Salt water pools use a chlorine generator, also called a salt cell, to provide sanitation. Rather than adding chemicals such as chlorine and checking pH levels, the generator uses electrolysis and dissolved sodium chloride to reduce levels of microorganisms in pool water to safe levels.
Benefits of the salt water system are the convenience of the continuous production of sanitizing chemicals- the system runs automatically to keep the water clean. These systems are more expensive initially, but don’t require the same degree of daily maintenance. The water does not have the same degree of saltiness as the ocean.
When designing a pool and the skirting area, as well as the landscaping around the pool, the type of water sanitizing needs to be considered. Salt water pools might cause corrosive or salt residue on unsealed stones or tiles; also, dark-colored tile and stone may show a whitish residue from the salt. Metals used around the pool may also show a significant degree of corrosion over time, and their use in the design needs to be considered.
The landscape may have design considerations; unmovable elements such as trees and large rock formations need to be incorporated so they look natural. The pool design should look organic within the rest of the landscape. A pool cover is an important element that will also decrease maintenance costs. In some pool designs, plants are incorporated, such as the natural swimming pool. A successful natural pool will need a different system of sanitizing the water that won’t damage the plants.
Several popular designs in pools can be used with salt water pools. A beach entrance and Baja shelf, both shallow areas of the pool, can be used in a salt water pool. An infinity edge and a lap pool are both designs that can work with a salt water system. Your design professional will be able to tell you if the design elements you desire will fit with both the natural landscape of your space and a salt water system.