Welcome to WaterBlog - Glen Gate’s Pool Blog

Chemical Dangers I Wish I knew Before Blowing Up My Chlorine Feeder

Bob Russell | March 20, 2017 in Indoor pools,Pool,Pool chemicals,Pool safety,Pool Service,Sanitizers | Comments (0)

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If you are a pool owner and love to do it yourself 

please read this short message:


The standard 3″ tablet used in erosion feeders is “TriChloro-S-Triazinetrione” (Cl3C3N3O3).

In the pool business, we refer to these 3″ tabs as “Trichlor Tabs.”

Recently, manufacturers of Calcium Hypochlorite have pressed their chlorine product into tablets about the same size as standard 3″ Trichlor tablets. This is where I see potential for disaster.

Every service person in the Pool Business learns chemical safety early, including: How to handle, store and transport pool chemicals and how to avoid mixing incompatible chemicals. Incompatible chemicals are so named because they can release hazardous gasses or react violently if mixed.

“Trichlor” Tablets should NEVER be mixed with Calcium Hypochlorite Tablets.

Even a small amount can cause a strong reaction including fire or explosion.

If you take care of your own pool- even partially, please be careful when shopping for tablets and only use what you’ve been using in your feeder all along- “Trichlor” Tablets.

Below are pictures of some of the new Calcium Hypochlorite tablets on the market. Always check the ingredients when you purchase “Chlorinating Tablets”!

Thank you!




Calcium Hypochlorite Tablets

Copyright 2008, Tom Altany, www.altanyphoto.com

Calcium Hypochlorite Tablets


Preparing Your Swimming Pool For Joquin

Bob Russell | October 2, 2015 in Eco-friendly,Pool,Pool chemicals,Pool safety,Pool Service,Sanitizers,Uncategorized,Winterize | Comments (0)

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Preparing For Heavy Rain And Winds


A check list and some frequently asked questions:


1) Secure or store deck furniture.

This includes: Tables, umbrellas; anything that can be blown by strong winds and become a potentially damaging projectile

2) Automatic pool coversIf your pool is still open: During periods of heavy downpours, we recommend opening automatic covers so heavy rain can fill the pool and not your closed cover. Heavy rain on top of your cover (a foot or more) could damage it. 

We also recommend this because, should your area lose power, the cover will be “stuck” closed. A sump pump cannot keep up with this volume of rainfall- especially if power is out.

While using your cover pump to remove accumulated water, be sure to run pump discharge into skimmers with system running so water is filtered and added to pool beneath cover.  

If you have a “Grando” or similar style floating automatic pool cover that drains off into pool, your decision to leave it open or closed should be based on the risk of wind-blown branches or debris which could damage your cover.

Yes, your pool will get messy with blowing leaves. This is a preferrable outcome to expensive repairs of a damaged auto cover. Leaves and branches can be scooped and picked out of the pool afterwards.


3) If you can winterize your pool before the storm arrives, do it!


4) Water table issues: Pools located in areas where ground water can surge should NOT be pumped too low. It is almost always okay if your pool overflows! Consider the following:

Do not lower pool water level excessively to “make room” for heavy rains. There is a real risk of floating a swimming pool or buckling the shell if pool water levels are too low during prolonged periods of heavy rains where water tables surge. Leave pool at normal winter water levels (between bottom of tile and 11″ below bottom of tile.) 

The risk is greater with pools in flood-prone areas including properties adjacent to the LI Sound. An overflowing pool is preferable to an opened hydrostatic relief valve (which requires a diver to re-set). Hydrostat valves can open and become stuck open when water table surges up and above water level inside pool.

The exception to this rule is the odd situation where an overflowing pool creates other problems that must be avoided (you know who you are).


Q: What about pool chemicals?

A: Normal levels pool chemicals are diluted during heavy rains and will  NOT cause damage to grass or gardens this time of year. Chlorine dissipates rapidly on the ground. Don’t worry about pool chemicals hurting anything should your pool overflow during a heavy downpour.


5) If you are a Glen Gate Client, we will reach out to those in hard hit areas. If you are not a client and need assistance please feel free to inquire about our services by contacting our office at 203 762-2000.  

Our Pool and Property Care teams specialize in storm clean-up.


6) If you have a significant amount of landscape soil wash into your pool- call us to assess the situation. It may be we can save the water. In some heavy wash-in situations we may advise draining and cleaning out the pool.


7) For those of you on the coast-  Let your pool fill. Your pool structure is safest when full should a wave come inland and reach your property; or there be severe flood tides.

