Most swimming pools use chlorine to keep the water clean. When used in high amounts, chlorine can irritate the swimmer’s eyes, skin and can even cause asthma. There have been many ideas over the years to try and reduce the amount of chlorine used in public and private swimming pools for those reasons. One recent experiment used an enzyme that reduces the phosphates in the water chemistry. This helps the chlorine immensely because the phosphates fight the chlorine and make it less efficient in cleaning the water. If the phosphate levels in pools are already low, then this enzyme would not be too effective to reduce the chlorine in-take.

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection granted a project that consisted of two public swimming pools that used chlorine as their basic cleaning agent. The levels of phosphate in both pools exceeded 200ppb, which meant that the basic food-grade enzyme used would be effective. These swimming pools are required to use 2ppm of chlorine in pool at all times, so that was ensured to stay the same. The DEP kept track of the amount of enzymes added and managed to save each pool about 60 percent of chlorine each day.

This can be very beneficial to household swimming pools in the years to come. If the enzymes can be used to reduce the amount of chlorine from 1 gallon per day to 1 gallon every two or three days, that would be a significant amount of savings each pool season. Now, the enzymes do cost a chunk of change, so to see if this will be completely helpful to the private sector of the pool industry is too early to tell just yet. However, this is a great start to change how the water is treated and how it will react to the swimmers in the pool. Both pools that ran this experiment reported that the customers and workers had positive reviews for the enzyme treatment, saying that the water quality was better and the air seemed better around the pool too.