How to look after your pool in hot weather
|A scorching summer is well on the way, and that can play havoc with your pool water’s health. The forecast El Nino event means extremely dry, hot weather is on the way, so pool owners need to be especially vigilant. But there are steps you can take to ensure you and your family can cool off in confidence that there are no nasties lurking in the H2O.
Pool and spa specialist Swimart has some top tips to keep it sparkling clean and hygienic.
Swimart’s Australasian manager Chris Fitzmaurice says the Bureau of Meteorology has predicted this may be Australia’s hottest year on record. “This is as a result of the rare convergence of two significant weather events, one in the Pacific Ocean and the other in the Indian Ocean,” he says. “This is set to lead to an El Nino event, and that means extremely dry, hot weather, so pool owners need to be especially vigilant.”
Chris offers the following tips to maintain pool water health in extremely hot weather.
“Excessive heat leads to water evaporation and more swimmers using the pool to cool down – all of which results in increased chlorine demand,” he says. “This then affects pH and water balance. To save having to add more water to the pool, you can add Calcium Hardness Reducer which will ensure the calcium hardness value stays within the range for your type of pool.
“Not only that, but the weather patterns in many parts of Australia are fluctuating – which is quite normal at this time of the year – from cooler temperatures one day, hail storms the next, to humid, hot days. This can really muck up your pool chemistry, which means pool owners need to keep a close check on their pool water.”
The humidity, heat and long hours of sunshine means potential issues with pool water – not least being algae, which thrives in the heat.
“The best defence against algae is chlorine,” says Chris. “With ongoing hot weather, pools don’t get the chance to cool down overnight, so the chlorine demand remains high.”
Another demand on pool water is the level of phosphates in the water, as algae love phosphates and feed on them. Phosphate enters the pool from a variety of sources including dust and rain, runoff from lawns and gardens, bird and bat droppings, dogs swimming in the pool, fill water and leaves. However, chlorine alone can’t eliminate phosphates. An Aqua-Health chemical called Starver will eradicate the phosphates so the chlorine can work on killing the algae.
“Water balance is key to a healthy pool and to chlorine working effectively,” says Chris. “If the pH is too high, chlorine becomes less effective and the water can become dull and cloudy. This can be addressed by adding acid to the water. If too low, the water will start to hurt eyes and skin and make you feel itchy. It can also etch away the surface of the pool and cause scaling on the surface of your pool and salt chlorinator. This can be fixed by adding ‘buffer’ or alkali.
Correct pH levels within the range of 7.2 to 7.6 make the pool comfortable to swim in. If pH levels are incorrect, it can affect the efficiency of the chlorine in the pool.”
Besides phosphates, Chris says it is important to keep biofilm in check. Biofilm is created by bacteria forming a layer of slime in which they shelter, feed and breed. Over time this slime increases in thickness, creating serious hygiene problems. To rid your pool of this unpleasant substance, you can use Aqua-Health Pool Sentinel to loosen the slime, which is then rinsed away by the action of the water.
Swimart’s tips to keep your pool in top condition during the hot months: