It’s easy to see why AOP (advanced oxidation processes) is generating so much buzz at pool & spa shows, home shows, trade shows, online forums, and just about anywhere homeowners, homebuilders, and developers gather to talk pools.

Try this test. Search swimming pool sanitizer. You’ll likely generate a million or so hits, many focused on chlorine alternatives. Enter AOP. Here’s why:

UV light is a fine secondary sanitizing system. Ozone? Even better. Put the two together and you have AOP sanitizing magic. Some pool experts liken AOP as “ozone on steroids,” “1 + 1 = 5,” or a “stone cold crypto killer.” Wastewater management companies have long relied on AOP as a final-stage sanitizer. Several of the nation’s top pool builders now spec AOP as their go-to secondary sanitizer. The super-cleansing power of hydroxyl radicals, AOP’s highly reactive oxidant, is rock-solid science.

If you’ve hesitated to offer an AOP system in your bids, it may be time to reconsider. There’s a good chance competitors in your market have already jumped on the AOP bandwagon. As you weigh options, keep these myths in mind:

Myth #1 – AOP System Is Too Expensive

A wave of new, advanced AOP technology has made the systems more affordable than ever. Vic Walker, Product Design and Marketing Manager at CMP, a leading pool equipment manufacturer, likens AOP technology to the evolution of pool pumps. “There was initial resistance to variable speed pumps, too. Today variable-speed pumps are widely regarded as the most efficient and economical,” Walker says. “We've got to understand that the modern pool can use technologies that weren't available ten years ago, and the cost has come down. AOP systems are now more affordable than ever. Is it an added cost to a pool? Absolutely. Does the benefit outweigh the cost? Absolutely.”

Myth #2 – A Secondary Sanitizer Isn’t Necessary

Chlorine is a superb residual sanitizer. There’s nothing like it. However, the stark limitations of chlorine’s disinfectant reach has been demonstrated time and time again, especially against stubborn chloramines, cryptosporidium, giardia, and other bugs. Once UV light was considered the silver bullet. Then ozone pushed it aside. Today experts say AOP soars far above them all for germ-killing intensity.

With AOP as the secondary, reliance on chlorine is dramatically reduced, often as much as 60 percent or more, according to Walker. That dividend comes with a powerful bonus: microflocculation. AOP oxidation bunches contaminants together. That reaction allows pool filters to work far more effectively. Water then sparkles with a polished look few could imagine.

Myth #3 – UV Light is Great for Splash Pads

Splash pads are everywhere. Unfortunately, UV light working as a secondary makes them vulnerable to lengthy downtime anytime the pump is switched off. Not good for impatient children and parents. AOP on-demand sanitizing eliminates the wait, saving the day.

The next time you make the rounds at shows or online, make note of the traction AOP is rapidly making. To learn more on how to improve the sanitizing power of your next pool project, visit