Importance of Regular Checks and Cleaning for Your Swimming Pool
If swimming pools were just concrete lined holes we’d all have a lot more diseases circulating. Dead skin, dirt, leaves, that muck under your fingernails and insects would be having a party and putting the whole neighbourhood at risk. Instead, swimming pools are delicate systems with pumps, filters, drains, and most importantly, chemical buffers to keep them safe places to relax and enjoy with your friends and family. In this article we’ll discuss some simple ways to keep your pool healthy.
Stick with the Program
Every pool system will come with a detailed set of instructions regarding timely maintenance and scheduled chemical dosing recommendations. These programs have been designed by the professionals who installed the pool system and provide the best possible information on what the right course of action is for maintaining a healthy pool.
Regularly Skim Leaves and Debris
Removing leaves and debris from your pool is worthwhile for more than just aesthetic value. All organic material is a potential nutrient for bacterial growth and simultaneously a reactant for pool chemicals. Such material can cause premature consumption of chlorine or alter the pH and thereby threaten the delicate balance of the system.
Clean the Filter
There are many kinds of pool filters but they all require regular maintenance. Consult the directions provided with your filter. This is important because material lodged in the filter is still in regular contact with the water and if it doesn’t cause a costly breakdown it can still affect the delicate water chemistry in the same way as leaves and debris. A clogged filter can slow down water circulation which will also threaten the system.
Chlorine is the chemical most people use to keep their pools clean. The most active form is hypochlorous acid (HOCl) and the conjugate base known as the hypochlorite ion (OCl–) is also effective though much slower at attacking bacteria. These species are consumed through action and either become bound up in harmless ineffective compounds or being decomposed by sunlight. For these reasons it is necessary to monitor and replenish chlorine levels within the pool system. It is also a good reason to get a pool cover to reduce the quantity of chlorine decomposed by the sun.
The pH of your pool is extremely important for mediating which species of chlorine is present. The ideal pH is 7.4 for maintaining sufficient hypochlorous acid to rapidly attack bacteria.
Shocking the pool is a treatment to rapidly kill algae and other microorganisms that may be lurking in the system. It is the process of adding chemicals to your pool to rapidly increase the active concentration of chlorine. It can also involve adding a significant dose of soluble copper and occasionally chelating agents. It can be a good way to make the pool ready for summer, just make sure to give it a few days and perform a water quality analysis afterwards before you use the pool. It’s also advised to have a water quality check before shock treatment so that the effectiveness of the treatment can be judged.