There are many factors that can affect the clarity, safety, and health of your swimming pool water. Thus, it is imperative that the pool health is maintained throughout the season at which your pool is opened. Here are some top tips to help!
High Bacteria Levels
Chlorine (or bromine) serves a vital role in keeping your pool water clear and healthy. The dangerous aspects of a lack of sanitizer—whatever the cause—include bacteria growth and increased stress on your filter.
When sanitizer levels are low, bacteria survives in the water for longer periods. Swimmers may be exposed to dangerous contaminants, such as E. coli and Legionella.
Low Filtration Efficiency
A clogged filter, dying pump, or simply not running your filtration system for at least eight hours a day can cause cloudy pool water. If all of your water isn’t being run through a fully functioning, clean filter it can retain debris, leaving you with cloudy pool water.
Your sanitizer will get used up more quickly. Your pump may have to work extra hard and whatever water does make it through to your filter may not be well distributed by the pressure side of your circulation system.
All of this results in dirty-looking water, while also contributing to bacteria problems that can endanger the health of everyone who uses your pool.
Scaling, Pitting, and Clogging
You’ll face myriad problems if your water chemistry is out of whack. High pH means your water is less acidic than it should be. The soft water tends to form scale on pool surfaces and inside plumbing while making it more difficult for your sanitizer to work. This can cause filtration problems, bacteria growth, and cloudiness.
Highly alkaline pool water will also form scale, plus it won’t help stabilize your pH the way it should. Both high pH and high alkalinity can lead to pitting in metals and wear and tear on vinyl, despite not being acidic. Too much calcium creates flaky buildup, clouding your water and clogging your filters.
Finally, high levels of chlorine can cause skin and lung irritation, especially if you have asthma or other breathing difficulties. If chlorine levels are wonky, you can also end up with a lot of chloramines—the byproduct of chlorine sanitizing—which can be irritating and even corrosive.
Dangerous Swimming Conditions
Cloudy pool water is just the tip of the iceberg if you’ve got an algae bloom. While the types of algae found in your pool aren’t particularly hazardous to your health, like the algae found in the wild can be, it can be physically dangerous to swimmers.
With algae, your pool water can become so full of suspended debris, it’s impossible to see through the water. That degree of cloudiness is a drowning hazard because you won’t be able to see if someone has fallen in or if a swimmer is struggling underwater.
This is especially true because drowning victims rarely make much commotion while they struggle to stay above water—a phenomenon called Instinctive Drowning Response. This makes a cloudy pool especially dangerous for small children and pets.
Until you’ve cleared up your pool water, don’t allow anyone to swim in it. Make sure small children and animals can’t find their way into your pool area either—an important consideration at all times, not just when the water’s cloudy.