Are there any chemicals in a swimming pool besides chlorine that make the water unsafe to drink? If chlorine is the main problem, would the water eventually be safe X weeks after you stopped adding chlorine? The chlorine does : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

escape from the pool and has to be replaced each week to keep the algae and other green stuff from taking over. Has anyone done chemical testing on these issues who can provide reliable information? There are millions of pools out there. Some people may be willing to stop adding chemicals if to do so would produce a dependable supply of 20,000 gallons of pure drinking water. If one were to stop adding chemicals, is the algae and other green stuff dangerous? Could these problems be fixed by boiling the water? Is there an obscure product that could be used instead of chlorine that would make the water drinkable? Will the fancy 5 micron filters make the water safe?

If anyone knows the answers, you could be helping millions of people to survive. Thank You.

-- Tom (, March 28, 1999


The mix of chemicals that go into a swimming pool CAN be filtered out IF you want to spend quite a few bucks.

Nasty #1 are various aluminum compounds. These are added to the water to clarify it. Nasty #2 are various fungicides and algecides.

If I were going to depend on swimming pool water, I would drain the pool, scrub it down well, and then refill and treat ONLY with sodium or calcium hypochlorite. See my text file on this at

Now please note that I'm a picky son of a gun. Your standard tap water has aluminum clarifiers in it as well as flouride and the fact that chlorine is added in a less than ideal way causing reactions with various suppunded organics that create all sorts of minor health hazards.

If push comes to shove, I'ld drink the pool water straight up, nasties and all rather than risk kidney damage due to partial dehydration.

As for the algae, it's what you CAN'T see that is the problem usually. Since the chlorine gases off, treat the swimming pool water as if it were water from a stream that has a dead moose lying in it 1 mile upstream, ie. treat and filter it like any unknown water.

P.S. Speaking of unknown water, how much should everybody trust their municipal water after 1-1-00? It might not be a bad idea to treat all water you drink as unknown after 1-1-00. This can cut both ways, not having enough chlorine in the water is not good but having way too much flouride in it could be even worse.

-- Ken Seger (, March 28, 1999.

Speaking of which, is there an easy why to know if there is too much floride in the drinking water (other than dying)?

-- David Holladay (, March 28, 1999.

In a swimming pool, with people crawling in and out and the water is treated daily. You should be able to scoop up a hand full of water before the sun comes up and be able to smell the cholorine. If you can smell it it is germ free. But after the sun comes up the cholorine quickly leaves. This is because the sun will draw the cholorine out of the water. The biggest problem with swimming pool water is called TDS or total disolved solids. You can call the local water company and find out what is the normal TDS of your water. And you can have your pool water checked also. TDS in water is the Iron, Mag.,calcium, etc. that is in the water. It looks clean, but if you boil it in a pot, you will notice scale inside the pan. In a pool you are raising the TDS to ultra high levels. This happens because of evaporation and the adding of makeup water. Lets say your city water has a TDS of 500ppm. This is termed as 1 cycle. The water will stay this way until you add more water to makeup what was lost because of evaporation. Lets say you have a pot that will hold 2 gal. of water. You fill it up the first time and the TDS is 500ppm. One gallon evaporates. The 500ppm is still there in the pot. Only the water which turned into gas left the pot. Now you add another gallon of water. You just added another 500ppm to the pot. Now the TDS is 1000ppm. It doubled. It continues to do this until you stop adding water. The best way to keep the solids down is to bleed water out as you are adding fresh water. One of the things that happen when the TDS is high, is that it will scale up your plumbing, ruin your pump impellers. When the high TDS hits a hot object it will crap out on the hotter surface. Such as a pool heater. It will stop it up. As to what will happen when you drink it. It will have a chemical taste because of the high solids. Again, it looks clean, but these solids are disolved. They will come out when the temp. changes. Will is cause kidney stones? I don't know.

Now for the choroline, It is harmless to your system. All it does is add oxygen to the water. The oxygen kills bacteria. Just as a stream purifies water as it splashes over rocks. It adds oxygen to the water in this way.

If you have ever been to a waste treatment facility, the last step of treatment is letting the water flow down a series of steps. This adds Oxygen to the water to kill bacteria before letting it flow into a stream or river.

Call the local fire department and ask them about bleach. Is it safe to drink it. The only thing it will do is give you gas.

Now if you mix cholorine with organics, which are dead leaves, twigs, or anything that was 0nce alive, it can cause cancer. This is why the local water company's are adding cholorimane to the water supply. But they still add cholorine also.

The best way to treat your own water is to filter it, to remove the organics, and add cholorine.

Use the best filter you can get.

-- (, March 28, 1999.

Filtering and distillation are the only two safe methods I know of to remove the harmful compounds that Ken outlined. Both methods have their limitations, as one requires a supply of filter elements, and the other a source of heat, although a solar distiller will work well even in moderately sunny areas. I don't know if all pool chemicals would be removed by distilling, if anyone else knows please post. His idea of draining the pool sometime before Y2K - say in September if you live in the north - and refilling sans most chemicals has a lot of merit. Arrange to catch (clean) rainwater runoff in the pool, and you're all set.

-- sparks (, March 28, 1999.

If you let anyone else in the pool, this does include family members, I would be leery of, well, for lack of a better term, PISS. people love to pee in the pool, its done all the time. and, in case you are wondering, no I have never done it, I think its sick. but I have encountered many people throughout my life that thought it was REALLY FUNNY TO PISS IN THE POOL!

-- ed (, March 28, 1999.

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