Borate Scientific Studies

brajgreg

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2012
72
Houston, TX
I read this by JasonLion in the Borates sticky:

"Borates inhibit algae growth, improve the feel and appearance of the water, buffer PH, and reduce chlorine consumption. The reduction in chlorine demand varies from pool to pool. Borates prevent algae from getting started, so you don't use up chlorine killing off the algae. In some pools that is constantly happening and borates make a large difference, in other pools algae doesn't grow much for other reasons and borates make little difference."

I respect Jason's intelligence (as well as many others in the forums). But I see a lot of things on the internet these days that have no scientific backing so I'm wondering if this has any science behind it--a study to show how it does any of those things. Basically, is there anything other than anecdotal evidence, even if it's from a lot of people, that says this is true? Could be a lot of what one might call the placebo effect going on here.

Please, take no offense to my question here. I'm only wanting a little scientific evidence before I go to the trouble/expense.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
In The Industry
Jun 12, 2009
3,699
NW Ohio
A quick search of the forum brought up this post from Chem Geek including with a link to a study showing the algae inhibiting properties of borates: Suggested Borate Levels

All the other claims mentioned are well documented but the exact chemical reasons for the pH buffering and feel/appearance are beyond my understanding, others can cover that if they like. I will say it is unlikely that a pool that is properly managed to the FC/CYA ratio will see a significant reduction in chlorine use. A good chunk of the chlorine lost in an outdoor pool is burnt off by sunlight and the borates will do nothing for that. Otherwise though the statements made by JasonLion are correct and verifiable.
 

brajgreg

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2012
72
Houston, TX
That's my point. A lot of people say these things are "correct" based on anecdotal evidence, but the only thing I've seen (I had already seen a different study but thanks for the one you posted) that's scientific is the algaestatic properties. I guess maybe the reduction in chlorine could be argued if you took it over the long term since you shouldn't have to use additional chlorine for algae... And it "improves the appearance of the water." That's impossible to quantify, but it sounds good!