(ORDO NEWS) — It is hard to imagine that today you would “drink some water from the local river”. However, there were times before when people drank water wherever it was.
Of course, our ancestors did not have a deep understanding of microbes or bacteria, but now that we have a wealth of scientific knowledge behind us, we are constantly wondering about the purity of water.
Many people today avoid open water bodies (rivers, lakes) and never swim in them, because in such places there is a huge risk of catching an infection.
What about pools? Usually they are in the open air and are visited by a huge number of people! Dust, debris, microscopic spores, sweat, cosmetics, saliva, urine… how is pool water cleaned?
To purify water , the mechanism of “chlorination” is used. A solution of chlorine is added to the water, which then breaks down into a number of chemical compounds, which mainly include hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and hypochlorite ions.
To maximize the cleaning potential of chlorine, it is important that the pH of the pool water is neither too high nor too low. The pH range of pool water is between 7 and 8.4, but 7.4 is ideal.
But why chlorine? Chlorine, in the form of hypochlorous acid or hypochlorite ions, purifies water by acting on lipids in the cell walls of bacteria and other microorganisms.
In addition, chlorine also acts on the structures and enzymes inside bacterial cells, making them completely harmless. Since microorganisms pose a significant threat in water, chlorine does an exceptional job of killing them and making the water acceptable for human use.
While chlorine certainly helps in disinfecting water, the potential downsides of treating pool water with chlorine cannot be ignored. It has a very pungent, characteristic smell that many people don’t particularly like, and it can also cause itchy skin, which can be critical for many people.
Hypochlorite ions can also stick to tissues if they are not washed off immediately after leaving the pool. It is for this reason that swimsuits fade rather quickly. At unusually high concentrations, chlorine can even cause breathing problems and be hazardous to human health.
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