Following are just a few of the most common problems associated with pool maintenance, and some guidelines for resolving them.
Green water. If the water is clear, green water may be due to dissolved iron, improper use of bromine or iodine, or the use of anthracite filters. Chlorination or superchlorination will convert the dissolved iron to a red-brown precipitate, which can be vacuumed and filtered from the pool. Proper pH control will prevent the water from dissolving iron from the pool pipes and filters. The precipitate can be settled and vacuumed or filtered from the pool water. In extreme cases, the settling process can be aided by sprinkling an ounce of powdered aluminum sulfate over each 100 square feet of pool surface. Allow the aluminum to settle quietly overnight. Be sure the pH of the water is above 7.6 before using aluminum.
Cloudy green water. Usually due to algae growth. Immediate superchlorination and maintaining proper free chlorine residual may solve the problem. An algaecide may be needed. In cases that have progressed beyond the curable stage, drain the pool and scrub the walls and floor with muriatic acid. (Use the acid with great caution.)
Dark and/or slippery spots on the pool bottom or side-walls. Usually due to algae growth. Treat as stated above. Sometimes, sprinkling a few granules of calcium hypochlorite directly on the spots may stop the growth, but this may also cause white spots on a painted or colored liner bottom. Dark, slippery spots in puddles on the pool deck may also be treated with calcium hypochlorite, but the solution should be rinsed thoroughly before allowing patrons to use the area.
Milky cloudiness. Usually due to excess dirt particles or to precipitation of calcium compounds. The cloudiness should disappear with adequate chlorination and efficient filtration. Superchlorination will help if the cloudiness is due to organic dirt.
Eye irritation. Usually due to improper pH control or build-up of chlorine compounds in the water due to insufficient chlorination. Chlorinate to pass the breakpoint and maintain the pH constantly at 7.8. Maintain a free chlorine residual of 0.4 to 0.6 ppm.
Helpful Hint: Are your pool managers and water feature engineers certified pool operators? CPO® certification courses are designed to provide individuals with the basic knowledge, techniques, and skills of pool and spa operations.
What, if any, problems have you encountered in your pool or spa operation? How were they resolved?