Swimming Pool Solution

Swimming Pool water cleaning

Every swimming pool has a circulation pump and filter. The filters most common these days are sand filters, and are much easier to maintain than the earlier diatomaceous filters of a few years back. The pool pump ensures that the swimming pool water moves through the filter every day, thus removing unwanted pollutants and disinfected organic materials as quickly as possible.

Swimming pool pump should run for at least 6 - 8 hours each day. There is usually a timer which cycles the pool pump on and off to ensure this constant filtration. The circulation of pool water will remove floating or suspended particles of dirt from the water, but has no effect on the substances which have settled to the bottom of the swimming pool or "stuck" to the walls.

Depending on the environmental conditions and swimmer load, the swimming pool needs regular brushing and vacuuming,

vacuuming is done, it is time to backwash the filter. Sand filters trap dust and dirt, as the name implies, in a bed of sand. When the filter has accumulated a large amount of dirt, the water cannot pass freely through the sand and the filter loses efficiency as the pressure increases.

REMEMBER too, that the useful lifespan of the sand in your filter is 3-5 years. If you neglect to change the sand, your filter will not be able to remove the finer particles of dirt and your swimming pool can never be completely clean. Have the pool filter opened for inspection at least every 2 years to avoid filtration problems.

pH level 

pH is one of the most important factors in pool water balance and it should be tested and corrected at least every week. pH is the measure of how acid/ alkaline the swimming pool water is. A pH of 7.0 is neutral - below 7.0 is acidic, above 7.0 is alkaline. The pH of our eyes is 7.2 . No wonder that the ideal pH for your pool is just that - 7.2 , and should be kept

within the range of 7.0-7.6 .

Chlorine level 

To measure the chlorine levels in swimming  pool, it is important to remember that there a 3 aspects which can be measured:

- Free available chlorine (or residual chlorine) - is the amount of chlorine in the pool that can sanitise or disinfect the water and is the important measurement for us.

- Combined chlorine - consists of undesirable, bad-smelling, irritating compounds which form when there isn't enough free available chlorine.

- Total chlorine - is the total amount of chlorine in the water. It includes both free available and combined chlorine.

Total Alkalinity

The total alkalinity (TA) is a measure of how much of the alkaline substances there are in the water. In the swimming pool water, we are concerned with bicarbonate alkalinity, 

which should be between 80 ppm and 120 ppm.

When the total alkalinity (TA) is within this range, it prevents rapid pH changes and "stabilises" the pH level.

Calcium Hardness

Total hardness in the context of pool water refers to the total mineral content of the water. This is made up of calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese and other elements. These elements are present in the water used to fill the pool, and the levels can increase through the use of regular pool chemicals (e.g. chlorine composed of calcium hypochlorite - 65%). We are interested in the calcium hardness levels.

The ideal range for calcium hardness is 250-350 ppm.

Total Dissolved Solids

Total dissolved solids (TDS) is, as its name implies, the measure of the total amount of dissolved material in the water.

The level of TDS in the pool is influenced by many factors; the chemicals we add to adjust the pH, chlorine, water hardness, alkalinity, dust, dirt, human waste, . . . all increase its level.

The maximum acceptable level of TDS for swimming pools is 1,500 ppm. At values above this, we begin to notice stains in the pool. It will also reduce the activity of any chemicals you add, preventing them from doing what they're supposed to. The water may also become cloudy.

Swimming Pool Problems

Most, if not all swimming pool problems are a result of inadequate pool water maintenance. Regular testing and correction of the pool water chemistry will ensure you a low-maintenance, sparkling, clean swimming pool all year round. You will also save money on chemicals by preventing situations requiring expensive treatment such as chlorine shock treatment and the use of algaecide. Very often an imbalance in the pool water or harmful organisms are not visible and their results not immediately apparent; the importance of monitoring the swimming pool water cannot be stressed enough. After all, 

our health and the health of our families are at risk.

The most commonly encountered pool water problems are:

 +  Algae

 + Burning eyes

 + Chlorine smell

 + Cloudy water

The Saturation Index

Also called the Langelier Index, this chemical equation or formula is used to diagnose the water balance in the aquatic environments (pools). 

The formula is "SI = pH + TF + CF + AF - 12.1."

