Recently our swimming pool turned a nice, deep, not-so-luscious green. Now, this is not the first time it happened. After fixing the green monster a few times before, you get to know why it turned green in the first place and which water levels are out.
To have perfect swimming pool water
There are 4 main water levels that one needs to control to have great looking water:
- pH level – it shouldn’t be too low or too high. It should be as close to 7.2 as possible. I have found in the past that when the water gets too acidic, then the water tends to go green quickly.
- Chlorine level – there needs to be a certain amount of chlorine in the water. Chlorine alone will not cure a green swimming pool.
- Alkalinity level – there needs to be a certain level of alkaline in the water.
- Stabiliser level – there is nothing that you can really add to the water to change this level and it is a level that is influenced by the other 3 levels mentioned above. That is what I observed over time.
To have a great looking swimming pool, all four these levels need to be at their optimum levels.
Thinking you know what is wrong
I fixed the pool so many times before, I thought all I needed to do is raise the pH and add more chlorine to the water. Yet, the pool just got worse and worse. For two weeks I couldn’t get the water to lose its lovely green colour. The reasons I tried to fix the things I believed to be wrong without actually testing the water, is because I thought I knew what was wrong and also, I did not have any more test strips.
Not having test strips did not bother me, I mean, I “know what is wrong”.
Finally, I gave up. I got in the car, drove to the store and bought test strips. And they are expensive. R 110 for 15 little strips. I tested the water as soon as I got back and to my amazement, the alkalinity was way too high. it was about 8.4. I checked how much pool acid to add to get it down to between 7.0 and 7.2. The test strip also showed there was hardly any chlorine in the water, although I added lots of chlorine during the week. Again, I was amazed. I added more chlorine. I was amazed at the results.
Knowing what is wrong
Standing in amazement, looking at the pool now shining in all its glory, I focused on what I should learn from this.
- I thought I knew enough to fix the problem (I was wrong).
- I thought I was taking the right actions to fix the problems I thought I identified (based on previous problems and solutions for what seemed to be the same problem).
- I wasted time (a whole 2 weeks).
- I wasted money (running the pump, using chemicals I shouldn’t have).
- I wasted chemicals (I used the wrong chemicals and then I needed more to fix the problem).
- Using the right tool(s) at your disposal will help you identify and confirm the actual problem, no guesswork.
- Always following a process to deal with any problems, opportunities, change, etc. will save you lots of time, money and frustration.
- Always be open to check if you are in fact still right, even if you’ve done it a million times before.
- There are instances when something seems to be an expense, when it is actually an investment (referring to the test strips).
- This applies to all areas of one’s life, not just the swimming pool.
What a valuable lesson this was to learn and to be reminded of.