It’s that time of year again and as the summer season starts up many operators will have to deal with , cloudy water! Before you just throw in some clarifier, here’s a quick checklist of items that you can take a look at if your water clouds up.
Water Chemical Balance is typically the first thing that operators should check. Start by checking the saturation index to see if your water is scaling or corrosive. Next, ensure that you have enough chlorine in the water to effectively sanitize and oxidize, and also maintain your pH levels in the 7.2-7.4 range. As pH increases so does the devaluation of your chlorine’s effectiveness. Cyanuric acid levels should also be checked and kept lower than 20ppm. Too much cyanuric in the pool can cause cloudiness fairly quickly, as well as devalue your chlorine.
A second item to check is your chemical controller to make sure it is giving adequate readings. Controllers should be calibrated on a regular basis and checked against the numbers you get when you are hand-testing the water. If the readings are off then it’s either time for cleaning the probes and sensors, recalibrating them, or it might even be time for replacement.
The surface of your pool can also contribute to cloudy water, especially at the start of the season when it has sat empty all year and been exposed to the UV rays from the sun. Painted pools can chalk at the beginning of the season so it’s always good to give them a good brushing before the pool opens to get all of the loose material off the bottom.
Bather load is obviously a huge factor since most of our pools don’t cloud up when we don’t have people in them. If you think bather load is your problem, pay close attention to when it starts to cloud up and how many guests are in the park at that time. You always want to ensure you are not exceeding the maximum capacity of your facility, and not putting your guests at risk. If at any time the water is too cloudy to see any portion of the bottom of the pool, then you must clear the pool. Guest safety is the utmost of importance.
Pool Filtration is another item on your list to check, though this is probably one of the hardest to diagnosis and fix, especially during the middle of your season. You always want to double check your flow rate and turnover to make sure they meet state codes, as well as meet the needs of your specific operation. Debris can’t get filtered out of the pool if it’s not getting back to the filter in a timely manner. Backwashing shouldn’t be done once a day just because; rather, it should be done based on the pressure differential on your filter. Remember, a dirty filter traps more dirt and debris than a clean filter does. Finally, put together a plan to observe, examine and replace your filter media per the recommendations of your filter manufacturer. Over time, your filter media can definitely lose its effectiveness.
Hopefully, you won’t have to experience cloudy water at your facility this summer. If you do, the above list is a great start to get you well on your way to finding the right solution.