How To Purify Swimming Pool Water For Drinking

Importance of Purifying Swimming Pool Water for Drinking

Swimming pools are a great source of relaxation and fun during the hot summer months. However, it is important to note that pool water is not suitable for drinking without proper purification. In this article, we will explore the various methods and techniques used to purify swimming pool water to ensure safe drinking.

Health risks associated with consuming untreated pool water

Consuming untreated pool water can pose serious health risks due to the presence of harmful bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants. These contaminants can cause gastrointestinal illnesses such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, they may even lead to more severe infections that require medical attention.

Need for proper purification methods to ensure safe drinking water

To ensure the safety of individuals who may be in need of clean drinking water during emergencies or survival situations when fresh water sources are scarce or contaminated, it becomes crucial to have effective purification methods in place. Properly treated pool water can serve as an emergency source of potable (drinkable) water if necessary precautions are taken.

Testing and Balancing Pool Water Chemistry

Maintaining proper chemical balance in swimming pool waters is essential for both recreational purposes and potential use as a source of drinkable water. Let’s delve into the importance of regular testing and how to achieve balanced chemistry.

Importance of regular water testing

Regularly testing your pool’s chemistry is vital because it allows you to monitor various factors such as pH levels, alkalinity levels,and calcium hardness which all affect its quality.The key parameters that need monitoring include:

  • pH Levels: The ideal pH range should be between 7.2 – 7.6 on a scale from 0-14.
  • Alkalinity Levels: Alkalinity helps stabilize pH levels; aim for a range between 80 -120 parts per million (ppm).
  • Calcium Hardness: Maintaining calcium levels between 200 – 400 ppm helps prevent corrosion and scale buildup.

Adjusting pH levels

To adjust pH levels, use chemicals like sodium bisulfate (dry acid) to lower the pH or sodium carbonate (soda ash) to increase it. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and avoid adding large amounts at once. Instead, add small quantities gradually until reaching desired levels.

Balancing alkalinity and calcium hardness

Maintaining proper alkalinity is crucial for stabilizing pH. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can be used to increase alkalinity while muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate can be added in small doses to decrease it.

Calcium hardness affects water balance, especially when using pool water as a drinking source. Calcium chloride or calcium hypochlorite can be used to raise calcium hardness if necessary, whereas dilution with fresh water may be required if calcium levels are too high.

Filtration Systems for Pool Water Purification

Filtration systems play a vital role in removing impurities from swimming pool waters before considering them safe for drinking purposes. Let’s explore different types of filtration systems available:

Sand filters

Sand filters are one of the most common types of filtration systems used in pools due to their effectiveness and ease of maintenance. They work by trapping particles as water passes through layers of sand within the filter tank.

Cartridge filters

Cartridge filters utilize replaceable cartridges made up of pleated polyester fabric or other materials that capture debris as water flows through them. These filters offer excellent filtration capability but require periodic cleaning or replacement when they become clogged with debris.

Diatomaceous earth (DE) filters

Diatomaceous earth filters consist of grids coated with diatomaceous earth powder that traps even smaller particles than sand or cartridge-based alternatives.This type provides superior filtration performance but requires more frequent backwashing compared to other options.

Choosing the right filtration system for drinking water purification depends on factors such as the size of the pool, maintenance requirements, and desired level of filtration.

Chlorination and Disinfection Methods

Chlorination is a crucial step in disinfecting pool water to make it safe for consumption. Let’s explore different methods used to chlorinate and disinfect swimming pools:

Role of chlorine in pool water disinfection

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Chlorine is widely used as a disinfectant due to its ability to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms present in pool water. When added to water, chlorine reacts with organic matter like sweat or urine, forming hypochlorous acid which eliminates pathogens.

Different methods of chlorination

  1. Traditional chlorine tablets: These slow-dissolving tablets are commonly used in residential pools by placing them into floating dispensers or automatic chlorinators.
  2. Saltwater chlorination systems: These systems use electrolysis to convert salt into chlorine through a process known as electrolytic cell sanitization.
  3. UV disinfection systems: Ultraviolet (UV) light can be employed alongside traditional chemical treatments or as a standalone method for killing bacteria and viruses.

Each method has its pros and cons based on factors like cost-effectiveness, effectiveness against specific contaminants,salt levels,and ease of maintenance.

Additional Water Treatment Techniques

In addition to filtration and chlorination methods discussed above,various techniques further enhance the quality of treated pool waters:


Ozonation involves injecting ozone gas into the pool water which effectively oxidizes contaminants without leaving any residual chemicals behind.It acts quickly against microorganisms but does not provide long-term protection against subsequent contamination.

