At first glance cloudy pool water may not seem like much more than a nuisance. It’s not attractive to look at, and, as a pool owner, you know it will take some time to fix. But did you know that a cloudy pool can be dangerous, as well? When water clarity is compromised, swimmers simply cannot see what’s happening beneath the water’s surface. Cases of injury, and even death, have been reported.
Cloudy pool water can be deadly
This statement is not meant to be overly dramatic. It is the truth. CNN reports that in 2002, a 7 year old boy went missing during a pool party with more than 30 people attending. Parents reported the child missing and police spent two days searching for him. Finally, a detective asked if anyone had checked the pool for the child. Sadly, that is where they found him, at the bottom of the pool. Where he had been the entire time. Cloudy pool water is dangerous. No one at the party could see that little Paolo Ayala was in trouble, or that he was in need of help because the bottom of the pool was not visible.
Dangers of cloudy pool water
Aside from drowning, there are other dangers of swimming in cloudy pool water. Cloudy water can harbor bacteria and viruses which can cause illnesses as mild as pinkeye, to something as severe as E. coli. Injury can occur when swimmers jump into a pool, not knowing that someone else is swimming just below. Swimmers can swim into pool walls, causing head injury. And, as proven above, the risk of drowning increases significantly.
Common causes of cloudy pool water
Now that you know how important it is to clear up a cloudy pool, let’s look at some of the things that may be causing it. Unfortunately, there are many factors that can contribute to cloudy water. We’re going to discuss the most common issues. If, you try to resolve these issues without success, speak to your local pool professional.
Chemical imbalance – Before spending a lot of money on different pool chemicals, take a water sample to your local pool store. Most places will test and diagnose at no charge, and even make recommendations on which pool chemicals to use. Chances are you’ll be told to shock your pool, because one of the leading causes of cloudy pool water is improper chlorination. It’s always a good idea to double shock after a rainstorm, or after a heavy bather load leaves the pool.
Filter problems – If your filter system isn’t working problem, it will impact water clarity. If you have a sand filter, it may be time to consider a sand change. As a rule of thumb, you should change pool sand every 3 – 5 years. If you have a cartridge filter, make sure the cartridge is seated properly; if so, the problem may be that the cartridge needs to be cleaned or replaced. For D.E. filters, check to make sure there are no torn or cracked filter grids.
Bather contaminants – Most bathers don’t shower before entering the pool, although they should. Therefore oil, makeup, lotion, hairspray, dirt, sweat, sunscreen and other contaminants transfer into the pool, which can cause cloudy pool water. An enzyme product specifically designed for the pool can help get these contaminants out of the water and keep it clean. A clarifier can help bring the water back to its optimum clarity level.
Dirty pool toys and accessories – Examine pool floats, inflatable rings, pool nets, and other products that enter and leave the pool frequently. If you see dirt, mold or mildew, it may be time to replace them. It’s helpful to store all of the items in a lidded box to keep them clean.
More from Jennifer Wagner:
Choosing a pool filter system that’s right for you
How to change pool filter sand
Residential swimming pool safety – It’s all about layers
Source: Professional experience