Baltimore Swimming Pool Information

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Pool Terms

This glossary is a tool for getting acquainted with a variety of pool-related terms. You will be better able to maintain your pool with a basic understanding of the words below. Either browse around or search for a particular word:

Algae Chlorine Demand Reagent
Algicides Chlorine Generator Scale
Bacteria Chlorine Residual Saturation Index
Balanced Water Combined Chlorine (Chloramine) Shock Treatment
Bromine Dry Acid Stabilized Chlorinating Products
Calcium Hardness (CH) Free (Available) Chlorine Stabilizer
Chlorine Oxidize Superchlorination
Chloramines pH Total Alkalinity (TA)
Chlorinator ppm Undesirable Compounds


Microscopic plants capable that grow in or around water.


Products that prevent or control algae growth.


Microscopic organisms, some of which are harmful to bathers.

Balanced Water

The proper ratio of mineral content and pH that prevents pool water from being corrosive or scale-forming.


A halogen element alternatively used as a sanitizer for pools.

Calcium Hardness (CH)

The amount of dissolved calcium in water. Ideal range 175 - 275 ppm depending on surface type.


A halogen element, compounds of which are widely used in pool water sanitation.


Irritating compounds formed by the combination of nitrogenous compounds and free chlorine. Nitrogenous compounds are introduced into the water by urine, perspiration, cosmetics, suntan oils, etc.


A device that dispenses chlorinating compounds into pool water in a controlled, gradual manner.

Chlorine Demand

The amount of chlorine addition required before a free chlorine residual can be maintained.

Chlorine Generator

On site device that converts salt (sodium chloride) into free chlorine (hypochlorous acid) through the process of electrolysis.

Chlorine Residual

The amount of chlorine left to kill new bacteria entering the pool. Also, the amount of chlorine left after chlorine demand has been satisfied.

Combined Chlorine (Chloramine)

Chlorine-ammonia compounds that can cause chlorine odor and eye irritation. This compound is a poor sanitizer for pool water applications.

Dry Acid

Product used to lower pH and total alkalinity; preferred over muriatic acid (HCl) for handling, storage and safety issues. BioGuard Lo' N Slo®.

Free (Available) Chlorine

Chlorine in a form capable of bacteria and algae destruction. Preferred range: 1.0 to 3.0 ppm.


(see Shock Treatment)


A way to measure the acidity or basicity of water. Ideal range 7.4 - 7.6.


Parts Per Million, a measurement for chemical concentration.


Tablets, powder or liquid material for use in water testing.


Coarse calcium deposits on swimming pool wall, floors and circulation plumbing.

Saturation Index

A value based on water temperature, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and pH. The value predicts the tendency of pool water to be corrosive, neutral or scale-forming.

Shock Treatment

Adding an oxidizing compound to the pool water to chemically break up (oxidize) contaminants such as suntan oils, cosmetics, perspiration and chloramines.

Stabilized Chlorinating Products

Form of chlorine used to sanitize pool water. Favored for its economy and ability to remain active in strong sunlight.


Cyanuric acid; a compound that prevents the dissipation of chlorine residuals by sunlight. BioGuard® Stabilizer 100™.


Adding enough chlorine to reach 10 ppm free chlorine residual.

Total Alkalinity (TA)

The amount of the alkaline components in water. TA acts as a buffer against rapid pH fluctuation. Ideal range 125-150 ppm.

Undesirable Compounds

Substances introduced in the water by people or the environment that interfere with ideal pool conditions.


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Buddy's Pool and Spas
10715 York Road
Cockeysville, MD 21030
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