Chlorine, Bromine and Other Swimming Pool Sanitation Options, Part 1

When it comes to swimming pool sanitation, the most well-known chemical out there is certainly chlorine. But it’s not actually the only option out there for pool sanitation, and you actually have several other potential options depending on your needs.

At Packman’s Pools, we offer a wide rang of custom swimming pool construction services, assisting you with everything from pool design to material selection and much more, including assistance with your sanitation needs. The most common alternative to chlorine is a chemical called bromine – this two-part blog will go over some basics on each of these chemicals, some of the other options available, and how you can go about making your selection here.

chlorine bromine swimming pool sanitation


Technically speaking, pool chlorine is actually known as hypochlorous acid, a highly common substance used to sanitize indoor and outdoor pools and other water areas. Chlorine is so popular because it maintains a residual in the water – this means it keeps water sanitized over a long period instead of just temporarily. It also has oxidizing properties, which means it destroys contaminants and even acts as an algicide to stop algae from forming.

In its natural state, chlorine is a gas. However, it can be converted into several other formats for pool use, such as tablets, granules, liquid or even salt (using a salt chlorine generator). Each of these methods releases the acid into the water to kill and inactivate various possible pathogens or contaminants.


Bromine, on the other hand, is also a sanitizer and algicide that’s used for spas and swimming pools. Its natural state is as a reddish-brown liquid, but like chlorine it can be converted to tablets, granules, sticks and even liquid sanitation products in many cases.

When you see the term bromine used for pool sanitation, it’s technically not pure bromine. Rather, the name is used to describe the release of hypobromous acid into the water, either through a two-part system activated by an oxidizer (more common for smaller pools or spas) or using dissolvable tablets or granules.

Other Sanitation Options

Now, while chlorine and bromine are the two most popular forms of pool sanitation generally found today, they are not the only such options. Others may include items like ionizers, hydrogen peroxide, biofilter systems and several more, some of which can be used in coordination with chlorine or bromine for optimal sanitation. If you’re wondering about what one of these other types of sanitizers might do for you, feel free to speak to our pros about their benefits and drawbacks based on your needs.

For more on chlorine, bromine or other pool sanitation options, or to learn about any of our custom pool design or construction services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.