Swimart warns that Australia’s heatwave conditions and power outages can adversely affect the quality of pool water; and that during such conditions it is prudent to check the health of your pool. Prolonged periods of hot weather cause evaporation leading to water imbalance and chemical loss, which can cause algal blooms and lead to “unhealthy” water. The situation is further exacerbated by power outages, which affected thousands of South Australian and Victorian households in January 2019, where pools’ recirculation and purification systems shut down. This quickly leads to unsafe swimming conditions such as cloudy water, inadequate sanitiser levels and high levels of bacteria and other disease-causing organisms.
If you have recently experienced a power outage, Swimart recommends following these steps before using your pool:
- Once power is restored check to see if recirculation and purification systems are functioning.
- Operate the pump and chlorinator for at least one hour.
- Ensure proper pH and sanitiser residual. Check the sanitiser level as soon as possible.
- Reset the timers for pumps, lights and other auxiliary equipment.
Swimart says that the first sign of an unhealthy pool is cloudy water, as the lack of sanitiser causes algal blooms. This increases the demand on the sanitiser. When growth is out of control the pool water turns green or dark brown, depending on the type of algae. You’ll see this first in places where the water circulation is poor, such as corners, steps, and where the pool floor meets the walls. Pools don’t get the chance to cool down overnight during ongoing hot weather, so the best defence against algae is chlorine. Swimart has created a 10-point plan to help you maintain your pool with minimum effort over the summer period:
- Check your pool’s chlorine and pH level every two days, especially after a period of heavy usage; and after a particularly hot spell or period of solid rain.
- Operate the filtration system 6-8 hours a day.
- Regularly check sanitiser levels, ideally on a daily basis.
- Check Total Alkalinity [TA] weekly with a Swimart test kit or by taking a sample to your local Swimart store.
- Clean out your skimmer basket and hair and lint pot in your filtration pump weekly.
- Maintain the water level at least half way up the skimmer box opening.
- Regularly brush or vacuum pool walls and floor.
- To re-balance pool water, take a sample from elbow depth, away from the pool returns and take it to your local Swimart pool store to be professionally tested.
- Use a quality algaecide like Aqua-Health Concide to keep algae at bay.
- Thoroughly backwash your sand or DE filter, or remove and clean the cartridge from your cartridge filter with a hose, depending on pool use.
Water balance is the key to a healthy pool and for chlorine to work effectively. If the pH is too high, chlorine becomes less effective and the water quickly becomes dull and cloudy. This can be addressed by adding acid to the pool water. However if the pH is too low, the water will start to hurt your eyes and skin and make you feel itchy. It can also etch away the surface of the pool and cause scaling on the exterior of your pool and salt chlorinator. However, this can be fixed by adding “buffer’ or alkali.
T: 1300 991 104