If you love your backyard swimming pool but hate dealing with the chemicals, then a chemical-free water sanitation system may be worth looking into. There are quite a few alternatives to chlorine on the market today, and one of the newer ones is copper.
EcoSmarte uses it to clean pools and spas:
“The ECOsmarte oxygen electrodes deliver a non-chemical shock to your water when the water passes through your pressure line. Once per week you test your pH and copper levels. You will switch the button on your Electronic Control Unit and ionize for 4 – 8 hours depending on your pool size and bather load. This will put copper in your pool which is a great algaecide and deadly to viruses.” (And it doesn’t have that strong chlorine smell either.)
According to the company’s FAQ, copper is completely safe for humans and is better for the environment than typical swimming pool chemicals. Of course you’ll want to do your own independent research before committing to something like this, but it sounds like it maybe be worth checking out. The EcoSmarte sanitation system can also be used with hot tubs and ponds.