a chemical process. Chlorine can be added to the pool once a week, using liquid, tablets, or granular forms.

Is pool shock or liquid chlorine better?

The rephrased answer: Pool shock and liquid chlorine both contain the same active chemical for pool sanitation, but differ in strength and application method. Liquid chlorine, available in liquid form, is less expensive and unstabilized.

What is better mineral or salt water pool?

Mineral pools and saltwater pools are both effective in sanitizing the water, killing bacteria, and preventing algae growth. However, the water quality of a mineral pool is significantly better than that of a saltwater pool. Mineral pools require less chlorine for water sanitization compared to saltwater systems.

Is chlorine or salt water pool easier?

Saltwater pools are easier to maintain compared to chlorine systems due to their lower maintenance requirements. Unlike chlorine pools, saltwater pools do not require the use of algaecides to prevent algae growth on the walls or in the water. This is because the chlorine generator in saltwater pools automatically takes care of this task for you.

What type of pool water is easiest to maintain?

The easiest type of pool water to maintain is when the water chemistry is properly balanced and there is no issue with algae growth. It is important to ensure that the filter is circulating the water at least once per day to keep it clean and clear.

What pool water is best for skin?

The best pool water for skin is one that maintains a pH level between 7 and 7.6. If the water’s pH exceeds 8, it can put swimmers at risk of developing skin rashes, while a pH lower than 7 may cause stinging in the eyes. Various factors such as heavy rainfall, the number of individuals swimming, and the use of chemicals can influence the pH level of your pool water.

Is it better to fill a pool with hard or soft water?

It is recommended to fill a pool with water that has a calcium level between 100-400 ppm, according to most experts. If the calcium levels are too high, indicating hard water, you can balance the pool chemistry by adding soft water or using sodium supplements.

What is the healthiest type of pool water?

The healthiest type of pool water is a Maytronics Mineral Swim pool, which utilizes 100% natural Dead Sea minerals and ozone water purification to reduce the reliance on chlorinators. This pool type contains the fewest chemicals, resulting in a potential reduction of up to 80%.

Is salt water pool healthier than chlorine?

Saltwater pools are healthier than chlorine pools because they have lower chlorine levels, making them gentler on the eyes and skin. Studies suggest that saltwater systems may be a safer alternative to chlorine pools, as they eliminate the need for pool owners to store and handle harsh chemicals.

Is salt or chlorine pool healthier?

Salt pools are healthier than chlorine pools because they are gentler on your eyes and skin. Instead of subjecting your body to the chemicals found in traditionally chlorinated pools, salt pools generate chlorine naturally, acting as a natural disinfectant. This means that salt pools are not as harsh on your eyes or skin.

What is the most environmentally friendly pool?

The most environmentally friendly pool is a bio-pool, where water is cleansed using biological filters and aquatic plants, similar to those found in natural ecosystems. By eliminating the need for chemicals, bio-pools help preserve biodiversity and enhance the aesthetic appeal of their surroundings.

Does pool algae like high or low pH?

Pool algae typically thrives in environments with high pH levels, usually ranging from 8.2 to 8.7.

Is it safe to swim in a pool without chlorine?

It is not safe to swim in a pool without chlorine due to the potential breeding ground it creates for bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

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