At any time of the year in Florida, a crystal-clear pool entices owners to jump in and take the edge off of a hot day. However, owners might be reluctant to do so when they see cloudy pool water, a concerning issue that often comes about after a heavy rainstorm. Many Floridians also find this issue often happens during the state’s rainy season.
While cloudy water can cause uncertainty and have you wondering what to do after you experience it, there is no need to worry. There are several cleaning tips that provide both you and your pool water with plenty of clarity and minimize this issue before and after a rain storm occurs.
A Little Clouded Up
Have you wondered why pool water can be cloudy after it rains? After all, rain is just water – and water can’t be harmful, right? The answer is yes and no. While the water is not harmful if inhaled, it can certainly impact your pool’s chemicals levels. This is due to acid rain, rain that mixes water vapor with certain air pollutants, increasing its acidity. This more caustic rainwater lowers your pool’s alkalinity, which maintains pool conditions, and also decreases the pH levels, making the pool acidic. Chlorine will also be less effective if the pH level is too low.
Another potential issue you can face is runoff, a phenomenon that occurs when pools overflow and water runs off into the surrounding landscape. When this occurs, the water can drag sediment (often from concrete ground) or other contaminants into the pool, worsening any chemical imbalances.
If your pool experiences any of these issues, take immediate action. Again, the water is not directly harmful but with unbalanced chemical levels, pools become susceptible to poor health issues.
Clearing Any Issues
Once a rainstorm passes, tend to your pool water right away. Several steps need to be taken to get the water clear again.
1. Adjust your water level
Before rebalancing your chemical levels, lower the water level in your pool. Waterscapes pools have a built-in feature that automatically drains water in case of overflow, making this a relatively simple matter. If you also need help maintaining the right level year-round, you have the option to include an autofill feature, filling the pool to a set limit when needed.
2. Test the waters
Obtain a testing kit and check your chemical levels. In the case of water post-rain, you will want to see the results for the two most affected levels: alkalinity and pH. Alkalinity should be between 80 – 120 ppm and the pH level should be between 7.4 – 7.6. Given these levels will be low, baking soda can be used to raise them but if they get too high, use muriatic acid to lower the levels.
3. Check calcium hardness
Another important level to check, calcium hardness can create a problem if it is too high or low. A high level can cause cloudy water, blocking the flow of water and damaging pool equipment. However, soft pool water (water below 200 ppm) is corrosive, eroding walls and corroding any metal parts such as ladders, pipes and filters. To decrease the hardness level, you can drain more pool water and dilute it with fresh water. If you have to increase the level, use calcium chloride but in small dosages as it can raise this level rather quickly.
4. Clean out the debris
After it rains, a whole host of unwanted debris can enter your pool. If not removed, they can contribute to any current imbalances. Use a pool brush to remove nearby debris away from the pool. You can also use a skimmer to remove large items off the water’s surface. In the case of runoff, sediment can make its way to the bottom of the pool. Use a pool vacuum to remove it from this area.
5. Filter out anything bad
Filters are vital to pool health, preventing debris and contaminants from lingering. Allow filters to run at least eight hours a day to circulate water and trap any unwanted materials. If you see anything a filter should catch floating in your pool, there is a possibility the filter is clogged. Give the filter a thorough clean if you notice this issue. Waterscapes uses multi-cartridge filters, so you can easily rinse these down with a hose.
6. Keep skimmers clean
Skimmers are another vital piece of equipment for pool filtration, trapping any small debris or material floating in your pool. Their job also prevents damage to any pool equipment. After rain, take a look at your skimmer and see if you have any material in it. These can quickly clog if too much debris is lodged in them, so clean them off after a storm. The skimmers in Waterscapes pools feature an internal basket, so you can easily remove it and provide a proper cleaning.
Rain makes pool cleanliness even more of a priority for pool owners. By taking these necessary steps, you can clear up your pool water and ensure it is ready for the next time you decide to take a refreshing dip.
Before The Storm
When any severe weather (ie. A tropical storm, hurricane or heavy rainfall) approach, there are some steps you can take to prepare your pool for the impact. These steps won’t prevent rain from altering pool chemistry, but they can minimize the severity of the imbalances.
- Lower water levels ahead of time: If a storm is on the horizon, one advisable step is to lower a pool’s water level before its arrival. You should never empty a pool in the case of any severe weather as the lack of weight can lift them from their foundation. To best prepare, lower your pool’s water level by one to two feet. This preventative measure can also cut the time spent decreasing the water level before clearing any potential cloudy water.
- Move planters away: Planters are a nice decorative feature for your personal oasis, but they have the potential to harm pools during a storm. Soil includes phosphates, a vital nutrient for plant growth. If planters overflow from rainfall, the runoff can dump loose soil and phosphate into the pool, lowering alkalinity and creating a breeding ground for algae, which can add to the issue of cloudy water. Remove these from the pool area before the next storm.
- Shut off electrical equipment: While an overlooked step, pool owners should shut off and disconnect any pumps or heaters connected to a pool. If left on during bad weather, you run a high risk of damaging the equipment to the point of replacement. After a bad storm ends, Waterscapes’ variable speed pumps will go a long way in helping clean your pool water. Don’t let equipment vital to pool maintenance get damaged!
After bad weather passes, it can be hard to imagine that something like rain can quickly switch pool water from crystal clear to murky. However, you don’t need to despair over this. By following these post-storm steps and implementing a few preventative measures, you can make your water sparkling clean within a matter of days.