Pool Info: Enzyme Water Treatment

Enzyme Water Treatment


The use of enzymes in pool and spa water treatment has come into its own in recent years. Having been around for ages, enzymes exist in every living (and dead) organism on the planet. The purpose of an enzyme is to break down organic matter. They do their job well, in plants and animals. Enzyme use in pools helps reduce sanitizer demand by consuming invisible organic matter in the pool or spa.


What they are most effective at is destroying oils, fats, detergents, dirt, pollen, and all other sorts of organic material. They do this by breaking down particles into their base components. Enzymes are commonly used to clean up oil spills, and are especially effective in backwater inlets and bayous. It's also effective in preventing foaming in pools and spas.

For large commercial pools, using enzymes in the pool can reduce sanitizer demand and shocking, while breaking down the oils that deposit themselves on the tile line and skimmers. Pools with excessive "bather oil", from tanning oils, hair treatments and cosmetics, can develop filtration problems as these oils "gum-up" a pool filter. Regular enzyme use in such pools will increase filter run cycles and the lifespan of the pool filter media.

A popular use of enzymes is as a winter chemical for pools with mesh safety covers. Using a quart of enzyme in the fall, or adding it in early spring, a few months before opening, reduces the amount of algae growth in the late spring. For mesh covered pools that always tend to open green, using an enzyme as part of the winterization process can greatly reduce spring clean up.

Enzymes are not needed in every pool, but can be a great time saver and chemical saver in pools that see high use or large organic contamination. Or one whose bathers are using a little too much suntan oil - or not showering before swimming. Enzymes help remove the contaminants from pools that provide the building blocks of much larger water chemistry problems.

Two popular brands of pool enzymes are Orb-3 and Natural Chemistry. Both companies also provide containers as large as 275 gallon totes of enzymes ~ if you have a small natural disaster on your hands.