How Clean is Your Pool Water?

Publication date : Saturday, September 30th, 2017

One of the great things about owning your own swimming pool is that it’s YOURS. You don’t have to worry about sharing water with strangers. You have complete control over how your pool is treated, who swims in it and how clean the water is. The thing is, it’s not always easy to know the quality of your pool water just by looking at it. Some people think that a strong smell of chlorine means the water is clean, when in reality, it can mean the opposite!

First, let’s explore some of the contaminants that are commonly found in swimming pools. Then we’ll discuss the ways that you can safeguard your swimming pool and keep it clean as a whistle!

What Could be Lurking In Your Pool Water?

This article from CBS News points out that a strong chlorine smell is not a good indication of a clean pool. In fact, the more urine that is in the water, the stronger the chlorine odor will be. And, while chlorine does an effective job of removing germs and bacteria, it does not eliminate everything.

Red eyes after swimming is also not a good sign of cleanliness. Usually, this means that the chlorine can’t keep up with all the sweat, bacteria, urine, etc. that is entering the pool. In the same article, the CDC reported that 58 percent of pools tested had E. coli in the water. Pool water can also carry legionella, a bacteria that causes pneumonia. The most common illnesses associated with pools are diarrhea, ear infections and respiratory infections.

Stepping Up the Cleanliness of Your Pool

Despite these issues, swimming is a healthy activity that you shouldn’t cross off the list. There are ways to keep you and your family safer. This includes showering before and after entering the pool and staying home when someone is sick.

Luckily, you do have control over the water in your swimming pool! There is no reason why anyone in your household has to swim in dirty water. Here are the best ways to keep your pool clean.

  • Check pool chemistry 1-2 times each week in the summer
  • Clean out skimmer baskets weekly or as needed
  • Clean all filters regularly
  • Clean the hair and lint pot every two weeks or as needed
  • Check your water level – it should be at center level of the skimmer
  • Check your inline chlorinator, if you have one
  • Maintain your salt system, if you have one
  • Wipe down the tile weekly
  • Keep pool chemicals out of direct sunlight
  • Caulk any visible cracks or gaps
  • Keep vegetation, animals and chemicals (i.e., fertilizer) away from the pool

Fortunately, having your own pool is a much cleaner, safer and healthier way to swim! By following the tips above and staying on top of pool maintenance, you won’t have to worry about swimming in bacteria!


How Does Rain Affect My Pool Water?

Publication date : Monday, April 11th, 2016

Rainwater has acidic properties that can affect the water in your swimming pool. This happens because rainwater absorbs industrial gases in the atmosphere. So what do you do if the weather is calling for rain?

A little bit of rainwater shouldn’t do much damage. A heavy rainfall can. Let’s learn a bit more about why rainwater can affect your pool water.

Why Does Rain Make a Difference?

Rainwater has a naturally lower pH than what you keep your pool at. Most swimming pools are kept around 7.4 to 7.6. Rainwater, on the other hand, has a pH of around 5.0. If enough rain falls into the pool, it can lower the pH levels.

The reason why pools are kept at a higher pH is because the human eye has a pH of 7.5. Fluctuations in the pH can lead to serious discomfort such as burning. That’s why you sometimes hear people complaining of their eyes burning when they swim. This isn’t the chlorine causing the burning, but the pH level.

Do I Have to Adjust My pH Every Time it Rains?

If there is a light rainfall, you shouldn’t have to adjust the pH level. While the rainwater may lower the pH level right after it rains, this shouldn’t be for long. If you do a good job of maintaining the proper chemistry of your pool water, you really shouldn’t have anything to worry about.

If there is a big rainstorm, however, you will have to adjust the pH level. The best way to do this is by draining a bit of the water and re-testing the chemicals.

What About Runoff?

Another factor to consider is rainwater that comes off your landscape or deck and then runs into your pool. Not only does the water contain a lowered pH, but also it contains other runoff elements that can change the calcium, hardness, alkalinity and total dissolved solids in your pool. Plus, things like dirt and debris can bring contaminants into the water and cause damage to some of the pool parts.

Can Rain Ever be a Good Thing?

In some instances, rain can be beneficial. There are certain chemicals (calcium, stabilizer) in the pool water that cannot be lowered without diluting the water, which rainfall can help with.
In general, as long as you take care of your pool on a regular basis, you shouldn’t face any issues after a standard rainfall. If the weather is calling for a severe storm or several inches of rain, stay ahead of the game by testing pH levels.