Alternative Sanitizers are anything other than chlorine that disinfect or purify the water. But only one is a complete standalone system, and could be called chlorine-free. Other forms of alternative sanitizers are used as supplemental support for chlorine, and are not usually used as the primary sanitizer.
A mineral purifier uses the power of copper and silver ions to fight bacteria and algae. Not to be confused with power ionizers, purifiers from Frog and Nature2 use erosion feeders, with replaceable six month cartridges.
Not a standalone sanitizer, but can be used to reduce the need for chlorine. After shocking to initialize the cartridge, you can let the chlorine level drift down to 0.5 ppm, and have brighter, more sparkling water.
Guaranteed not to stain the pool, and replacement cartridges are cheap and easy to buy.
Ozone is 200 times more powerful than chlorine. It kills 100% of micro organisms that it comes into contact with. Ozone gas is created by a small wall mounted unit and is pumped through a hose into the return line.
Not a standalone sanitizer, due to the inability to contain the gas in the pool, which rises quickly once it reaches the pool. It can however, allow you to use much less chlorine, as a supplemental sanitizer. Requires new hose, and a renewal kit or module every few years, also cheap and easy to buy.
Splashes is a 27% hydrogen peroxide based biguanide system of pool care. it is completely chlorine free, and requires only weekly addition of liquid chemicals to the pool. Testing is done with AquaChek Blue test strips.
Splashes is the only standalone sanitizer that can both sanitize and oxidize. It's odorless, and is classified as a disinfectant. Neutralizes ammonia, urea, algae, bacteria and viruses. it is not compatible with chlorine products.
May require changing filter media (sand, cartridge) every few years, as they tend to gum up.
Natural Chemistry Products
Natural Chemistry started with their enzyme product, Pool Perfect®, and enzyme water treatment is still the primary focus of their product line. Enzymes attach themselves to, and digest oily bacteria in the pool and inside your filter.
Enzymes are not a standalone sanitizer, in fact it's not a sanitizer at all. But it does remove substance from the pool that chlorine has a hard time neutralizing. Other good products by Natural Chemistry include Metal Free and Phos-Free, Phos-Floc and Pool Purge.
Using Enzymes to consume oils, Phos-Floc to remove phosphates will reduce your chlorine requirements.
Not really an Alternative Sanitizer, as salt systems create chlorine, from slightly salty water - but you could consider it alternate to using chlorine tablets and shock. After adding salt, the electrically charged salt cell creates chlorine, right in the pipe.
A salt system is a stand alone system, you could require little else, other than water balancing chemicals, and stabilizer. However, you may still need to use some pool shock, for spring openings, or algae blooms, or if the salt system or pool pump/filter stops working.
Requires a new salt cell every 4-5 years, and small annual boosters of salt. The salt cell will cost you, but the salt is cheap and plentiful.
Using Alternative Sanitizers (alternative to chlorine, that is) can make your pool water more enjoyable. I personally use a salt system, a Nature2 purifier and enzymes in my own pool. I've never had a single problem, and algae stays far away from my pool. My neighbor combines ozone and minerals on his pool, with monthly shocking, and his pool is essentially chlorine free, and trouble free.
Let us know if we can advise you on alternative ways to sanitize your pool water! Call 800-983-POOL to speak with any of the SPP Pool Experts.
SPP Pool Expert