May 21, 2024 at 9:11 am

Why Too Strong Of A Chlorine Smell Might Be A Reason To Get Out Of The Pool

by Trisha Leigh

Source: Shutterstock

Nothing smells quite like summer as much as walking into your local pool (or your backyard) and getting a quick whiff of chlorine.

Like summer vacation, right?

But listen – while a little chlorine is necessary to keep shared water that’s open to the elements safe to swim in, too much is definitely a bad thing.

That’s because the smell actually comes from something called “chloramines,” and they give off that smell when they react with ammonia from the sweat, body oils, and urine in the water.


Source: Shutterstock

One, two, or three of ammonia’s hydrogen ions can be replaced with chlorine. The first, monochloramine, is sometimes added to pools as a disinfectant.

The other two, dichloramine and trichloramine, are what actually give off the “chlorine smell” you (used to) know and love.

The more a pool smells, the less free chlorine is in the pool, meaning it’s time to add more, according to Water Quality & Health Council.

“It is good advice, to stay out of the water when a strong chemical smell pervades the air around any type of pool, indoor or outdoor.”

They go on, even if we wish they wouldn’t.

“It is true that the more urine there is to combine with chlorine, the higher the level of unwanted, smelly chloramines in the pool. Following that thread, if chlorine is combining chemically with contaminants like urine, then it is not available to destroy germs in the pool that can make swimmers sick with diarrhea, swimmer’s ear, and various skin infections.”

One team of chemists, from the University of Alberta, is here to make your life even more miserable.

Source: Shutterstock

They measured the artificial sweeteners that pass through humans and into their pee, and estimated that in a typical 220,000 gallon commercial-sized swimming pool, about 20 gallons of that is whiz.

At home, that translates to about 2 gallons of whiz, depending on how willing your family is to whizzing in the pool.

Y’all. Stop.

I’m finished now.

If you thought that was interesting, you might like to read a story that reveals Earth’s priciest precious metal isn’t gold or platinum and costs over $10,000 an ounce!