What Are Phosphates In A Swimming Pool? [Fact Checked!]

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Phosphates are chemicals with the symbol PO43-. They are similar to phosphates in that they can donate a +3 charge to another molecule. Like phosphates, their key use in modern society is as a component in detergents, lubricants, and antiseptics.

In swimming pools, phosphates are an important component in a swimming pool water treatment product. They are added to prevent algae growth and to make the water more alkaline. Algae growth in swimming pools can lead to the development of slime which can clog the filters and other parts of the pool’s plumbing system. In addition, algae growth in pool water can also cause health problems for swimmers. Algae (particularly green algae) contain toxic substances which can accumulate in the body of a person who regularly swims in the water.

Why Are Phosphates Important In Swimming Pools?

As mentioned above, phosphates can donate a positive charge to other molecules. This makes them extremely useful in neutralizing positively-charged molecules in drinking water. These molecules are most often present in detergents, antiseptics, and lubricants. However, they are also important for maintaining the right osmotic pressure in body fluids. The osmotic pressure of your blood is important because it prevents harmful substances from entering your cells. The kidneys play a crucial role in maintaining this pressure by removing excess fluid from your body as you drink. Excess fluid can lead to health problems such as heart disease and high blood pressure. When you drink water, it is essential that the osmotic pressure of your blood remains high enough to prevent these problems from occurring.

When your blood pressure is low, your kidneys are unable to remove excess fluids from your body as efficiently as they should. This leads to your body building up harmful toxins which it doesn’t need. The solution is to maintain a healthy blood pressure by being sure that your kidneys are functioning correctly. This is why phosphates are so important for maintaining the right osmotic pressure in your blood when you swim in a pool.

How Do Phosphates Work?

Upon reaching alkaline pH levels, phosphates undergo a chemical change which makes them more effective at cleaning algae. This is why they are most often found in cleaning products for swimming pools. They act as a sharpening agent which makes them very efficient at removing algae stains. When used in conjunction with other chemicals in pool water, phosphates can reduce the amount of algae in your pool by up to 95% in just a few days.

In addition to cleaning algae, phosphates improve the overall alkalinity of your pool water. Your body naturally contains phosphates which it uses to keep your blood alkaline. However, due to various toxins in the environment, your body is unable to produce enough phosphates on its own. This is why you need to be sure to include them in your pool water treatment regimen whether you are cleaning it yourself or have it done professionally. You can’t have too much alkalinity in your pool as it will upset the pH balance of your water and cause damage to your pool’s ecosystem.

What Forms Do Phosphates Come In?

While the above illustration shows the typical form in which the above-mentioned compounds exist, they can also come in a variety of forms including a powder, granules, or even a crystalized form. You must use the correct delivery system for the particular application you have in mind. The most common forms are generally available and thus easy to use by any home pool owner.

How Many Phosphates Should I Use?

The amount of phosphates you need will depend largely on the size of your pool and how frequently you use it. Since algae grows in straight lines, the more you have, the more you will grow. Thus, if you have a large pool, you will need more phosphates than if you have a small pool. Fortunately, the price difference is minimal and thus you can afford to get more than one container. In general, one month’s supply is enough for a medium sized pool and two months’ supply for a large pool. After that, you will need to re-order.

Where Can I Buy Phosphates?

There are many places you can buy phosphates including swimming pool supply stores and some pet stores. Just remember that while not all pet stores stock them, many do. Make sure you ask if they do and then give them a call to make sure they have them in before you go buying them.

Are There Any Adverse Effects From Using Phosphates In Swimming Pools?

While most people will see benefits from using phosphates in swimming pools, there are some adverse effects which you should be aware of. One of the most serious is that they are very dangerous if eaten by a dog or a cat. The above illustration demonstrates how the compound can accumulate in your pet’s body, potentially harming them in some way. This is why you should never leave any container filled with these chemicals unattended when you are not using it. In addition, excessive amounts of phosphates can cause serious health problems in humans as well. The key adverse effect is that they are very dangerous if inhaled as they are being washed down the drain. The compound can cause respiratory problems in humans if it is not removed from the water supply.

As long as you are not sensitive to chemicals, you will find many uses for phosphates in swimming pools. Just remember to keep them away from your pet’s and your own lungs and also seek out help if you have excessive amounts accumulated in your body.

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