In the April 2012 issue of the Bellevue Club's Reflections, Melissa Stepp wrote about the Bellevue Club's chlorine usage. Ms. Stepp is the club's Aquatics Director.
According to Ms. Stepp, the Bellevue Club "take[s] pride in the safety and cleanliness of our pools, inside and outside." She states that "[t]he Bellevue Club pools are some of the cleanest you could ever swim in" because the club is dedicated to "continuously fighting germs with the latest and greatest technology." As it turns out, the "latest and greatest technology" for fighting germs has been around for about 100 years — chlorine. Most pools choose chlorine because chlorine is excellent at sanitizing pools.
Ms. Stepp notes that "[t]he Club chose chlorine as our primary sanitizer and a particular system to deliver it because we know it does the best job. Our system constantly adjusts to what's going on in the pool. Whether there's one lap swimmer or 60 kids in the water, there is always enough chlorine to take on the germs." The germ-killing power of chlorine is very important. Although chlorine can be harsh on hair and skin, the alternative is potentially dangerous microorganisms. For example, this week, the people of St. Bernard Parish’s in Louisiana were threatened by a brain-eating amoeba in the water because of failing to adequately chlorinate the water.
In the article, Ms. Stepp also address the "chlorine smell," explaining that the Bellevue Club recently installed the UV light system as a secondary sanitation source. According to Ms. Stepp, one advantage of a UV system is that the UV is an excellent chloramines killer. The chloramines are mostly responsible for what people describe as "chlorine smell." Ms. Stepp assures the Bellevue Club members: "If you smell chlorine, don't worry, the system, and our staff, knows it's there and are working double time to remove it."
The above comments deal with smelling chlorine on the pool deck. But what about the chlorine smell that swimmers observe on their body and hair after leaving the Bellevue Club? That "Eau de Chlorine" scent indicates the presence of Lingering Chlorine on the swimmers hair and skin. Simply stated, a swimmer smells like chlorine because they are failing to completely wash the chlorine off after swimming. This is not the Bellevue Club's fault.
Leaving the swimming pool with chlorine on your hair and skin is side-effect of chlorine's otherwise wonderful ability to keep pools safe. Chlorine reacts with biological material, killing it and keeping the pool healthy. But, this comes with the cost of chlorine also reacting with the swimmer's biological material, namely swimmers' hair and skin. Fortunately the solution to this "Lingering Chlorine" problem is simple. Rinsing with vitamin C after swimming eliminates the lingering chlorine film, which in turn eliminates the Eau de Chlorine smell. Here's how.