Disinfection methods for swimming pool water: Byproduct formation and control

Huma Ilyas*, Ilyas Masih, Jan Peter van der Hoek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleScientificpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a comprehensive and critical comparison of 10 disinfection methods of swimming pool water: chlorination, electrochemically generated mixed oxidants (EGMO), ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, UV/chlorine, UV/hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), UV/H2O2/chlorine, ozone (O3)/chlorine, O3/H2O2/chlorine, O3/UV and O3/UV/chlorine for the formation, control and elimination of potentially toxic disinfection byproducts (DBPs): trihalomethanes (THMs), haloacetic acids (HAAs), haloacetonitriles (HANs), trihaloacetaldehydes (THAs) and chloramines (CAMs). The statistical comparison is carried out using data on 32 swimming pools accumulated from the reviewed studies. The results indicate that O3/UV and O3/UV/chlorine are the most promising methods, as the concentration of the studied DBPs (THMs and HANs) with these methods was reduced considerably compared with chlorination, EGMO, UV irradiation, UV/chlorine and O3/chlorine. However, the concentration of the studied DBPs including HAAs and CAMs remained much higher with O3/chlorine compared with the limits set by the WHO for drinking water quality. Moreover, the enhancement in the formation of THMs, HANs and CH with UV/chlorine compared with UV irradiation and the increase in the level of HANs with O3/UV/chlorine compared with O3/UV indicate the complexity of the combined processes, which should be optimized to control the toxicity and improve the quality of swimming pool water.

Original languageEnglish
Article number797
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2018


  • Chlorination
  • Disinfection byproducts
  • Electrochemically generated mixed oxidants
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Ozone
  • Swimming pool water
  • Ultraviolet irradiation


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