Many spa and pool owners become concerned about the chlorine smell coming from their pool. Yet, it might not actually be chlorine, but a chlorine-based chemical. Strong chlorine odors can be due to a chemical compound in the chloramine family. Some chloramines form when chlorine disinfectants react with nitrogen-based substances that come from the bodies of swimmers, including urine.
Chloramines begin as ammonia. Although household ammonia has a very strong odor, ammonia has no odor when heavily diluted in water. When chlorine is added to water in large amounts, it breaks ammonia down into nitrogen gas and hydrogen as water. But if the amount of nitrogen increases (from peeing in the pool) the balance between chlorine and nitrogen is disturbed and the ammonia is only partially destroyed.
Trichloramine is commonly mistaken for the assumption of there being too much chlorine in the pool. This and dichloramine are responsible for the odor you might smell when you enter an indoor pool area with poor air circulation. This chemical can also turn swimmers’ eyes red.
It’s important to routinely test and adjust the chlorine levels in your pool. This will help prevent the spread of germs and bacteria that cause recreational water illnesses.
If you have questions about pool maintenance and chlorine smells, contact a Swim-mor professional or fill out our contact form.