Enzymes and phosphate-reducing products have been used in the pool and spa industry for a number of years. Claims on how effective these are have taken on a life of their own. While the products can be tremendously helpful to pool owners and service people, they do have limits. This article will discuss what these products are, what they are capable of and what they cannot do. Information on how they can best be used to help pool operators will also be covered.
Phosphate reducers are specialty chemicals used to remove phosphates from pool water. They are typically salts of aluminum or lanthanum which, when added to water, produce insoluble phosphate compounds which are removed through filtration, vacuuming or both.
It should be noted that not all phosphates found in pools are bad. Some phosphates (polyphosphates) and other phosphorus-containing compounds are excellent sequestering agents, protecting the pool from metal staining and scale. Some phosphates (namely orthophosphates) are known to be a source of food for algae. Phosphate reducers were introduced as a means of limiting this food source; thus curtailing the ability of algae to grow in the pool. However, since these products are not EPA registered as algaecides their labels cannot claim algae control. Nevertheless, many believe that these products will kill algae.
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