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Living Water (Part 2)

Public baths and swimming pools as hazardous media - water composition analysis and expert advice for health

The prolonged pandemic and the continuous mutations that are still emerging today and their increasingly researched after-effects have contributed significantly to a radical change in the way people think about health and quality of life. As a result, people are prioritising the health and overall well-being of themselves and their family members. Since the pandemic has emphasised the importance of good health, the need for a healthy lifestyle is at the top of people’s motivational preference scales in almost every country, and in most cases, at the top of the list, according to current professional research.

Prevention is the best investment

Spas, swimming pools, and pool facilities were among the first to close when the pandemic broke out, and today, with persistently high inflation and runaway energy prices, they are again facing very serious challenges to operate economically. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that the owners and managers of operating companies, in addition to dealing with day-to-day problems, are fully aware of the mindset and decision-making mechanisms of their domestic and international target groups and the drastic changes that are taking place. They should recognise that any crisis – and the current one is no exception ¬– presents not only temporary difficulties but also significant market opportunities, provided they are able to adapt their services and products to the changed consumer expectations. In the coming period, the need to prevent illnesses will be one of, if not the most important of these expectations, and as a result, should be the main “investment” for spa and pool operators.

Ensuring a high level of cleanliness and disinfection in spas, swimming pools, and thermal baths was a fundamental requirement even before the pandemic. As a result of the health awareness raised by COVID, these expectations have been drastically increased by users, who are now much more aware of the need to seek out places where they are not exposed to the harmful effects on their health that chlorine has on water disinfection, in addition to its dominant disinfectant role, and its serious adverse health effects. There is now a proven, safe substitute for chlorine used for disinfection that can convince the remaining solvent demand in the market that bathing in such treated waters is healthy. With a significant proportion of solvent demand disappearing from the market as a result of the economic recession and inflation, and many households spending only on necessities, it will be critical for spas, swimming pools, and health resorts to appeal to this reduced customer base in the period ahead. To achieve this, the use of chlorine-free solutions, which can maintain the satisfaction and confidence of the remaining paying customers through health awareness and disease prevention, is a viable long-term tool.

Chlorine-free disinfection for a long life

Although the majority of pool owners, spa and hotel managers spend considerable sums on water maintenance, they still often try to reduce exposure to microbial pathogens by adding more chlorine, which of course, adds to the residual chlorine already present. Chlorination results in the release of more than 70 identified unwanted by-products and compounds in water, which cause cardiovascular disease and are also responsible for the development of cancers, mainly gastrointestinal, bladder, and rectal cancers, which are among the leading causes of death in the adult population. For this reason, it is now a realistic expectation for establishments targeting the premium public to disinfect and treat their spa, thermal, and pool waters without chlorine so that there is no risk of chlorine being ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. The process, which can also be applied to water with high ammonium or organic content, is completely safe and does not alter the medicinal properties of the water, or its unique and essential composition. It is therefore critical that anyone spending a significant amount of money to build a state-of-the-art, top-of-the-range swimming or leisure pool should be aware of the exact composition of the spring water and the most effective disinfection solutions adapted to it, including chlorine-free disinfection, as required in the post-pandemic period.

The benefits of chlorine-free water treatment:

  • no carcinogenic THM compounds, which are by-products of chlorination, are released into the water,
  • it does not alter the composition of the water’s medicinal properties,
  • no chlorate is formed, which damages haemoglobin in the blood,
  • it is also effective against chlorine-resistant bacteria (Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Legionella),
  • does not dry out the skin,
  • does not irritate the eyes,
  • odourless,
  • does not interact with other substances in the water,
  • biodegrades without residues,
  • does not affect the pH of the water and its effectiveness is independent of it.

Expert institutes

Just as the quality of the incoming water, the environment, the number of bathers, and the characteristics of the water individually determine the chemical composition of the water, the disinfection procedure should be determined individually on the basis of independent testing by expert institutes with a highly professional laboratory background. This will ensure that the disinfectant dosage is accurately adjusted, thus safely eliminating the risk of unwanted by-products caused by chlorine.


The WATERCOMP INSTITUTE is the first independent laboratory specialising in water testing to provide its partners not only with a detailed expert opinion on the water sample tested, but also with a detailed, itemised recommendation for use and disinfection. The aim of the water testing packages is to provide the customer with an objective expert opinion, tailored to the parameters of the water in question, from recognised experts in the field of water testing in Hungary, on modern chlorine or chlorine-free disinfection procedures tailored to the exact composition of the water, which will help to ensure not only the purity of the water but also the long-term health of the bathers. The WATERCOMP INSTITUTE’s knowledge is based on 27 years of water analysis experience, several patents, and the testing and complex treatment recommendations of many leading spas, hotels, and private pools.