Everyone finds clear blue pool water inviting them to take a relaxing dip. Before diving in, this makes pool owners ask themselves “why is the water blue?” This has many wondering how pool water can match the color of an ocean or sea. The crystal-clear truth behind this mystery is more complex, yet simple to solve. If you want to know what causes this blue effect, read on. The answer will help you learn how to enhance this simple aesthetic and see how it plays into pool health.
A Trick of the Light
On its own, water is colorless. Why is it that water becomes blue in a pool? Some popular assumptions are that the water reflects the sky or it is an optical illusion provided by pools painted blue at the bottom. While these can certainly enhance a pool’s blue hue, neither are the reason for this color change. A pool’s finish would not make the water look completely blue. Even on an overcast day, many agree that they still see the blue color in pools.
The main reason is light absorption. When the sun’s rays beat down on any pool, the molecules absorb the light from the red end of the spectrum but not the blue light. The water reflects this part, providing the shade of blue we all see. Even if a pool were indoors and under artificial light, this effect will still work. Some people even choose to have more depth in their pool design to make the water have a richer shade of blue.
Pool water’s mass also explains why the same effect doesn’t take place with a glass of water placed outside. While the water absorbs light, it does not possess enough mass to fully absorb the red part of the spectrum. This prevents the small body of water from reflecting the blue light and taking on the same color as a pool.
If you want accentuate this blue color, Waterscapes Pools and Spas recommends utilizing stone or tile finishes. Using these can change the shade, making the blue appear lighter or darker depending on your preference. A popular option among customers is the standard Stone White Pearl. This finish is white, but it will make your pool water take on a calming light blue color. We also offer darker finishes that can make pools take on a richer shade of blue.
Making Things Clear
Blue pool water is a calming sight to behold. However, pool owners can feel distressed when they see their crystal-clear pool is looking murky and altering the blue color. This often denotes a chemical imbalance in the water, something you will need to take care of right away. While the cause is usually a high calcium hardness level, other issues like debris and alkalinity can contribute.
Get to the bottom of all this murky uncertainty by having your water tested. You can obtain an at-home kit to perform the tests or you can bring it to a nearby store. Once you obtain your results, you can then utilize the proper chemicals to balance out those levels.
Another potential cause for murky pool water can be an issue with your filter. Waterscapes recommends frequently checking your cartridges and ensuring they are clean. Left uncleaned for too long, cartridges can push debris back into the pool, making for quite the mess. Our filters are easy to clean and help you in maintaining a crystal-clear pool.
One way Waterscapes combats the need for a multitude of chemicals is with our saltwater generators. These utilize salt and transmute it into chlorine, a key chemical for maintaining proper levels in your pool. Thanks to these, pool owners can cut down on chemical usage while knowing their water will stay crystal-clear.
“We encourage customers to check the pool chemicals once a week since it is key to keeping your water clean and blue,” says Waterscapes pool designer Rob LaGasse. “However, the saltwater generator system will help minimize the chemical usage.”
Keep Your Pool Blue
While blue pool water can be explained by science, you cannot enjoy the color if you see a plethora of unsightly debris on the top and the bottom of your pool. The key to clear pools is to make cleaning it a routine task. There is no secret to ensuring your pool water stays clear and blue all the time, but you can take some necessary steps to help with this.
One step you can take is skimming the surface of the pool. This aids in the removal of leaves which can act as feed for algae, contaminating your pool water. Waterscapes also encourages the use of pool vacuums. These can help keep your pool’s bottom free of debris and other materials that might contaminate your water.
While cleaning your pool should be a regular task, you do not need to do it every day. Pools normally require maintenance once a week, so you can plan out the task in advance. If you want to minimize the stress of pool maintenance, Waterscapes recommends using an outside pool service company to manage this task if you find it hard to fit into your schedule.
To help, Waterscapes will maintain your pool for the first 30 days after completion. Before that period ends, Waterscapes does a pool school for customers, arming you with the knowledge needed to keep your pool clean. This will help you understand the ins and outs of our pool systems and how to keep them in top form.
You might also need to check your pool after any heavy rainstorms as these can bring in unsanitary materials. The inclusion of rain water can also throw chemical levels off since the rain can carry other chemicals, so you will want to test for any chemical imbalances as well.
Other Colors Indicate Poor Health
When light beats down on your pool, blue is the only color you should see. Make sure you analyze your pool’s color before diving in. If you see the pool’s water color is now green, it is not a trick of the light, that is a warning signal for your pool’s health!
Pool water turning green can be caused by issues such as oxidized metals, pH concentration and pollen particles. However, the common culprit behind this unsettling color change is pool algae. Algae is a bacteria resembling a green “fur” on a pool’s surface or in the corners of steps. If you see algae begin to form on your pool, don’t delay cleaning the gunk. Sunlight on your pool can facilitate this bacteria’s growth, quickly escalating a minor issue into a major cleaning effort within 24 hours.
This is why weekly pool maintenance is so important. Algae can grow in hard-to-reach spots like the bottom of your pool, hence why running a pool vacuum regularly is helpful. Chlorine can also kill algae before it becomes a problem. If there is a sudden appearance of this substance, make sure you check your chlorine level. If this level is low, you will need to add in extra to help with cleaning.
The problem with algae is a major reason why Waterscapes incorporates saltwater generators into the design of a pool. These generators easily maintain the chlorine level, requiring less effort from the pool owner. You should frequently check your pool’s chemical levels, but you can rest assured that you will not need to adjust the chlorine level too much.
The shade of blue we all see in pools is a simple, yet important aesthetic. While blue pool water is customizable and draws people in, it is also a performance indicator of your pool’s health. With the proper maintenance, you can maintain this calming color and ensure you have a crystal-clear pool safe for swimming.