Basic Swimming Pool Water Issues & Troubleshooting
Swimming pool water problems can become one of the biggest challenges that we, who are pool operators and owners can come across. In fact, operating or owning a pool or spa is a challenge within itself. But we get a great feeling of accomplishment whenever we come across a pool related problems and solve them. This is a great confidence booster for many of our egos.
We are more confident when it comes to purchasing the pool chemicals that we need as well as the pool equipment necessary to correct any pool problems. As owners and operators of swimming pools and spas, we have to realize that most of these aquatic facilities operate or are apart of an open system. This means that our facilities are widely exposed to elements such as:
- The environment.
- The open air or wind.
- A vast amount of pollution that are around us.
- The sun.
- Other by-products such as lawn fertilizers and weed killers.
Regardless of having the latest models in water quality monitoring equipment for swimming pools and spas, there will be occasions when your pool water does not meet industry standards. In fact, it can be very difficult on occasions to accurately diagnose a particular problem with your pool water. Through my experience, most swimming pool water problems are the result of poor or inadequate pool sanitation. In other words, failure to maintain good pool or spa water chemistry. Now a days the majority of the pools and spas around today are monitored automatically. Unfortunately, there will be times when these automatic monitoring devices will fail or give false readings. This causes a serious problem; especially, if you fail to visually inspect your pool yourself.
Automatic monitoring equipment are a great addition to the pool/spa industry; however, they can not replace a good human eye that has being trained to recognize potential pool water problems. If you do rely on your automatic pool monitoring devices, make sure that you carry out the recommended routine inspection and maintenance of the devices.
Pool water problems and their solutions
Problems with your swimming pool or spa water can escalate...especially if actions are not taken immediately. Some of these water problems can become very costly over time. Some of the biggest and most commonly encountered swimming pool water problems or challenges are:
Swimming Pool Algae
Algae will not develop in a properly chlorinated pool; hence, if your pool is poorly sanitized you will get algae growth. This means that your chlorine or bromine level dropped to zero at some point.
This drop in pool disinfection will make your sanitation levels inadequate and ineffective. If by any chance, your pool chlorine or bromine levels were at zero for two days or more, you stand the chance of developing the dreaded black algae plague.
This is a nightmare to many pool and spa owners and operators. Why? Because once you get it in your pool, it is had to get it out.
Algae is a rudimentary green marine plant which is apart of a large botanical family. Roughly two thousand strong. Algae growing in your pool or spa does not cause any disease but it does in fact make your water look cloudy. Algae also causes your pool water to appear green which results in foul odors and taste.
Black algae is by far more difficult to treat and control. It can cause staining of your swimming pool wall surfaces. When you discover algae growth in your pool/spa, you have to take harsh measures to get rid of it. This usually involves a heavy pool shock treatment.
For this type pool treatment, we use a strong chlorine (superchlorination) or a non-chlorine pool shock as well as a recommended algaecide. Fortunately for us that own and operate pools and spas, most algae can be destroyed by this method.
Swimming pool chlorine smell
There will be times when you physically inspect your pool, and the water may not look all that great. In fact your pool water may appear dull and hazy looking, but there is a strong pool chlorine smell. Now you may ask yourself, How can my swimming pool water look so dull and hazy if the smell of chlorine is so high?.
This strong pool chlorine smell...often cause pool operators and owners to believe that their pool disinfection levels are spot on. The truth of the matter is this! Even though you may have a strong chlorine smell coming from around your pool or spa, there is not enough free chlorine in your water to provide an adequate amount of disinfection.
The strong pool chlorine smell that you are experiencing is the results of too much combined chlorine. This pool chemical problem is more commonly known name as Chloramines. To effectively treat and eliminate chloramines, you have to carry out a pool shock treatment. In other words you have to super-chlorinate your water facility. You can use either a chlorine base or a non-chlorine base pool sanitizer.
Cloudy water in swimming pool
Cloudy water in pools and spas is not only uninviting to your pool bathers, but it is also an indication of poor pool water chemistry. This is one of the swimming pool water problems that can affect the health of your pool swimmers. There are several causes of cloudy pool water. One of which is a total alkalinity level that is too high.
Stains on the surfaces of your pool walls and bottom are usually a sign that minerals are present. Minerals will cause discoloration of your pool or spa surfaces rather quickly. The most common forms of minerals that you will have are iron, copper, and manganese.
There may be times when you may experience light violet staining. This is normally due to a complex mix of copper and cyanuric (chlorine stabilizer) acid. As luck would have it, staining of your pool surfaces do not affect your swimmers health; however, the look of your water can change their minds from actually entering the pool or spa.
||Your pool chlorine may be at the industry recommended level, but you may still have swimmers who may complain about burning eyes and nose. You may have some swimmers that are sensitive to chlorine but at the same time...there can be a problem with your pool water chemistry.|
||Scale in your swimming pool usually appears as a white crusty like deposit|
This white deposit can cause the wall surfaces of your water attractions to become very rough. This is a swimming pool water problem that can reduce your circulation flow and cause calcification of your swimming pool filter media.
Scale formation on the surfaces of your pool can cause injuries or bodily harm to your swimmers as well. Pool water problems like these are usually caused by poor water balance and a calcium hardness level that is too high.
Your health, the health of your pool bathers, and the health of your swimming pool and spa are all at risk. Therefore, you have to ensure that you monitor the water chemistry of your facility at all times. It is through proper pool/spa management that you will be able to control and limit any swimming pool water problems.