Did you know that on a sunny day, up to 95 per cent of a pool’s chlorine can be lost into the atmosphere in as little as three and a half hours? That's because hot weather heats up swimming pool water where it then increases evaporation, depletes chlorine levels and messes with pH levels – all of which creates the perfect environment for algae and bacteria to grow.
“Throughout the warmer months and particularly this summer, swimming pools need a little extra attention to keep the water clean and clear,” advises Swimart’s Australasian manager Chris Fitzmaurice.
It doesn’t take long for algae to bloom during prolonged periods of hot weather and, being microscopic-size, it often goes unnoticed until the water turns green. To prevent this from happening, Chris recommends regularly testing your pool water and immediately treating it if the chlorine is low or algae and bacteria growth is detected. “Chlorine is an effective and quick fix for algae and bacteria growth in pools,” explains Chris, who recommends also using a phosphate starver to deter algae from taking hold (algae feed on phosphates and without them, they fail to thrive).
No matter how diligently you clean your pool, phosphates are unfortunately unavoidable. Thriving in warm water, they are introduced into the pool from bird and bat droppings and detergent residues on swimming costumes. “The hotter the weather gets, the more the pool is used, so more chlorine is required to keep it sanitised and algae free,” explains Chris. “If you have a salt chlorinated pool, we recommend pressing the ‘super chlorinate’ button to kill algae.”
In addition to killing algae, chlorine has the added benefit of sanitising your pool by killing bacteria which can make swimmers sick. Every pool, indoors and out, is vulnerable to bacteria as it enters via top-up water and debris such as leaves and dirt. Top-up water also gradually dilutes chlorine, phosphate starver and salt levels and alters pH levels. A pH imbalance affects the efficiency of chlorine and swimmers’ comfort: high pH levels, which turns the water cloudy and causes scaling on the pool surface and in the salt chlorinator, can be addressed by adding acid to the water. A low pH, or high acid level, which makes the water sting eyes and skin and etches away the pool surface can be treated with a ‘buffer’ or alkali.
Swimart’s simple hot weather check list for a clean and healthy pool
- Check the chlorine and pH levels once a week. Pay particular attention after a period of heavy usage, rainfall and prolonged hot weather and if pets have used the pool
- Check and clean your skimmer basket and filtration pump’s hair and lint pot weekly
- Ensure the weir door to the filter is installed and operating
- Regularly take a sample of pool water from elbow depth to your local Swimart store to be professionally tested to check pH balance, chlorine levels and general quality and, if needed, to receive a tailored treatment plan
- Keep algae at bay with a phosphate starver and algaecide such as Aqua Health Concide
A small amount of TLC in summer goes a long way in keeping your prized investment clean and clear during the warmer months.