24 November 2017
Signs your pool water could be harmful
When swimmers use your pool, they inadvertently introduce bacteria into the water. If your water is untreated, bacteria can multiply and spread, causing several problems. On the other hand, if your pool is over-chlorinated it can cause unpleasant side effects for swimmers. In this post, we take a look at some of the signs that might indicate your pool water isn't at its best.
If you notice that the pool water has changed in quality overnight, it's likely there's an issue. This is particularly true if you can no longer see the floor of the pool, or if the water is cloudy or has changed colour.
Rapid changes are usually the result of imbalanced chemicals, a broken filter, or blockages to water circulation. Do not swim in your pool until you have determined the reason for the change and have had the the underlying cause fixed.
If your pool is outdoors you must also consider the level of chlorine in the water. This is because chlorine can be diluted by rainfall getting into the water, as well as UV rays from the sun bonding with “free” chlorine molecules and removing them from the water. It might be that the chlorine level has dropped too low and needs topping up.
As we've mentioned, chemical imbalances can be the cause of cloudy water. However, if your total alkalinity rises too much, it can cause damage to the pool itself as well as tainting the water. As Better Health notes:
“Total alkalinity means the sum of all alkaline chemicals in your water. If the total alkalinity is too low, the pH balance can become unstable. Concrete and painted pool surfaces will also deteriorate over time. The total alkalinity and pH are interconnected. For example, raising the total alkalinity could also raise the pH. Make sure you don't disrupt the pool's pH when adjusting the total alkalinity and vice versa.”
High alkalinity can cause scale to appear on the sides of the pool and in the internal plumbing. If your pool reaches this state it can take weeks before you're able to use it again. On the other hand, if the pool's alkalinity drops too low it will become acidic. In this case, serious damage can occur to your pool that may even necessitate repair.
Various outside contaminants can cause issues with pool water. If your pool is outside, bugs and even small animals can contaminate the pool water. Regular attention is needed to ensure that the water does not become harmful to health.
If bad weather has blown any debris into the pool, you should first clear it with a net or ask your service engineer to visit to do the cleaning. Be sure to check the filters and leaf traps too, to ensure they are clear.
Once the pool is clear of debris, perform your water tests. When chlorine reacts with organic matter like leaves it can form compounds called trihalomethanes that have been linked with certain illnesses.
Ultimately, regular professional servicing can make maintaining your water quality a breeze. If you do notice changes in your water, you should get in touch with your pool servicing engineer straightaway.