The keys to healthy water
Your pool water might look clean, but it’s good to be mindful that harmful bacteria may be present.
“Proper maintenance is essential for the efficient and economical operation of your pool,” explains Chris Fitzmaurice, Swimart’s national manager. “It is also the surest way to protect your investment in your pool and pool equipment.
“The secret of sparkling clear and hygienic water is correct and regular pool care. As each pool installation is unique, there’s obviously no one single or standard care system for pools, because each one needs its own individual care and treatment plan. So the trick is to get to know your pool well and to check its condition regularly – or let the experts do it for you!”
There are three keys to success:
- Balanced water
- Correct levels of sanitiser (chlorine)
- Effective water circulation and filtration
Balanced water is the term which describes the interaction between pH, total alkalinity (TA), Calcium Hardness and total dissolved solids (TDS). These factors work in conjunction with one another to provide sparkling clear water and to protect the cement based pool surface, tiles, grout and equipment, from damage.
“We urge pool owners to take in samples of their pool water into their local Swimart store and we will advise on the best way to ensure balanced water,” says Chris.
“And whether your pool is fresh water or salt water, it needs the correct level of chlorine to keep it hygienic and bacteria free. In the case of the fresh water pool, you add the chlorine. The salt water pool generates its own chlorine.”
During summer or heavy use, it may be necessary to add a dose of chlorine to the water by hand to maintain the correct chlorine level. Incorrect chlorine levels may result in problems such as green-blue or ‘black spot’ algae, dull or cloudy water and objectionable odours. These all indicate that the water is unsafe for swimming.
To kill bacteria continuously, a free chlorine level of 1 to 2mg/L is required in a non-stabilised pool, and a reading of 2 to 3mg/L is required in a stabilised pool.
“For maximum chemical effectiveness, the pool water must be thoroughly circulated. Good filtration removes dirt and suspended matter, reducing the load on chlorine, allowing it get on with its job of cleaning the water and killing off algae and bacteria,” Chris says.
Bacteria flourish in hot weather, sunlight, in insufficient sanitiser levels and in so-called ‘dead’ spots – i.e. near corners and steps where circulation of water is poor and chlorine levels are low.
“That’s why filtration is so important,” Chris adds. “Filtration involves pumping pool water through a filter medium, whether that be sand, diatomaceous earth or a cartridge. To maintain water clarity, the capacity of the pump and filter should be sufficient to turn over the volume of the pool within five to six hours.”
Large twigs, leaves and other matter should be removed by leaf scoop and not by vacuuming as they can block the vacuum hose leading to the filter.
Visit your local Swimart store and they will be happy to advise on the best chemicals, filtration system and pump for your pool. And they can prepare a maintenance schedule to suit your pool – and ensure peace of mind for you.