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Chlorination & Pee in the Pool: The Chemistry of Swimming Pools
Swimming pools are a brilliant way of cooling off during a hot summer. Of course, this isn’t a particularly original idea, and hundreds of people might use a particular pool every day. Chemistry is on hand to help prevent us from swimming in water that harbours potential water-borne infections. It can also help out with the cardinal sin of pool-peeing, though not without consequence. It does this, as you likely already know, through the chlorination of pool water – although it’s less simple than you might think!
Firstly, how is water chlorinated? You might expect that it’s accomplished using chlorine, but it’s actually become quite rare to chlorinate pools using chlorine itself. This is because of the toxic nature of chlorine gas, which makes it tricky to store, and potentially hazardous to health if an accident were to occur. Instead, other chemicals which can also accomplish water chlorination are used instead.