What You Need to Know About Enzymes

In the ordinary course of pool usage, swimmers deposit materials such as lotions and sun tanning products into the pool. These organic contaminants float on the surface of the water in a pool, where they adhere to dirt and debris. Eventually, this mixture attaches itself to the pump, skimmer, and pool walls at the waterline, which creates yet another cleaning chore for the homeowner.

Recently, the use of enzymes has been proven effective in dissolving this accumulation. But, what is an enzyme and how does it work, and are they a worthwhile addition to the chemicals we already use in a pool?

apr2brennmain.jpg

An enzyme is a catalyst which facilitates specific biochemical reactions. It does so without being chemically altered, which means it’s available to repeat the process over and over again. In a pool or spa, an enzyme will collect the oils and lotions and break them down. It can repeat this process over and over again. In the case of massive oil spills in the ocean, they’re used as part of the clean-up process. In your pool, they work on a smaller scale to eliminate lotion and tanning oils, thereby alleviating the scum around the edge of the water.

Enzymes work over time so that a one-use application won’t be as useful as ongoing treatment, and they will also eventually be affected by chlorine, which means they have to be replenished. They can also be affected by pH, temperature, water conditions, and other factors. Oxidizers, for example, render them utterly useless.  But in the long run, regular use of a high-quality enzyme can reduce the need for chlorine and shock.

As a bonus, the enzyme process reduces the filter load, which is easier on the pump and other components, which is an added plus. 

apr2brensec.jpg

 
Are they safe?

Enzymes are safe for humans and pets in a pool because they only react with specific organic contaminants. They’re safe enough that they’re used in water treatment plants for drinking water, too. The benefits of having a cleaner pool without using more noxious chemicals is a significant consideration.  The other advantage is that less cleaning is required because organic compounds are eliminated and can no longer create the mineral ring around the pool.  

In summary, organic contaminants which create a ring of scum around a pool can be eliminated with enzymes. The use of enzymes can be a safe and beneficial way to help keep a pool clean, lower the need for as many harsh chemicals, and reduce maintenance chores.