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The first of the two alternatives to draining is reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis on a swimming pool is performed by running the water through a large RO system housed in a trailer. The water is recycled back into the pool free from cyanuric acid and unwanted chemicals. Calcium levels can also be brought down to a lower, balanced range. The downside: it does not conserve all of the water and some of it is lost in the process. It is also a bit pricy for most pool owners to consider.
The second alternative to draining is ion exchange. Ion exchange employs the use of commercial grade water softeners along with activated carbon filters to filter out contaminants and hardness. The water is recycled through a system that is generally set up next to the swimming pool and runs silently for about 12 hours. All of the water is conserved and the unwanted chemicals are removed along with calcium harness and cyanuric acid. The calcium hardness is brought down to 150 to 200 parts per million leaving the swimming pool with sparkling healthy water. This treatment is more affordable than reverse osmosis.