Activated carbon filtration

Activated carbon filters are effective at removing impurities from the water by adsorbing organic compounds onto their porous surface.This technique helps improve taste,makes odorless,and removes some chemical contaminants.However,it may require frequent replacement depending on usage levels.

Reverse osmosis

Reverse osmosis uses a semi-permeable membrane to remove impurities and contaminants from the water.This process requires high pressure to force water molecules through the membrane,leaving behind most of the dissolved solids. It is effective but may have lower flow rates and higher energy consumption compared to other methods.


Ionization systems utilize copper or silver ions released into pool waters to kill bacteria and algae without requiring high levels of traditional chemicals like chlorine.Ionizers can be used alongside chlorination as an additional layer of protection against contamination.

Maintenance and Cleaning Practices

Proper maintenance and cleaning practices are essential for keeping swimming pool waters clean,safe,and suitable for drinking. Here are some key practices:

Regular pool cleaning to remove debris

Regularly removing leaves,insects,and other debris from your pool helps prevent their accumulation which can lead to microbial growth,cloudiness,and reduced efficiency in filtration systems.Use a skimmer net or automatic cleaner as necessary.

Backwashing and cleaning the filtration system

Backwashing involves reversing water flow within filters,removing trapped debris.Timing varies based on filter type,but a general rule is backwashing when pressure increases by 10 psi above normal operating level.Regularly inspecting,cleaning,replacing cartridges,sand,checmical balance may also be needed depending on filter type.Avoid overuse of chemical additives in efforts towards maintenance;maintain proper levels only via recommended guidelines found with test kit instructions.

Proper storage and handling of chemicals

Ensure all chemicals used for treating your swimming pool are stored safely in original containers,following manufacturers’ instructions.Avoid mixing different types directly,rather add them separately into water.Contaminating various chemicals could result in hazardous reactions.Always wear appropriate protective equipment such as gloves,goggles or masks when handling potentially harmful substances.Seek professional help if unsure about safety measures required during storage,handling,dilution ratios,mixing procedures or disposal of chemicals.

Ensuring Water Quality and Safety

Maintaining water quality and safety is an ongoing process that involves regular monitoring,identifying signs of contamination,and taking necessary actions. Here are some important steps to consider:

Regular water testing and monitoring

Regularly test your pool’s water chemistry using a reliable test kit.Monitor pH levels,alkalinity,chlorine level,cyanuric acid level,and other parameters as per the recommended guidelines.A well-maintained pool should have appropriate chemical balance and clear appearance.Seek professional assistance if unsure about interpreting results or addressing specific issues.

Signs of contaminated water and necessary actions

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If you notice any unusual changes in color,odor,taste,or clarity of your pool waters,it may indicate potential contamination.Stop using the pool for drinking purposes until proper treatment has been administered.Identify possible sources of contamination such as animal waste,fecal matter,bacterial growth,or chemical imbalances.Take immediate action by disinfecting the pool following approved methods based on contaminant type.Get professional help if needed to address complex issues.

Importance of professional pool maintenance services

While regular DIY maintenance is essential,sometimes it becomes necessary to seek professional assistance for specialized tasks.Professionals possess expertise,knowledge,and tools required for effective cleaning,sanitizing,balancing,pool repair jobs.Prioritize safety while enjoying clean swimming experiences through professionals’ guidance when required.


Ensuring safe drinking water from swimming pools requires diligent purification methods,maintenance practices,and careful consideration towards various factors involved.Pool owners need to be aware of the importance of regularly testing their pools’ chemistry,optimal filtration systems suitable for drinking purpose,storing chemicals safely,taking proactive measures against contaminants.Utilize information available within this article as a valuable guide toward achieving high-quality potable (drinkable)pool waters.Enjoy refreshing dips while ensuring safety during unforeseen emergencies where access to municipal supplies might be disrupted.



  1. Gallons of water: A unit of measurement used to quantify the volume of water.
  2. Water filters: Devices or systems that remove impurities and contaminants from water.
  3. Animals: Living organisms that can impact the cleanliness and safety of pool water if they enter it.
  4. Disasters: Unexpected events or emergencies that may disrupt regular access to clean drinking water.
  5. Potable water: Safe and suitable for drinking or consumption by humans.
  6. Water vapor: The gaseous form of water present in the atmosphere, usually invisible to the naked eye.
  7. Tap water: Water supplied through a municipal system and intended for domestic use, including drinking.
  8. Source of water: The origin or starting point from which a body of water is derived (e.g., rivers, lakes).
  9. Water bottle: A container designed for holding and carrying drinkable liquids such as purified or bottled water.
    10 CleanwaterCleanWaterfilteringBottledwaterPoolwatersafe-PoolChemicalsGrowthofAlgaeAcidsPeriodoftimeGroundAgentPoolownersafewlevel

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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