How do I keep my pool water crystal clear and prevent it from turning green or cloudy?

Summer will be here before you know it and we have to be sure our residents and their guest have a great time in a pool that is safe and clean. There are three areas of consideration for keeping pool water clean, disinfected, and algae free.

First, is maintaining proper disinfectant levels. Every pool, even the best kept ones have germs and bacteria but keeping the chlorine above 1 ppm will eliminate them. Algae are plant forms and they require nutrients in order to survive. Once chlorine levels are low and the environment is right algae can appear almost overnight. This is what is commonly referred to as “Algae Bloom” which can turn a pool completely green resulting in pool closure for at least several days to a week in some cases.

Maintaining proper sanitation levels, brushing the walls and floor of the pool, adding a small dosage of algaecide is the best way to prevent algae from turning your pool green. It is the most effective and inexpensive way to keep the water clear.

Second, is the circulation system; Pools are designed to have water flow through the entire system at a specific rate in order to assure proper filtration and circulation of chemicals and disinfectant. One of the most common mistakes I see in the field is putting chlorine sticks or tablets in the skimmer baskets. Most chlorine sticks and tablets are very acidic and when put in the skimmers they quickly begin to erode the pump impeller which reduces the water flow and significantly contributes to a pool becoming cloudy or developing algae. So, keep the skimmer and line basket clear of debris and don’t add harmful chemicals through the skimmers.

The third area of consideration is the filtration system. While there are many different types of filters, the most common filter in this industry is a sand filter. Sand doesn’t go bad by itself but it can be ruined by what has been added to the pool. For example, many pool operators add a blue clarifier or flocculant to get the water clear. A high rate sand filter clarifier is not recommended and can cause the sand in the filter to “gum up” and become ineffective at filtering. So, while the water is passing through the filter it is not actually being filtered effectively. This can result in a cloudy or green pool. Algae is small enough in size that much of it will flow between the grains of sand in many filters and just keep circulating. There are a few products that one can put in a filter that will help trap the dead algae so it can be backwashed out of the filter and you can be on your way to enjoying a clearer pool.

Why doesn’t shocking a pool get rid of the algae? Shocking a pool will only kill the algae at best. Once the algae have been killed it must now be removed from the pool. So, it may take at least several days to get the water back to being clear.

So the best way to have a crystal clear pool is prevention.
• Keep the chemical levels within the ideal ranges.
• Check the flow meter to be sure the pool is circulating water at a proper flow rate.
• Brush the walls and floor weekly.
• Keep a preventative amount of algaecide in the pool. Most often added weekly.
• Keep the circulation of the water at the proper turnover rate. Do not add harmful chemicals through the skimmers and keep the skimmers and line basket free of debris.
• Keep the sand clean and do not add chemicals such as flocculants that are not recommended for the type of filter at your pool. There are many that may be used so be sure to use the right ones.

Often times, people will not even notice a pool until it turns green or is closed. So, prevent the pool from turning green and avoid expensive repairs by following one or all of the steps above. Send your associates to pool class.

People that train get better results that people that don’t and if you have an experienced staff they may just pickup a few tips that will prolong the life of your pool or make pool care easier and less expansive.