The Glorious History of Chlorine Pools
<p> Take a journey down the refreshing history of chlorine pools.</p>
The sun is shining and the red bulb in the thermometer keeps going up and up. Know what would feel great on this toasty summer afternoon? A refreshing dip in your backyard pool. You don a suit, grab a towel and head out your backdoor. As you immerse yourself in the crystal blue water, you realize that life just doesn't get any better than this.
Yep, a dip in your very own outdoor oasis can be just the ticket. People have been enjoying just such a luxury for generations. Have you ever wondered just how long those delightful chlorine pools have been in existence? Read on, and we'll give you the lowdown on how and when chlorine pools got their start.
Origins of Swimming
Swimming began as early as 2500 B.C., and was particularly popular with early Egyptians and Romans. In fact, Greeks and Romans incorporated swimming into their formal education and all boys who attended school were also taught how to swim. The sport moved into England in the early part of the 19th century, when swim clubs were established. In 1885, Captain Matthew Webb became the first person to swim across the English Channel using his favorite stroke, the breaststroke. Swimming was part of the first formal Olympic games in 1896 and have played a prominent role in the competitions ever since.
The Discovery of Chlorine
Chlorine was discovered near the end of the 18th century, by Swedish pharmacist Carl Wilhem Scheele. It was named as an official element in 1810 and was first used as a germicide in 1846. In the early 1900's the addition of chlorine to drinking water helped curb deaths due to typhoid. When its ability to prevent illness was discovered, it quickly moved to the United States as well.
A Union is Formed
Although swimming and the discovery of chlorine date back centuries, the two did not form an amicable union for quite some time. Until the introduction of chlorine into swimming pools in the middle of the last century, public pools were used at one's own risk, because there was no effective way to keep germs and bacteria out of the water. In 1948, the EPA registered the safe use of chlorine in pools as a means of sanitizing the water.
Since that time, chlorine use in swimming pools has continued to be refined as scientists discover safer and more efficient ways to use the substance for this purpose. Today, chlorine is found in four distinct forms; gas, liquid, granular and solid. Any of these forms can be used effectively for keeping the pool clean and sanitized and for periodic shock treatments that provide a more thorough cleaning.
Although chlorine is still the number one option for pool sanitization today, other cleaning methods are coming to the forefront as well. Salt and other minerals have been found to be equally effective in keeping pools safe and clean without causing some of the unpleasant side effects seen with chlorine. Still the discovery of chlorine as a water sanitizer opened the initial door to safer, healthier swimming across the globe.