Following on from my search for utopia post: If we stay year-round in White Rock, then my hubby would like to add an indoor pool to our house. An excellent idea since he and the kids swim every day when we’re near a pool or ocean. We also could combine my solarium idea with the indoor pool space.

However, chlorine is a highly toxic, damaging substance – both for our bodies and the environment. So I’ve begun researching alternatives.

Dr. Joseph Mercola’s site is great for this since he has a feedback section where we can hear from actual pool owners. There’s no substitute for personal experience in my opinion. The following information is gleaned from the community feedback on Mercola’s site and some of the recommended websites themselves. Since most of the information below is quoted, rather than italicizing the quotes, I have italicized my comments instead. Mercola recommends Ozone as the best system, however in the comments section by pool owners, many say it is not ideal and that they have found better systems.

Here’s what some people say about salt water pools:

“Salt water pools only server to maintain chlorine levels through the use of a salt-water chlorinator. I have one of these. The salted water passes through the auto-chlor device to generate chlorine. This reduces maintenance somewhat but it is still effectively a chlorinated pool….”

“Just a little clarification regarding salt-water “chlorine-generated” pools. What they do is convert salt “NaCl-sodium chloride” into chlorine gas. This is done by electrolysis through a “cell” which has metal plates (often Titanium). This chlorine gas, when mixed with water (H2O), produces hypochlorous acid (HOCl). Hypochlorous acid is the killing form of chlorine. Sodium Trichlor, Sodium Dichlor, Sodium Hypochlorite (Liquid Bleach), Calcium Hypochlorite and Lithium Hypochlorite all produce hypochlorous acid as well.”

Now regarding ozone systems:

“I’ve found that ozone alone doesn’t provide a problem free pool. Ozone must continually be manufactered or else is will dissipate within minutes. It is an excellent oxidizer, no doubt, and the most potent at that (100%), but it is not a sanitizer. Without a sanitizer you can’t control the pool becoming cloudy and/or algae infested when you’ve got hot summer days and a pool full of kids every day throughout the season. You definitely need to use an ionizer or something else to sanitize your pool.”

Very useful advice here – they recommend a ceramic pool rather than cement or gunite pool:

“The pool I have is a ceramic pool so it will never get algae because there is nothing for it to grow on. Algae is only found in cement pools. Because the ceramic pool is non-pouros and a cement pool is. Also, the long-term maintenance is 10% of a cement pool.

It comes with a lifetime waranty on the structure and 7 years on the surface. Although I’ve heard you should never have to have it resurfaced. And I was also advised never to empty it. Yes, I never have to empty it. A friend of mine has had his cement pool for 5 years and recently had to have it re-surfaced at a cost of $7500.00. It isn’t really very big either. Maybe 15,000 gallons.”

These seem to be the top non-chlorine systems recommended by pool owners:

1. Ecosmarte – combines Copper Ionization with Oxidation

“I would recommend looking into an Ecosmarte system. It is a non-chemical approach that produces excellent results. The only thing you have to really adjust with this system