What Chlorine level Is Too High to Swim?

Chlorine is a must to clean your pool and make it fit for swimming. But you should also be aware of what chlorine level is too high to swim.

The safest level of chlorine is 1 to 3 parts per million (ppm). Any volume above 6ppm can be dangerous. You should also maintain a balance of 7 to 7.5 pH. The amount of chlorine in a pool should not be more than the drinking water level. That is the safest level to swim.

The chlorine level can increase naturally sometimes. Even there can be chlorine at natural water bodies, which can be higher than the level approved by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How Does Chlorine Level Increase In A Pool?

Sometimes to make the water purified, we need to add more chlorine. But you might have noticed that the chlorine creates irritation even when the proper amount is applied. 

This phenomenon happens when the pH level rises. Chemicals like sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate can be responsible for raising the pH balance.

There is some non-stabilized chlorine, such as Calcium Hypochlorite, Sodium Hypochlorite, and some salt chlorine generators. If these forms of chlorine are used, it will tend to raise the level of pH.

Chlorine Level On Natural Water Bodies

Freshwater has a chlorine concentration of 1 to 250 mg/L. This is a safe amount.

Here we are talking about the chlorine level of a natural source that is away from fragmentation. If a pond is located near a volcano or radio-active place, then there is a considerable chance that the chlorine level might be higher than 6 ppm.  

Not only this, if a natural pond or a lake is in an industrial zone, where the probability of acid rain is high, the water might have a high level of chlorine. These sources of water are not safe to swim in. 

What’s A Healthy Chlorine Level?

Maintaining the pH balance at 7-7.5, the safest level of chlorine is between 1 to 3 ppm. If the level rises to 6ppm or more, physical irritation starts. A level of 10 ppm chlorine can be deadly. 

Effects Of High Chlorine Level On Human Body

Chlorine has a severe side effect on the human body. During swimming, chlorine might get into the human body. It can pass through the nose, eyes, mouth, and ear.

If ppm increases in swimming water, it can cause eye irritation, itchiness in skin, cause hair fall, etc.


Even a tiny amount of chlorine can irritate someone if they have a skin allergy, let alone a higher level. It can make your nails dry and cause breakage. 

A higher level of chlorine can cause rash and redness. Exposure to highly chlorinated water for a significant time during swimming can also cause skin cancer.


Highly chlorinated water in the pool can irritate the eyes. They will turn red and get itchy. If the itchiness continues for more than a day, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor.


If the level of chlorine is too high, it can cause severe lung disease. It can cause bronchitis of the lung and cause rapture.


Getting highly chlorinated water from the pool on your rectum can cause indigestion, irregular bowel movement. If things get serious, it can be the cause of liver failure and rectum cancer.     


Someone swimming in highly chloride water for a significant amount of time can suffer from heart disease and sometimes heart failure. 

Signs Of Chlorine Poisoning

Expect chlorine poisoning symptoms if you are swimming often. Even though it is not common to have chlorine poisoning, it is better to keep it in check. Symptoms of the condition include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensation burning in the throat
  • Dizziness
  • Short breathing
  • Continuous coughing
  • Chest pain

Why Swimming On Chlorinated Water Affects The Human Body?

Swimming in chlorine water means the chlorine is directly touching your body. Thus, it can cause skin disease. It is impossible to make sure that the water will not get into your nose, ear, or digestive system while swimming. 

Someone who got drowned in highly chlorinated water should be checked through the lungs and heart. 

It is better not to allow children in the pool or pond unless the chlorine is neutralized. When they are learning to swim, it needs to be made sure that the water is chlorine-free if possible. 

Lowering The Level Of Chlorine In Pool

As soon as you see that the level of chlorine is high in the pool, try to lower it. There are several ways you can do that. 

Do not add more chlorine

Once your pool is cleaned, do not add more chlorine to it. You should turn off your chlorine feeder. If you are using a chlorine floater, remove it from the pool. 

Start more swimming

If the level of chlorine is slightly more than the recommended level, swim more in the pool. It might sound dirty, but the dirt from your body will help to neutralize the chlorine.

Exposure to sun

When it is a sunny day, make sure to remove the pool cover. The heat from the sun will help to form chlorine gas, and it will vaporize.

Using heat

If your pool has a system to heat the water, use it. It is the least time-consuming method to turn liquid chlorine into gas form. The chlorine will quickly evaporate and get the level down.

Draining water

One of the hardest and time-consuming procedures to lower the pH balance is draining and refilling the pool water. With time, this may need more labor.

Using chemicals

Chemicals like hydrogen peroxide, sodium thiosulfate, and other chlorine neutralizing products can be used. These products work in different ways. Some break the pH, some help to turn liquid chlorine into gas form.

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Frequently Asked Question (FAQ)

Can I swim in my pool with too much chlorine?

Swimming in a pool with too much chlorine is very unsafe. It can turn out deadly.

Should you shock your pool if chlorine is high?

Using non-chlorine shock while chlorine is high can reduce the level. Remember, it needs to get to the breaking point of chlorine to neutralize it.

How do I know if my pool has too much chlorine?

To measure the chlorine balance, you can use a pH strip. Also, some kits are available in the market that will allow you to measure the level of chlorine at home.

How long does it take for chlorine to dissipate in a pool?

In the case of pool water, it might take 4 days to 7days to dissipate.

Does chlorine lower or raise pH?

Generally, chlorine in liquid form does raise pH. But when it comes in contact with water, it increases the pH of the water.

Final Words

No matter how passionate you are about swimming, you should always swim with proper precaution. Frequent exposure to high-level chlorinated water can be deadly. 

Always remember to check the pH balance and concentration of chlorine in the water and swim safely!

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