In short, Yes. There is a measurable chlorine in salt water pools. The misconception lies in the way that the chlorine gets into the water, but there is still going to be chlorine present and it will need to be regulated just as in a traditionally sanitized pool. Before you change your mind about using a salt system, residual free chlorine is a good thing and is necessary for maintaining a healthy pool. While alternative sanitizers such as Ozone and UV systems can aid in oxidizing your water a residual oxidizer must be present to functionally sanitize your pool, otherwise germs, bacteria, viruses, and a host of other undesirable organisms will remain in your water until they physically pass through the non residual sanitizer. This could take a long time seeing as a pool only has to turn over its volume once every six hours (at least in Texas), and I doubt you would want something potentially harmful living in your system for that long.

When operating a salt pool you physically add salt and try to maintain salt levels ranging from 2500-3500 ppm; This salt level is optimal for chlorine generation in your systems salt cell. Once your water is within this functional range of salinity maintenance of a residual free chlorine within the range of 1.0-5.0 is required for lawful operation of a public or commercial pool.

By Will McMordie