You’ve just bought that brand new pool. It’s beautiful, functional, and above all, perfect! You load it up with relaxing chemicals and refreshing water and you’re good to go.
But as long as water is around, there will be a question of how to keep it clean. While it’s not unusual for pools to have slightly cloudy water due to suspended particles, you want to make sure that your pool water stays crystal clear all year long. Otherwise, you’re looking at some pretty serious pool damage.
You also don’t want to become too familiar with the concept of chemistry in order to keep your pool water clean. Sure, you could read up on the subject online, but for those looking for an easy-to-understand guide, this article is for you. Here are the basics of perfect pool water chemistry. Consider this your ultimate guide to maintaining a crystal-clear pool all year round!
The Biggest Problem: Algae And Bacteria Growth
Algae and bacteria are the two biggest concerns when it comes to pool water clarity. While you might be tempted to remove all the water and replace it with fresh H20, preventing algae and bacteria growth is the key to keeping your pool healthy.
If you don’t know what algae is, it’s basically a type of microscopic plant that grows in still pools of water. Bacteria are similar in that they’re also microscopic, but they don’t tend to be as desirable in a swimming pool as algae. While algae and bacteria don’t pose any threat to your health, it’s still not pleasant to look at.
A healthy swimming pool doesn’t have any visible algae growth, and it should be cleaned at least once a month by a professional pool cleanser to ensure that its water remains crystal clear. Bacteria should also be monitored and removed from the pool if they start to multiply and become more visible.
How Do I Prevent Algae Growth In My Pool?
Fortunately, there are ways to keep algae growth at a minimum in your pool. First off, make sure that there’s plenty of light entering the pool. If possible, install one or more light fixtures that shine directly on the pool. You should also consider adding another layer of paint to the underwater surface if the current layer is not hydrating the pool area properly. Furthermore, make sure to change the water in your pool every week to keep the dirt and debris at bay.
If you live in a warmer climate, you might not need to add extra lighting or hydration, as the Sun will provide enough illumination for most situations. However, if you live in a cooler climate, you might need to resort to adding more lamps or using pool covers to prevent algae from taking over your pool area. If you decide that additional lighting or a pool cover is the best option available, be sure to consult with a pool professional for help installing or using the equipment correctly.
What Is The Difference Between Algae And Bacteria?
Algae and bacteria are often mistaken for the same thing, but they are very distinct creatures. Bacteria are a type of germ that causes disease, while algae are harmless. Bacteria tend to be smaller in size than algae, and they multiply much faster. As a result, a small amount of algae can completely take over a pool if the conditions are right. In fact, some varieties of algae can grow larger than some types of bacteria.
As previously stated, algae do not pose a health threat to swimmers, but there are some varieties of algae that are indeed dangerous to humans. If you discover that your pool water is filled with blue-green algae, then you should contact a professional immediately to remove it. The same goes for any type of algae that takes on a discolored appearance. Algae with yellow or brown discoloration can signal a health risk.
Is My Pool Area Risk Free From Algae?
Just because your pool does not have any visible algae growth at the moment does not mean that it’s algo-free. It simply means that you’ve taken the proper measures to prevent the growth of algae in your pool area. As long as you continue keeping the water clean by changing it at least once a week and by testing for algae every month with a pool checker, your pool should remain safe from any type of algae bloom. Remember, algae are very adaptable and can cause damage to your pool area if given the chance.
In some instances, algae can become infected with a type of bacteria called giardia. If this happens, the water in your pool becomes unsafe, and you’ll need to replace it completely. Luckily, giardia are very easy to prevent from spreading via the water supply. Simply add an activated carbon filter to your pool’s water intake system to reduce the risk of infection.
When Do I Replace Water In My Pool?
The general rule of thumb is once a week, on average. This is to ensure that the underwater surface is always covered in liquid, thus preventing any type of algae or bacteria growth. Professional pool cleaners actually have a special vacuum tool that they use to suck up all the water in your pool, and then they leave you with a completely dry pool. It’s the simplest and most convenient way to ensure that your pool stays clean all year long without having to think about it too much.
If you’re not comfortable with having a completely dry pool, then you can choose to fill it with fresh water every two weeks to help keep it clean and fresh. This depends on the size of your pool area, of course, so you might need to adjust the schedule accordingly. Keeping water in your pool longer than usual can also help deter algae growth. However, this is an easy way to invite bacteria into your pool area, so we’d advise against it. As previously stated, there are some types of algae that are indeed harmful to humans, and simply giving them more time in which to multiply can place you at risk of contracting a disease. Bacteria can also breed in warmer temperatures, so leaving your pool area uncovered for longer periods can also invite more of these germ-causing creatures into your pool area. This is why it’s essential to change the water in your pool at least once a week, and professional cleaners will usually recommend doing so daily to ensure that your pool stays healthy all year long.
What Is The Proper Way To Clean My Pool?
The proper way to clean your pool is with a chlorine-based alkaline cleaner. These types of cleaners are designed to break down all the organic material that can accumulate in your pool area during the year, resulting in a cleaner and more pleasant swimming experience for you and your family. Just like with fresh water, the general rule of thumb is to test a pool area for cleanliness at least once a month, and depending on the results of these tests, you can decide whether or not to clean your pool with a chlorine-based alkaline cleaner. After all, not all algae is bad! There are actually some types of algae that are quite beneficial for plants and animals, including humans!
How Do I Know When My Pool Needs To Be Cleaned?
There are several signs that your pool needs to be cleaned. For starters, if you discover algae growth in any form in your pool area, then you know that it needs to be cleaned. Similarly, if you notice that the water has lost its color, or if you discover any type of discoloration, then this is an indication that it’s time for a professional pool service to clean your pool. Furthermore, if your pool has undergone any changes recently (addition of new equipment or plumbing), then this is another good reason to have it cleaned. In most cases, algae and bacteria growth in a pool can be traced back to the water source, so if you discover that the water in your pool is coming from a newly constructed water well, then this is a sign that it needs to be cleaned immediately.
As with any living thing, your pool can deteriorate over time if proper care is not taken. In most cases, this deterioration is due to a lack of proper maintenance by the owner. In some instances, contamination from animal or human fecal matter can also factor into the equation. Regardless, as long as you are taking the proper steps to prevent algae from growing in your pool, it will remain healthy for you and your family for many years to come. Remember: You can never eliminate all the danger that comes with swimming, but you can minimize it with proper care and maintenance