Don’t Let Cloudy Pool Water Be a Danger to Your Swimmers
If you think swimming in cloudy pool water isn’t serious, think again. Allowing swimmers into your pool when the water is cloudy can pose a serious risk according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Keeping your pool water clean and clear can prevent sickness and even save a life.
There are three main reasons why the CDC has flagged cloudy pool water as a public health risk. Cloudy water increases the risk of drowning, getting a UTI and catching a stomach bug.
Cloudy Pool Water Risks
Cloudy water is a drowning risk because it makes it more difficult to see swimmers who may be struggling or suspended under the water. Before you get into a pool, the CDC recommends that you check to see if the drain at the deep end of the pool is visible. If you can clearly see the drain at the bottom of the pool in the deepest area, it is safe to swim. If you can’t, stay out of the water.
Getting a UTI or Catching a Stomach Bug
Staying out of a cloudy pool can also prevent you from contracting a urinary tract infection (UTI) or stomach bug. These two risks have the same cause: E. coli.
You might think that a pool is safe to swim in, despite cloudy water, if it has a strong chlorine smell. Most of us believe this is a sign that the water has a lot of chlorine in it. The truth is that the strong smell coming off the pool is actually from chloramine (the chemical compound created when chlorine reacts with a contaminate). That smell is an indicator that there are too many contaminates in the pool and not enough active chlorine to fight it. Those contaminates are what can irritate your eyes making them red and itchy.
When you swim in water with too many chloramines and contaminates, there is a chance that you might get sick from E. coli bacteria in the water. Swimming in water with E. coli can cause UTIs and stomach bugs.
How to Get Rid of Cloudy Water
The first step to take when you noticed that your pool water is looking cloudy is to check the filter. All filters, whether you have a sand filter, DE filter or cartridge filter, need to be cleaned out regularly. If your filter looks like it is dirty or filled with debris, it is time to clean it out. (How you clean the filter will depend on the type that you have. It is best the follow the manufacturer’s instructions.)
After you’ve checked or cleaned the filter, take a look at the pool pump to make sure it is functioning properly. If the pool pump isn’t working, talk to a pool expert to find out the best solution.
If cleaning the filter or replacing the pool pump does not solve the problem within a day, its time to move on to a chemical solution.
Test the water to ensure the pH levels are balanced. Then use a shock treatment at night to neutralize the contaminates in the water. Wait until the chlorine level in the water drops down to 1-4 parts per million (ppm) before allowing swimmers back into the pool.
If the water still looks a little cloudy after the shock treatment, you may want to use a water clarifier before allowing swimmers back into the pool. A clarifier essentially attaches to small contaminates in the water so that they can be filtered out instead of staying suspended in the water.
Doing the work to keep your pool water clean and clear is worth it. If you need help, give us a call! The pool experts at Pool Works help residents throughout Lakeland, FL keep their pools safe to swim in.