Pool Info: Enzyme Pool 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 visible and 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 by digesting them. Enzymes are not living creatures, but are biological molecules. Enzymes are commonly used to clean up oil spills, and are especially effective in backwater inlets and bayous. Specific types of enzymes are used in swimming pools, to absorb oils, dirt and organic contaminants, in the water and in the pool filter.
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 oils", from tanning lotions, 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. They do this by breaking down contaminants into their base components of carbon and water. After the conversion is complete, the enzyme continues to work, unaffected by conversion process.
Two popular brands of pool enzymes are Eclipse 3, Orb-3 and Natural Chemistry. You can also buy enzyme containers as large as 275 gallon totes of enzymes for very large pools, or groups of pools.