For now, we hope you and your property are safe and sound!

Call if you need anything!

Bob and the service team at Glen Gate Company


Opening Your Pool

Bob Russell | May 28, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

BergOpening up a swimming pool is not as hard as some believe.

If you close it right, it should open relatively quickly and easy- almost always.

For those times a repair is required, it is always best to be working with licensed, experienced professionals.

A pool owner should interview and select a service provider as they would an employee for a very important job position in their company. The best and most productive employees usually cost a bit more annually but they more than justify the extra costs and make your life far more enjoyable.

Life, like the Summer, is short. Spend it wisely and enjoy your pool!



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High Tech Pool And Spa Stuff- Sanitization- Part 2

Bob Russell | February 12, 2015 in Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Ultra Violet

Since the advent of the residential swimming pool there has been a quest for the perfect bather experience.

In the 50′s and 60′s pool owners would employ liquid chlorine (bleach) to minimize algae growth and prevent water-bourn ailments such as ear infections. During this time period ear infections became so associated with swimming pools the term “swimming pool ear” was coined to describe the painful affliction caused by bacteria breeding in unsanitary pools.

By the 60′s and 70′s we had made good progress in the area of pools and spa sanitization and our focus moved towards bather comfort. During this era, irritating odors and red eyes marked the recreational swimming experience. It was during this time “Bromine” was introduced as an alternative- this did in fact lessen, but not eliminate, the adverse effects of what we now understand to be a very treatable sanitization problem- caused by ammonia.

The source of ammonia, as it turns out, was the bathers. Ammonia readily forms a compound with chlorine- it is this compound (often referred to as “chloramines”) that is responsible for irritation of swimmer mucous membranes. If you’ve ever made the mistake of mixing ammonia and bleach together while cleaning your house, you’ll probably never forget it.

Unfortunately, many still blame chlorine for the irritation we now know to be caused by ammonia introduced by bathers. “Free Chlorine” is virtually odorless at levels that are more than adequate to maintain healthy water. As a comparison, the drinking water standard allows 4.0 ppm chlorine; the standard for pool sanitization is 3.0 ppm chlorine.

Ammonia- the real culprit for eye irritation, is easily oxidized and gassed off with appropriate treatments. Chlorine remains the preferred sanitizer for a host of reasons, not the least of which is: it is the most environmentally compatible sanitizer, it is also the least costly.

The use of ozone generators and non-chlorine shock has all but eradicated the red eyes and obnoxious odors caused when ammonia meets chlorine. End of problem… but wait… what about our quest for the perfect bather experience?

UV (Ultraviolet) light is making a resurgence in today’s marketplace- a marketplace that continues to demand the ultimate bather experience.

While a salt/chlorine generator and ozone combination makes for delightful water to bathe in- the demand for “perfect water” (which generally means LESS CHEMICALS) is still heard from the most discriminating pool and spa owners.

This is where UV sanitization is becoming increasingly popular.

A quick description UV and it’s applications:

UV can not be used in place of chlorine, but, it can reduce the “chlorine demand” by reducing the volume of pathogens- specifically the ability of water-bourn pathogens to reproduce.

Remember a point I made in a previous article- I compared the swimming pool or spa to a “Petrie Dish…” It’s actually a very good comparison. There must be a sanitizer present (i.e. an agent that kills bacteria, viruses and plant life) to maintain water that will not make bathers sick or grow algae.

UV is making a come-back because it reduces the amount of sanitizer required to maintain sanitary conditions for bathers. UV alters the DNA in live organisms so they cannot reproduce- thus reducing the demand for more chlorine. It must be noted here that UV does not kill bacteria or viruses, but it has been shown effective in reducing their ability to reproduce. Recall the Petrie Dish experiment- if you want to grow a particular bacteria, virus, fungus, or algae FAST, place it in a sterile environment with food. Live things reproduce exponentially unless they are checked by an agent (e.g. Chlorine)- or altered so they cannot reproduce, this is what UV light does.

UV is used extensively- it is popular in water features and ponds that host aquatic life- since there is no sanitizing agent like chlorine in a pond, UV helps control unwanted growth of water-bourn pathogens that can adversely impact plants and fish.

If you are one of those looking for the perfect bather experience, consider adding UV to your sanitizing system. It will reduce the chlorine demand.

If you share our passion for this subject, you are on a quest for the ultimate bather experience! Contact us at Glen Gate Company and one of our experts will be happy to help you find that perfect bather experience.


