Specialty Maintenance Chemicals & Devices

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Since 1990, HydroTher Hot Tubs have been the #1 choice of architects, consultants, designers and facility operators for commercial aquatic applications.

Maintaining the water quality in swimming pools requires a multifaceted approach that will need to work together to maintain healthy and clear water. Typically, a lot of attention is paid to the sanitation and oxidation of water in swimming pools, but these alone may not be able to maintain water clarity and quality in pools. Therefore, pools may require using certain specialty chemicals, typically referred to as pool maintenance products (PMPs), to maintain clarity and quality. These PMPs complement the pool’s sanitizer system to improve and maintain water clarity. Some of the main PMPs used regularly are algicides, clarifiers, metal sequestering agents, and filter cleaners.

Specialty devices may include ozone generators and UV systems, among others. There are many types of devices, but this article will only cover a few of the popular specialty devices currently being used in pools. PHTA fact sheets that cover some of these devices in detail are available on the PHTA website at www.phta.org/standardsand-codes/fact-sheets/water-quality.

This article provides some basic and general information on different specialty chemicals and certain devices that will help to maintain a healthy and clear pool.


Specialty chemical treatment products and devices work together to maintain pool clarity as well as maintain a healthy pool, in combination with the use of an EPAregistered sanitizer and oxidizers. These products are designed to correct certain pool maintenance issues and maintain a healthy and clear pool. Pool maintenance products are designed to complement the primary sanitizing system. Each PMP is designed to solve a particular issue in pool water quality.

Specialty chemicals and devices must be used in conjunction with an EPAregistered sanitizer to maintain a healthy and clear pool. They should not be used alone or in combination with other PMPs or devices as the only means of treatment in pools to maintain a sanitized and clear pool. And, as always, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the product label.

Specialty chemicals and devices are used in many different aquatic environments. Typically, these products are used depending on the nature of the water quality being addressed, or to boost the efficacy of the primary sanitizing systems. Auxiliary devices, such as ozone generators, and supplemental and secondary UV light systems, may not be required for all pool installations; but they are used to enhance the water quality and sanitation in pools. PMPs are typically used either as maintenance or remedial treatments, specially designed to address specific water quality issues in pools. For example, clarifiers are added either on a maintenance basis or as remedial treatment to help the filter remove small, insoluble particles.


Comprehensive information for maintaining water quality in swimming pools and spas can be found in the ANSI/ APSP/ICC-11 2019 American National Standard for Water Quality in Public Pools and Spas.

By: PHTA Recreational Water Quality Committee - Aqua Magazine

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