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Is there a chemical-free way to keep pool water safe and healthy, that is without chlorine or bromine?

How about using UV radiation to sterilize the water?

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Bromine, while still a chemical, is "less nasty" than chlorine. It doesn't hurt the swimmer's eyes, for example. – Charles Burns Sep 26 '12 at 16:48

Still chlorinated, but if handling chemicals is the issue, how about a salt water pool?

The alternative I've seen pushed is copper-oxygen system. I can't say how effective it is, but last I checked it is not approved by the EPA for sanitizing water. I've also read that they take more attention and care.

Just based on experience having a pool in full sunlight - UV isn't going to do the job by itself. I think the filters they sell are designed to reduce your chemical dependency, but not eliminate it. Same with ozone generators.

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Definitely look into salt water pools to use less chemicals (unfortunately there still is some chemicals). And you do not really know it is salt water (it's not like the ocean salt water). – Jeff Widmer Nov 14 '10 at 0:47
Salt water pool is the way to go, but you can tell that it is salt water. It isn't like the ocean, but: * It is very slightly salty * It doesn't hurt to open your eyes underwater * There is a small but noticeable additional buoyancy force – mankoff Nov 14 '10 at 6:35
A salt water pool is still a pool that uses chlorine, it's just using electrolysis to generate Cl ions from the salt. You will still need to do Chlorine batch adds occasionally to maintain your FC level if the Salt Water Chlorine Generator can't keep up. – kkeilman Jun 20 '12 at 18:16

Salt pool and baquasil are your two best options. (although technically salt is chlorine)

Remember, you're trying to kill all living things in the pool. "no chemicals" and "no living things" tend to be mutually exclusive.

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in related news, this is why cancer treatments tend to be ... tricky – Jeff Atwood Nov 14 '10 at 6:02
"Kill all living things" probably includes swimmers. – Edwin Buck Sep 26 '12 at 19:06

Ozone treatment is another option. I have swum in two ozone pools - the two obvious benefits:

  • very clear water. Unlike chlorine or bromine, which both make the water cloudy, ozone treatment leaves the water incredibly clear
  • no stinging eyes. This makes a huge difference to me, as my eyes react quite badly to chlorine.

This site has some info: http://www.lenntech.com/library/ozone/swimming-pool/ozone-applications-swimming-pool-water.htm

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