Keep your swimming pool water clean and clear


It’s that time of year again to fill up the pool and make a splash. But did you know that even clear pool water can harbour disease-causing bacteria and viruses?

Good sanitation reduces the number of microorganisms to safe levels and keeps algae in check. This means testing the water daily and keeping the proper level of sanitizer in the water. This applies to all types of pools and spas, even inflatable and kiddie pools and saltwater pools.

Traditional pools are sanitized using chlorine- or bromine-based chemicals in granules, puck, tablet or liquid form, sometimes used with a dispenser. Saltwater pools rely on chlorine- or bromine-generating devices. Both the chemicals and the devices are also effective at controlling algae.

Although using a sanitizer regularly should prevent the excessive growth of algae, the more the sanitizer is used up to control algae, the less sanitizer there is left to control harmful micro-organisms. To tackle an algae problem, you may also need an algicide like a copper sulphate-based or a quaternary ammonium-based product.

Chemicals and devices that are used to control disease-causing organisms and algae in pool water are registered or scheduled by Health Canada. Look for the five-digit PCPA registration number on the front of the package or the mention “Scheduled under the Pest Control Products Act”. This is your assurance that Health Canada scientists have assessed any health hazards associated with using the product, and determined that it works.

General safety tips for using pool chemicals:

. Make sure to always read and follow the label directions. Instructions for devices that generate or dispense sanitizer can be found in the user’s manual, on the package, and on the device itself.

. Never smoke, drink or eat while using pool chemicals, and never mix pool chemicals together.

. Always store pool chemicals in their original containers out of reach of children and pets and away from food and beverages.

.Never use contents of an unlabeled container, and throw out unused or partially used product at provincial and municipal household hazardous waste disposal sites.

More information is available toll-free at 1-800-267-6315, or through e-mail at


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