Below is an excerpt from a Wikipedia post:

Sterilization and disinfection

“…Ultraviolet lamps are used to sterilize workspaces and tools used in biology laboratories and medical facilities. Commercially available low-pressure mercury-vapor lamps emit about 86% of their light at 254 nanometers (nm), which is near one of the peaks of the germicidal effectiveness curve. UV light at these germicidal wavelengths damage a microorganism’s DNA so that it cannot reproduce, making it harmless, (even though the organism may not be killed). Since microorganisms can be shielded from ultraviolet light in small cracks and other shaded areas, these lamps are used only as a supplement to other sterilization techniques.

Disinfection using UV radiation is commonly used in wastewater treatment applications and is finding an increased usage in municipal drinking water treatment. Many bottlers of spring water use UV disinfection equipment to sterilize their water…”





Remote Controls And Other High Tech Stuff- Part 1

Bob Russell | in Equipment maintenance,Indoor pools,Pool,Pool equipment,Pool Service | Comments (0)

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There are many remote control options for the pool and spa owner today. The one pictured above is from a pool inspection I did last summer in Westport. I’ll be nice: I hated this thing. I wondered what it must be like for pool owners.

If you are interested in remote controls, here are some tips to make your decision easy:

1) Ask someone who services and operates all these systems- I’m referring to your professional pool and spa service person. This is where you will get the best advice. Of course, you can ask your neighbor or co-worker, but I’m guessing they won’t be comparing ALL the systems an experienced service professional sees on a weekly basis.

2) Ask the right pool and spa professional.

That may smack of arrogance but here’s some inside information about the pool and spa trade:

  • Some companies are construction oriented- this orientation tends to select systems that install easily and give favorable margins.
  • Some companies are design oriented- this orientation seems to love bells and whistles and handsome controllers that integrate with whole-house systems- things that an interior designer or architect would approve of.
  • Some companies are service oriented- this orientation tends to select systems that are easiest to repair and maintain.

It is rare to find a company that is ALL THREE, this is what Glen Gate brings to the marketplace: brilliant design, installation AND a committed service relationship that makes owning a pool truly enjoyable.

Here is what we look for in remote control systems:

  1. Easy to operate: This may sound like a no-brainer, but in the end, it’s the Owner who will operate this equipment on a day to day basis.
  2. Supported by manufacturer: This is critical for us as our service clients expect reliable performance. On our end, that means our service team can always depend on technical support, available parts and a company that stands behind their work.
  3. Brilliant Design: Our demanding design team simply wants it all. When designing an award-winning property with a pool, spa and water feature- everything has to come together.

There are a LOT of remote control options out there. My advice is, don’t ask just anybody who looks like an expert. Ask a company that values and demands it all.

If you are interested in hearing more on this subject- including our 24/7 monitoring capabilities; or the new remote control APPS for your smart devices, please contact us. What you’ll get is a depth of experience and advice you can’t get anywhere else.



Pool and Spa Winter Maintenance

Bob Russell | in Equipment maintenance,Pool,Pool equipment,Pool safety,Pool Service,Sanitizers,Winterize | Comments (0)

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Winter And Your Outdoor Pool/ Spa

New England winters are long and harsh. You may have noticed :)

Protecting your outdoor pool and spas however, is pretty basic.

Here are 4 basic things you must do to protect your outdoor pool and spa:

1) Make sure the water is balanced and sanitized when pool or spa is closed.

If you are unclear how to do this, I suggest you consult with a professional.

There is a science to minimizing winter damage through good water chemistry.

This step is critical to protecting your investment and conserving water.

2) Make sure circulation system and all related plumbing is properly winterized.

The reasons for this may be obvious- ice can break or damage just about anything. As a pool inspector I am still amazed at how much ice damage I see. My advice, hire a professional to handle this aspect of seasonal maintenance. If you prefer to do it yourself, make sure you obtain good instruction from a professional.

3) Minimize damage to masonry by keeping ice below pool tile and coping.

Pool tile that is rated as “frost-proof” can be misleading. Ice against pool tile expands and contracts every day as temperatures go up and down, this will break any tile and can also lift pool coping off it’s setting bed. Masonry damage is very expensive to repair.

Winter ice must be maintained below tile. Care should be taken to NOT exceed the levels specified by your winter cover installer as the cover is designed to float on water when bearing the weight of heavy snow. Typically you should not exceed 8″ below the bottom of pool tile.

Maintenance of ice levels in pools often requires 3-4 pump outs between fall closing and spring opening- this is based on average rainfall.

