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"Water and Oxygen are the most necessary elements of human life, so to use Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) in our pool or spa only seems natural. Hydrogen Peroxide is commonly used as an antiseptic cleanser, antifungal and natural whitener. If kept to low levels of concentration, H2O2 can actually promote a healthy environment for living tissue. In a pool or spa, Hydrogen Peroxide does this by Oxygenating and cleansing the skin." *
The pool service industry doesn’t want you to know about Hydrogen Peroxide. This treatment for your pool water is a healthy, effective and inexpensive alternative to chlorination. Hydrogen Peroxide systems are used by hospitals and medical centers around the world to keep the water in therapy pools and spas safe for their patients.
Hydrogen Peroxide (H2O2) is a powerful disinfectant and works by destroying organic pathogens at the molecular level. When it comes in contact with an organic substance it releases it’s extra oxygen atom. This process destroys the organic while converting the Hydrogen Peroxide into pure water. This system is effective and non-toxic. It produces pool water that is pure, totally safe and unlike chlorine, will not harm any surrounding landscaping splashed with pool water, make your eyes red or leave residual chemicals permanently in the water.
For swimming pool/spa applications the treated water is moved through a secondary filtering process including an Ultra Violet light. Any microbes not killed outright by the Hydrogen Peroxide are sterilized as the water passes through the powerful UV exposure tube. The entire "system" includes nothing more than pouring in the required amount of Hydrogen Peroxide and the addition of a UV light tube along with the normal filters, pumps, heaters etc. If desired, a special H2O2 injection system can be used to automate the process of maintaining proper levels in the water.
Purchased in 5-gallon containers, the food-grade Hydrogen Peroxide runs about $45/gallon. This bulk material comes in 35% solution compared to the 3% you can buy at the grocery store. It will take 3.5 gallons to start the average pool up with new water and the concentrate can be simply poured into the water. Protective goggles and gloves are required since the Hydrogen Peroxide is an oxidizer and (in it’s highly concentrated form) can irritate the skin and eyes. After that, simply add more as needed (1-5 cups per week) to keep the level at about 100 ppm using inexpensive test "dip strips" that cost about $14 for 50 on line.
Maintaining the levels of H2O2 suggested above will vary by the amount of organic material that comes into the water (leaves, dust, bird droppings) and by human usage that then also brings contaminating organics into the water. Keeping a cover on the pool when not in use will slow the loss of the Hydrogen Peroxide
The only real safety concerns are in the safe storage and handling of the product when adding it to the pool as mentioned above. For best results, keep the H2O2 in a secure cool and dark place like a basement. For convenience, you can transfer the material into smaller 1 gallon or quart plastic containers and refrigerate or freeze them for optimum storage. Keeping the material dark is important as UV light causes H2O2 to decompose.
Unlike other pool treatments, within the context of the water volume in a swimming pool, increasing the concentration levels of Hydrogen Peroxide to address high pool usage, after a party for instance, cannot reach a harmful level no matter how high a concentration you decide to use. This means there is NO danger of health problems even if you “accidentally” dose H2O2 at a level far in excess of what is actually needed to kill off the bacteria. Here’s an example: store bought H2O2 (that you can safely gargle with) is a 3% solution. To get the average pool/spa levels to a 3% solution would require adding around 1715 gallons of the H2O2 concentrate. That is quite a bit more Hydrogen Peroxide than you will be storing on site. A proper level will be at 100-200 parts per million, and even if you managed somehow to get enough hydrogen peroxide in the pool to raise it to 1000 parts per million, you'd still be nowhere close to 3%.
It is NOT necessary to shock your pool or hot tub if you are starting with fresh water although existing “chlorinated” pools, should be shocked to start using hydrogen peroxide. This means a relatively high level is used at a ratio of 1 cup of Hydrogen Peroxide concentration for every 250 gallons. For the initial shock treatment do not run your pump continuously. Rather, run it only long enough to circulate the water and then turn off the pump. Ideally, you should add the H2O2 at sunset and allow the water to sit 24 hours before turning the pump back on. The tub or pool may be used normally afterwards. H2O2 will not adversely interact with other pool chemicals.
HPS highly endorses the use of Hydrogen Peroxide as a healthy and effective alternative to chlorination for your family pool. If you are interested in converting we would be happy to assist in the process.