I asked the man at the activity center check-in desk why the smell was so strong and he said, "Oh, you get used to it!" I told him that I would not get used to it and I was going to find an alternative and take it up with the parks department. We talked for awhile and he wished me luck.
After doing some research on the Internet, I found out there are basically six types of sanitizing systems for pools and spas: chlorine, biaguanide, mineral cartridge, salt, ozone generators and ionizers.
Chlorine seems to be the most popular means of sanitizing swimming pool water. However, its efficacy is affected by the pH, level of alkalinity, water temperature and number of people using the pool. In the case of heated pools, the chlorine may also be lost as vapor from the water. That is why I smelled so much chlorine at the activity center pool.
Another pool chemical contains biaguanide, and is sold as Baquacil and Soft Swim. Biaguanide provides higher-quality water than chlorine treatment but is expensive, costing two to three times more than chlorine. Biaguanide is purchased in bulk and you must add it to the pool water regularly. There are reports of having to use more of the product as time goes by to achieve the same results.
Mineral cartridge systems, sold under the trademarked names of Nature2, Vision and FROG, kill contaminants in the water as it passes through the cartridge. It is recommended that you run your pump and filter 24/7, which uses electricity. While these cartridge systems do reduce the need for chlorine or other chemical oxidizing treatment, they do not eliminate the need for these chemicals.
Researching salt water pools, which are popular in some resorts I have visited, seemed like a good idea. However, salt generators also produce chlorine, in small amounts, from sodium. The cell must run 24/7, which uses electricity. Also, you must maintain the proper water chemistry and the cell must remain free of mineral deposits for it to function properly.
Ozone generators use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria. Ozone generators only kill contaminants in the ozone chamber and provide no ongoing protection to the water in the pool. To be effective, the pool pump must run most of the time, and you still have to add chlorine and other chemicals to the pool.
Solar and electric ionizers kill organic substances in the water. However, a pool ionizer alone does not sanitize your swimming pool water. Ionizers require chlorine or other type of chemical oxidation to be added to the water.
I found a website, ecosmartepool.com, which claims that you may have a chemical free pool that is safe and sanitary. "Like swimming in bottled water" is their tag line.
The ecosmarte system for pools, spas and ponds:
. . . creates two sanitizing agents, copper ionization and liquid oxidation. As water flows from your pump back to your pool it travels through the ECOsmarte ionization/oxidation chamber. While in the chamber, the water will either receive copper ions or become oxygenated depending on the setting of the switch on the controller.Copper ionization and liquid oxidation is natural, which means it is safe for people and the environment. They also sell pool filter glass packs made from 100 percent post-consumer recycled glass. Ecosmarte is an environmentally friendly company that donates donates 5 percent of their profits to environmental charities.
Ecosmarte is the system I am going to suggest the parks department use in activity center pool. Wish me luck!