4) Utilize a good quality winter safety cover to keep pets and people safe as well as keep fall debris out of pool.

Our #1 reason for using a good quality winter cover is safety.

#2 is to keep the massive amounts of leaves and debris out as these will overwhelm the sanitizer and allow pool to turn green with algae by spring.

Failing to maintain clear, sanitary water will encourage staining of the finish that will require draining pool to remove. Unsanitary water also provides a breeding place for mosquitos.


There are other things a pool owner should be aware of, such as protecting critical components such as heater and filter, but these are the (4) critical things for protecting your investment.

For more information please contact Glen Gate Company.


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Pool Restoration

Bob Russell | June 12, 2014 in Pool,Pool renovations,Pool Service,Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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Pool Restoration

Here are some important considerations for those deciding to renovate or restore a swimming pool in Connecticut.

I took this first picture during a pool inspection around 2008. Note the hairline crack just above tile and beneath coping stones. I told the pool owner, “…you will begin to lose tile in this area in 2-3  years.

The second picture was taken in 2010. Same pool, same area.

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Did you know that tile problems are almost always a symptom of coping problems?

Coping problems can be related to expansion joint problems (or lack of expansion joint).

Or, they can simply be normal pool maintenance because we live in the North east and have harsh Winters.

The point of my anecdote: When you decide it is time to restore your swimming pool to it’s original glory, be sure to find an experienced (and licensed, by the way) expert who will not only attempt to sell you a tile job; or re-set coping stones and re-surface your pool, find someone who can spot why something failed; someone who understands how to repair in such a way that you don’t have to do this again for a long time.

In my experience as a pool inspector, the #1 reason for coping/ tile problems is inadequate expansion joints. The #2 cause is inadequate drainage around pool.

#3 is the fact you own a pool in New England! Seasonal changes are just rough on masonry!


Root Causes and Codes

The second and final point I’d like to make in this post is this: once you have an expert who understands root causes of problems and can offer long-lasting solutions, be sure your pool repairs are done in accordance with local and state codes. This is not just good advice, it is the law:

  1. Pool renovation and restoration work must be done by licensed companies using licensed employees.
  2. Current pool building standards apply to renovation or restoration work.

One example of this is the so-called, “anti-entrapment codes.”

When re-surfacing a swimming pool in Connecticut, the pool is to be brought into current building and safety standards. There may be some variation in interpretation of the building code from town to town, but essentially, every pool that is having any kind of permanent changes made to the circulation system must be brought to current building standards- this includes preparation work for re-surfacing!

These standards include splitting floor suction outlets 3′ apart AND employing a third “dummy drain” for water table management.

This is a picture of us doing just that on a recent pool restoration project.










We’ll continue on the subject in my next post.

Thank you for reading.

Enjoy the Summer!



Automatic Pool Covers- Tips For Use and Special Safety Memo

Bob Russell | April 16, 2014 in Equipment maintenance,Pool,Pool equipment,Pool safety,Pool Service | Comments (0)

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Pools Are Fun! Great Exercise! Wonderful For Family… and… They Require:


“Layers of safety”

The news out of Indiana this weekend was awful. Twin girls wandered into the neighbor’s yard and drowned in their pool.

It wasn’t a “normal” drowning – the pool was covered. Unfortunately, the cover was full of rainwater.

In the pool business we are trained to think in terms of, “layers of safety. As professionals we train pool owners to also think this way- to not rely on one thing,  because things can go wrong, systems can fail- a terrible reminder of this is the news of the loss of these beautiful 2-year-old girls.

Pool covers are considered a reliable safety barrier- a layer of protection;  but they can fill up with rainwater. Unfortunately, in 2011, Indiana decided that an automatic pool cover served as an adequate stand-alone barrier.


In Connecticut, an automatic pool cover does NOT satisfy the barrier code. Pools in our state require a barrier- such as a fence- the code is very strict on how such barriers are constructed.  Here is a link for summary of CT pool barrier code.

Swimming pools – part one.pdf

Automatic Pool Covers

The automatic pool cover is a very popular feature in the Northeast; and for good reasons:

  1. Covers increase efficiency and save on operation costs by containing heat; preventing water and sanitizer loss.
  2. Covers keep pools cleaner than uncovered pools.
  3. Automatic covers can extend the length of the “normal” pool season (for reasons cited above).
  4. Covers offer a layer of safety.

The Layer Of Safety That Every Pool Requires

Adult / professional supervision remains the #1 requirement for reducing or eliminating swimming pool accidents.

