Hello and welcome to 100 degree plus temps everyday till September or so. Temperatures here in Austin have reached the century mark and will not likely change for the next three months or so. Along with the scorching temperatures and unbearable humidity, this year the word drought has taken on a whole new meaning. We are experiencing one of the worst droughts in recent memory, along with very windy days.
The combination of all these factors is causing problems for many pool owners including pool care professionals. We are not only fighting to maintain chlorine residuals in the pools we care for, but also the yellow algae, and to top it all off, filtration issues for many of our pools.
The dry, windy conditions are blowing a lot of tiny particulate into pools. Many pool’s with sand or cartridge filters simply cannot filter the overwhelming amount of debris, resulting in a yellowish, greenish pool. To make matters worse, the overwhelming amount of dust is consuming the chlorine in the pool, which then requires more chlorine, left unguarded the pool will then get an algae bloom. It’s a vicious cycle.
If you find yourself in the situation I just described above then this is what you have to do. First, vacuum to waste what you can and try to remove as much leaf debris as you can in the process. Then use a floc, to drop out all the suspended material. When using a floc to help clear up a pool make sure to follow the instructions carefully and precisely. The results will amaze you. What you should be looking at if you did it correctly is crystal clear water with a layer of film across the entire bottom. The next step in clearing up an unruly pool is to vacuum the pool to waste. When doing this step what you want to do is isolate a skimmer. If you have the ability to valve off the maindrain and the other skimmer, if you have one, that is what you should do. Sometimes we use a tennis ball or plastic bottle to block another skimmer if there is one. After you have isolated a skimmer, set your multiport valve to the waste position. Sink your hose and get it into the skimmer, then run and turn the pump on. Move quickly to vacuum all the settled material around the pool as you are wasting water and depending on water level you only have so much to work with before you might lose prime on the hose due to low water level. If you did this part right, when you are done vacuuming you should be looking at a beautiful clean pool mostly free of dust.
Now that you are looking at a mostly clean pool, get the pool circulating and brush the pool up this will help move some of the remaining dust into the filter. After a 24 hour running of the equipment, backwash the filter and put it back into its normal run time. This time of year you should run the pool no less than 8 hours a day during the hottest part of the day, between 10am and 6pm.
Just when you thought the tree blooms were a thing of the past, if you own crepe myrtles, you should know that these trees bloom non-stop for the entire summer. Another tid bit about these blooms is that they are very delicate blooms and decompose very quickly. When they find their way into the skimmer they breakdown quickly and make a complete seal in the skimmer. Now these delicate pink and white blooms have jeopardized your equipment by obstructing the flow of water to the pump. If you own crepe myrtles around the pool, please remember to empty your skimmer baskets or you run the risk of damaging your equipment, it’s that simple.
Rising temperatures mean more use of the pool, protect yourself and pool patrons by insuring a constant chlorine residual. Make sure to add tablets to your chlorinator or floater, which ever you have, and if you don’t have one, get one. Using some type of chemical feeder this time of year will help replenish what use and UV rays are constantly depleting.
Be proactive, it’s the cheapest way to keep your pool ready for use during the summer.