You’ve spent a warm and sunny day relaxing at the pool. The cool water is refreshing—while you’re swimming. But when you get out, your hair is sticky and you reek of chlorine.

That’s the experience that many people accept as the norm—the price they pay for a dip in the pool. But that doesn’t have to be the case, says Wayne George, co-owner of Westport Pools. His company recently started installing sphagnum moss systems as a way to keep clients’ pools clean and clear, while maintaining lower levels of harsh chemicals like chlorine. The natural cleaning solution has been spreading across the Northeast, and has just made its way to St. Louis, he says.

“Sphagnum is a plant that grows in New Zealand and Northern Canada,” George says. “When it grows in the ponds, it is crystal clear. The sphagnum moss has a natural defense against algae, because if the algae were to grow, it would overrun and kill it.”

To translate this natural defense to swimming pools, the moss is harvested, dried, cleaned and packaged in tea bag-like pouches that can be dropped in a chamber attached to the pool’s circulation system. “All the water in the pool comes in contact with the moss, and the moss takes out all the nasty things that people bring into the pool,” George says. He explains this ‘inhibition of organic matter,’ as it’s technically known: “If you could put pool water under a microscope, you’d see a layer of this body oil and perspiration floating on top, and that is where the bacteria reside. Normally, we raise the chlorine levels to keep the pool clean. But the moss gets rid of all of that film, leaving the bacteria naked and exposed, so that it takes less chlorine.”

Westport Pools has installed the moss in both residential and commercial pools, with positive results. “On the residential side, I have a gentleman who was going through three or four chlorine tablets a day. Now, it’s not even one a day, and his pool is as clear as I’ve ever seen.” That often translates into lower maintenance costs, but also a more pleasant swimming experience for families and their friends. “We have a guy who fixes leaks under water all day, so he’s under water the whole summer. I asked him, Jump in that pool and tell me what you think. He did, and when he got out he said, I don’t believe it, I feel like I just got out of the shower. It doesn’t smell like salt or chlorine, and it’s a much nicer feel to the water.”

With experience building and maintaining both residential and commercial pools throughout the region since 1967, Westport Pools is proud to be the first company to bring this technology to St. Louis, George notes. “When a new product like this comes out, we’ve really got to know it’s going to work before we do it, and we’re ready to get behind this one,” he says. “We’re flattered that we were chosen to introduce this product. It’s a testament to the quality of the work that we perform.”

On the Cover:

Westport Pools, which builds and services commercial and residential pools, recently began installing sphagnum moss systems. The all-natural, green water supplement helps keep pools clean and balance water chemistry with less chlorine. Pictured on the cover: A pool by Westport Pools features a spa, water slide, volleyball, tanning shelf and more. For more information, call 432-1801, or visit Spagnum moss is manufactured by Creative Water Solutions,

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