In the case of an automatic pool cover, the manufacturer recommends having a system in place to keep rain water pumped off. In Connecticut, a cover without water on top is not enough- there must also be a barrier. For some, this is not enough and a gate alarm might be installed on the barrier. Professionals think in terms of layers of protection. I highly recommend for YOUR peace of mind, that you employ an expert in the field to discuss and review these things. One should enjoy their swimming pool and not feel fear or anxiety over safety.

Remember, in Connecticut, to hire a licensed pool professional.

For further reading, visit the APSP, NESPA or CONSPA websites and locate the excellent literature available. I recommend “Layers Of protection” and “Children Aren’t Waterproof.”


Enjoy your swimming pool!

Again… “Is My Pool Safe?”

Bob Russell | August 8, 2013 in Equipment maintenance,Pool,Pool safety,Pool Service,Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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It always shakes us up a bit to think that a swimming pool- a symbol of recreation, laughter and family summer fun- could be otherwise. The recent news of entrapment and near drowning in a swimming pool has again shaken the confidence of pool owners -or those who might consider owning a pool.
I have reviewed this issue before (see previous post).
The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals (APSP) has released the statement below. For those of us here in Connecticut- we’ve been down this road before.
At Glen Gate- where safety is engineered into our design and woven into our service- we cannot imagine a swimming pool that is NOT safe. I must admit, I get mad over this issue. For us at Glen Gate, it is not only unacceptable to build or service a pool with entrapment risks, it is criminal.
When I do pool inspections for Real Estate Agents and see loose or missing suction outlet covers or other missing layers of protection I take the opportunity to educate and advise, and, I try hard to hide my anger. But, I have no problem advising a would-be Buyer or Real Estate Agent to find another service provider who gets it right.
My advice to all pool owners: 1) Find a licensed service provider! 2) Interview your service provider well; in CT,  ask them if they are licensed!
Safety and recreational swimming go hand in hand- it is basic and foundational!
The details of this incident are not yet out so I should temper my comments: I have found that most of the suction outlet problems I see in the field during inspections, are on pools or spas where the Homeowner is handling their own service. I do believe the pool industry has greatly improved in this area! While it’s not 100% yet, I think the facts will emerge- we’re dealing with another layer of “service providers” here, namely: unlicensed service providers, homeowners, caretakers and uncle Fred.
As far as I can see in Connecticut and New York, MOST service providers have gotten this issue right!
Thanks for reading.
Below is the APSP release.

Dear Member,
Yesterday a national recording artist’s son nearly drowned in a residential pool. While the specifics of the incident aren’t known at this time, there is some indication it was a limb entrapment due to a missing drain cover.
This serves as an important reminder about safety and entrapment avoidance in pools and spas, particularly residential pools and spas built prior to the enactment of the VGB and the
ANSI/APSP-7 Standard . This also creates a unique opportunity for you, the pool and spa professional, to reach out to your customers (as well as potential new service customers) and even local media to bring these pools into compliance with the ANSI-7 Standard, which was developed to eliminate this very hazard. The design recommendations and construction practices in this Standard are based upon sound engineering principles, research, and field experience. The Standard is referenced in the 2009 International Residential Code, the 2009 International Building Code, the 2012 International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC), and has been adopted by many state and local authorities.
The ANSI/APSP-7 Standard allows for several options with regard to existing pools, including drain disablement or converting the suction outlet to a return inlet. Where suction outlets (drains) are used, they should be equipped with fittings (covers) that are certified in compliance with the ANSI/APSP-16 Standard for Suction Fittings for Use in Swimming Pools, Wading Pools, Spas, and Hot Tubs as referenced by the federal Virginia Graeme Baker Pool & Spa Safety Act, along with one or more of the additional measures provided in the ANSI/APSP Standard (multiple main drain system, gravity flow system, engineered vent system or properly listed SVRS).
As you are aware, residential pools and spas are not required to meet these safety requirements unless specified in state or local code. Hence you should not make the statement that the pool must be upgraded because of federal law. You can point out, however, that public pools throughout the country are required to install new suction fittings and other necessary means, and that as a residential pool owner, they can get the same level of protection for their family and friends. Any pool with a missing or broken drain cover is at the highest risk for an entrapment incident.
Please also contact your customers and your local media to emphasize these important safety tips:
  • Never enter a pool or spa that has a loose, broken, or missing suction fitting or drain cover.
  • Immediately notify the pool or spa owner/operator if you find a loose, broken or missing drain cover.
  • Never play or swim near drains or suction fittings.
  • Contact an APSP pool and spa professional to repair and bring the pool or spa into compliance with the ANSI/APSP-7 Standard.
That is your consumer message.
Feel free to refer your customers and others to
APSP.org/DrainSafety or PoolSafely.gov for general drain cover safety information and tips. In addition, you can purchase brochures on Entrapment Avoidance Guidelines or copies of the ANSI/APSP-7 Standard from APSP.org/store . Please offer your services to help replace and upgrade pool drain covers and do an inspection so that pools and spas can be enjoyed safely. It’s just good business.
Carvin DiGiovanni
Senior Director, Technical & Standards

