13 April 2016
Why does my pool water taste salty?
If you’ve noticed a recent change in the smell or taste of your pool water, it could indicate unhealthy changes to the chemical composition of the water. If the water tastes salty to you, it generally means that something is amiss with the water’s TDS level.
Simply put, TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) refers to everything dissolved in water that isn’t, well, water. This includes all the microscopic minerals, salts, metals and organic matter that find their way into a water system as a result of chemical additives, regular usage, and water treatment.
Changes in water flavour (such as bitter or salty flavours) are the most immediately noticeable indicators of a high TDS level—but TDS doesn’t just impact the taste of the water. If left untreated, it can result in:
• Degraded efficiency of filtering and pump equipment
• Damaged and worn-out pool fixtures
• Films, crust and scaling around the pool
Most worrying, a high TDS level can damage the fabric of the swimming pool itself. This can, therefore, be a major problem if left untreated. For this reason, it’s important that you identify whether there is a problem and, for the sake of your pool’s longevity (and an enjoyable swim), take action to solve it.
Testing your water
A helpful way of determining the balance of your pool water is by utilising something called the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI). This measures a range of factors, including water hardness, TDS, alkalinity, pH levels and temperature – making it not just an effective way of judging TDS levels, but also a comprehensive means of assessing your water’s chemical makeup.
You will need a water balance kit, a thermometer and a TDS meter. Your water balance kit should have simple, straightforward instructions to enable you to carry out a water analysis. Once you have the figures measured for the factors above, you should record them on paper (or online calculator) for your pool engineer to determine the saturation index of the water.
Using the results of this test, it can be established whether the pool water is corrosive which can damage the pool equipment and internal finishes. or whether it is scale forming, which can result in a build-up of minerals, also causing damage to equipment and leaving deposits on covers, handrails etc. London Swimming Pool engineers can take effective action to return your pool’s chemical and mineral makeup back to normal – and prevent long-term damage to your pool.
If like most clients you’re not up for tackling the test yourself, get in touch with your pool engineer, explain the situation and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying a non-salty, non-corrosive pool once more.
The best way of protecting your pool water from undesirable TDS levels and any other potential issues is to have regular (at least twice a month) professional servicing. This way you can be confident that no problems arise in the first place.
At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool maintenance, servicing and refurbishment, so if you have a pool that’s in need of regular maintenance or a facelift, contact us for an initial discussion – there’s no substitute for expert advice. If you have an older swimming pool that needs upgrading, we suggest planning your refurbishment for the autumn, so all the work is done and dusted before the next swimming season.