For those of us longing for a tropical vacation, we might spend hours reading vacation brochures, or more accurately in this day and age, reading descriptions on the countless travel websites that have put so many travel agents out of a job. A common phrase that comes up in the lavish descriptions of destinations is an “azure ocean,” conjuring up images of a beautiful beach, with the water glistening under the tropical sun.
Azure is a rich shade of blue, with a distinctive green hint, and while this is undeniably beautiful when it comes to the ocean, any hint of green in our own personal ocean in the backyard can be a cause for alarm. Green water in a swimming pool is a sign of algae and generally unclean water, and so maintaining the correct chemical composition of the water is vital, to keep it clean and ready for swimming. But how do you make sure that there is the right level of cleaning chemicals in the water?
The Regular Check-Up
Like the human body, a swimming pool benefits from regular check-ups. All pool owners should be checking their water frequently over the summer months, although it becomes less urgent during the colder part of the year. It’s easy enough to do- many pool supply stockists offer a cheap or even free testing service, and all you need to do is take a water sample to them.
You can usually check the pH level of the water yourself if you purchase a home testing kit, and your pool’s pH should be around 7.2, as this level is safest for human skin while swimming, and also allows cleaning chemicals to work to their best possible ability. Incidentally, 7.2 is also the pH level for human blood.
The Chlorine Question
The vast majority of home swimming pools contain chlorinated water, although there are arguments that saltwater pools are better for your skin. Saltwater pools still need chlorine and other cleaning chemicals, but in much smaller doses, and so are less corrosive for pipes and filters.
Your local pool supply stockist can tell you which chlorine tablets are best for your pool, and while they all contain the same active chemical ingredient, they contain it in varying strengths, and so the type of chlorine tablet that’s best for your pool usually depends on the size of the pool in question. Remember that it’s not always advisable to swim for 24 hours after giving your pool a large dose of chlorine.
Keeping your pool as clean as possible isn’t always about the chemicals. Make sure you clean the skimmer box each day so that leaves and debris aren’t rotting in there, which can lead to dirty water. Excessive leaves can also clog drainage pipes, putting stress on your pool system.
Coating for pools is also a factor, and while pebbled pool bottoms can look great, they can also allow algae to become trapped more easily, and so you should only opt for pebbling if you’re willing to invest in an automatic pool vacuum cleaner.
Watch out for evaporation during the summer months, as this can lead to the pool walls becoming exposed, and in extreme cases, even cracking, which can allow dirt to enter the water, and Ceven destroy the pool. Just put the garden hose into the pool to top it up for an hour or two, but make sure that you remember to turn it off- you don’t want to flood your garden.
If you follow a regular maintenance routine and check for debris on a daily basis, you will ensure that your pool is clean enough to use for swimming and it will reduce any future problems.