Managing Pool Water In Extreme Weather- Some Important Things To Know

Bob Russell | July 13, 2013 in Pool,Pool chemicals,Pool Service,Sanitizers,Uncategorized | Comments (0)

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2013- A Summer of Extreme Sanitizer Demand-


Q: “How did I wind up with algae in my pool when my chlorine levels have been perfect!”

A: Chlorine demand is a term service providers use to describe a pool’s specific sanitizer requirements. It is a term we must consider in extreme weather- chlorine demand is a concept that helps us prevent pool water going from clean to green- something that can occur in a very short time during extreme weather conditions.

As the term implies, sanitizer requirements will vary. We tend to adjust our sanitizer feeder equipment to “normal” and forget about it. The purpose of this post is to help you understand when “normal” sanitizer settings will not maintain sanitary water- under certain extreme conditions a pool’s sanitizer level can drop from “ideal” to zero in an hour.

So far, this summer has included some of the most difficult “chlorine demand” challenges I have ever seen. The following events are examples of things that can dramatically change chlorine demand; my goal is to help you recognize when something is happening and prevent problems:

  1. Hot weather
  2. Heavy rain
  3. Wash-in: Heavy rainfall shedding off lawns and gardens can contaminate pool water with organic matter and fertilizers.
  4. Heavy bather load- such as one might see at a holiday party that features swimming.

The Perfect Storm: This summer has included some long periods of hot weather: we have experienced frequent heavy thunderstorms with local torrential rainfall; add to all this a holiday party around the pool and the “normal” sanitizer levels are overwhelmed. Once sanitizer levels drop to zero a pool water is no longer sanitary for bathing- under these conditions water can cloud quickly and develop significant algae problems- often clouding within 24 hours. Pool Owners should also realize that pool water doesn’t cloud immediately once sanitizer hits “zero”-  it is during this period that water- even though still clear,  should be considered a potential health concern.

One fairly common health issue associated with swimming in pool water without proper levels of sanitizer is an ear infection- nicknamed “swimmers ear.” Such health issues are easily avoided if you understand extreme “chlorine demand” events and conditions and take precautions.

Recognize “Chlorine Demand” and Make Adjustments: Here are some things you can do to prevent losing the use of your pool for a week (or longer)- this is about the length of time it can take to recover and clean up from an algae outbreak or clouded water:

  1. Test water more frequently as chlorine demand conditions rise. You will “see” your sanitizer disappearing when you test and be able to make some good decisions before water clouds. You don’t have to be a certified water chemist to know the condition and quality of your pool water. Consider purchasing some good quality dip strips- this 5-second test is easy and gives you early warning to head off cloudy water and algae before it happens.
  2. Inform your service provider if you are planning a party. There are preventive things that can be done to handle the increase in bathers. It may be as simple as adjusting sanitizer feeder upwards and monitoring levels periodically. Normally a service provider comes weekly and balances the water and sanitizer levels. The point of this post is to help you recognize events or conditions that occur between visits that may be having a big impact on the water.
  3. Recognize when a heavy downpour may have introduced garden or lawn material into your pool- Fertilizer not only ties up pool sanitizer but at certain levels can render it ineffective! We will discuss how to remove Phosphates and Nitrates from pool water in another post; but you should be aware of any wash-ins and inform your service provider if this happens.
  4. Prevention is far easier- Preventing an outbreak of algae or clouded water is far easier and less costly than treating it. Clearing a cloudy pool or killing an algae bloom can be very expensive not to mention the disappointment of not being able to use the pool. Green water is probably the #1 or #2 reason why pool service providers are fired. The other reason being a slow response time. When sanitizer levels “crash” and water begins to cloud or algae has gained a foothold- time is critical.

In our upcoming blogs we’ll discuss some of the specific challenges presented by automatic pool covers and address bather issues such as sensitivity to chlorine or bromine.