What Can Cause Pool Water To Be Cloudy? [Answered!]

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Have you ever swum in a pool that was so cloudy that it was almost impossible to see what was at the bottom? Or perhaps your pool was so clean that it was possible to see right through the water? You probably know what causes pools to become cloudy—it’s usually when the air is warm and dry, which is why we usually see more cloudy pools during the summertime.

But what exactly triggers the cloudiness of your pool water? There are several possible reasons why this could happen, so let’s run down the list and discuss the most common causes of cloudy pools.

Dissolved Oxygen

This is often the case with public pools. The chemicals used in the pool water are very effective at removing the algae that makes up much of the pool’s organic matter, but due to regulations, these chemicals have to be cleaned regularly with fresh water. During this process, some of the oxygen is chemically bound to these chemicals and cannot be breathed in by humans—hence the name dissolved oxygen.

This type of oxygen is considered unsafe by the FDA and is known to irritate the skin and lungs. Though usually only found in larger pools with sophisticated filtration systems, this dissolved oxygen can still be found in many city pools.

Leaking Faucets

There are several possible causes of this one, but the main one is quite simple: at the end of every day, you must stop the flow of water from the faucets in your household. Even when these faucets are just dripping, it means that some water is escaping and causing the pool to become cloudy. Make sure that the water is completely turned off and then stop by and smell the water; this will usually help you determine whether there is a leak or if it’s just drippy valves that need to be adjusted.

Temperature And Humidity

Even when the air is quite dry, the water in your pool will still absorb the moisture from the air. This is why when the air is quite dry, the pool water will still appear very humid. Rising temperatures can cause this humidity to increase, which can lead to health problems for swimmers, particularly if this increase is quite significant. Therefore, when the air temperature rises above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s usually a good idea to drink more fluids or take a break from swimming until the air cools down again.

When the air is warm and almost dry, any moisture that is in the air will absorb into the pool water and increase the amount of white clouds in your pool. But when the air is really humid and warm, it’s like swimming in a greenhouse! Though somewhat uncomfortable, you should be able to cope with this situation as long as there aren’t any thunderstorms or heavy downpours of rain, which would cause the pool to become extremely dirty very quickly.


An overhead tree or building shade is an excellent way to keep the sun away from your pool and keep the water clean. Even though there are no direct sun rays coming in through the pool’s roof, the heat will still be absorbed by the water and cause it to become warmer than expected—which could, in turn, cause some algae growth. Of course, it’s preferable for this algaes to stay at the surface and not grow too deep, as this could potentially pose a health risk to swimmers.

Foul Material

When debris, such as food or liquid, is present in your pool, it will usually cause the water to become cloudy. Though it’s not always the case, when this material sinks to the bottom of the pool, it will become mixed with dirt and other particles, which will then be visible in the water. With most pools, this is usually caused by human or animal waste, though it could also be caused by oil or another type of slippery liquid.

Frequent Cleaning

Cleaning your pool on a regular basis is an excellent way to keep it clear of debris and excessive algae growth. In most cases, this will require a pool vacuum at the least and, for larger pools, a professional cleaner at least once a month. It’s crucial that you clean your pool on a regular basis because any type of buildup, no matter how small, will inevitably cause the water to become cloudy—especially when left untreated.


There are many other possible causes for cloudy pool water that don’t fit into one of the preceding categories, such as mineral deposits from the pool’s surroundings (common in lakes) or dirty or old equipment (common in ponds). Before you swim again, make sure that everything in your pool is in good working order and that if there was any equipment malfunction, it was corrected promptly.

If these suggestions don’t help and the water still remains cloudy, it’s time to call a professional pool service—but at least you’ll know what the issue is so there’s no guesswork involved!

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