To calculate the Saturation Index, test the water for pH, temperature, calcium hardness, and total alkalinity. Refer to a chart for assigned values for your temperature, hardness, and alkalinity readings then add these to your pH value. Subtract 12.1, which is the constant value assigned to Total Dissolved Solids and a resultant number will be produced. A result between -0.3 and +0.5 is said to indicate balanced water. Results outside of these parameters require adjustment to one or more chemical components to achieve balance.

This formula is not guaranteed; however, some readings for pH, calcium, and alkalinity which, if taken individually would be considered to be well beyond recommendations, can combine within the formula to produce "balanced water." The SI can be used to pinpoint potential water balance problems.

Control Parameters

Control Range
7.2 – 7.6
1 – 2 ppm
Total Alkalinity
70 – 100 ppm
Calcium Hardness
100 – 500 ppm
Cyanuric acid
20 – 60 ppm
Saturation Index (LSI)
-0.5 - +0.5
2 - 4 ppm



What causes Algae problems?

Every pool owner has, at one time or another, done battle with the occasional algae bloom. Algae spores constantly enter the pool, brought in by wind, rain or even contaminated swimsuits or equipment. When conditions are right, an algae bloom can occur seemingly overnight. These conditions include out of balance water, warm temperatures, sunlight and presence of nitrates and/or carbon dioxide. Of course, a lack of proper circulation, filtration and sanitation may be the primary cause of the algae. The best process is one of elimination.

Algae is a living aquatic creature that multiplies rapidly on warm, sunny days. Containing chlorophyll, algae utilizes photosynthesis to grow. That is, they take in carbon dioxide and expend oxygen as a byproduct.

What problems can Algae cause?

The first noticeable problem is that no one seems to want to go swimming. The second problem is that it requires work and effort and money to rid the water completely of algae. It is therefore best to use preventative chemicals and techniques, described later. Algae can cloud and color the water, making rescue attempts difficult and reducing depth perception of a diver. Algae itself is not harmful to swimmers, but pools with algae may also be harbor to pathogens like E-coli bacteria.

In addition to clogging up sanitation pathways in the water, algae also clogs up the pores in a filter, decreasing filter effectiveness and requiring more backwashing or medium replacement. Algae creates a chlorine demand in the water for itself, actually consuming chlorine that should be working on other contaminants. Algae are kind of like weeds in your garden. Unsightly, unwanted space takers that create more work for the gardener, and sap up nutrients and resources from the flora we wish to grow.

What types of Algae are there?

There are over 21,000 known varieties of algae! In the pool business we avoid all of the complication by referring to algae by the color they exhibit.

  • Green Algae:

An extremely common variety, green algae will usually rear its ugly head immediately following a hazy condition in the water from a lack of proper filtration and/or sanitation. It is frequently found free floating in the water, although it also will cling to the walls. It reduces water clarity and is thereby distinguished from severe copper precipitation, which will impart a clear, green color to the water. Varieties of green algae also appear as "spots" on surfaces, particularly rough areas, or places where circulation is low. They also show up as "sheets", where large wall sections, or even the entire pool, is coated in green slime...UGH!

  • Yellow Algae:

A wall clinging variety, also called mustard algae, is usually found on the shady side of the pool. It is sheet forming, and can be difficult to eradicate completely. Once begun, a pool owner could spend the entire season fighting yellow algae; re-infection is common. This variety is resistant to normal chlorine levels and must be dealt with firmly. Hit it hard!

  • Black Algae:

Perhaps the most aggravating strain of algae, it can be extremely difficult to eradicate completely. This is not entirely accurate, but the difficulty in removing it fully is due to the strong roots and protective layers over top of the black algae plant. Black algae will appear as dark black or blue/green spots, usually the size of a pencil eraser tip. Their roots extend into the plaster or tile grout, and unless the roots are destroyed completely, a new head will grow back in the same place. The heads also contain protective layers to keep cell destroying chemicals from entering the organism. Like yellow algae, black strains can bloom even in the presence of normal sanitizing levels and proper filtration. I was once told that this form of algae commonly enters a pool inside the swimsuit of a person who's recently been to the ocean.

Not really an algae at all, but a form of bacteria. Appears as spots or streaks in corners and crevices. It is slow to spread and rare that it will bloom over an entire pool.

How is algae prevented?

Proper chemical balance and sanitizer residuals will prevent many opportunities for algae to bloom. high pH and low chlorine (or other sanitizer) can give algae a great start to genesis. General cleanliness of the pool is also important. Organic material and bacteria can contribute to algae growth. Regular brushing of seemingly clean pools is not only good exercise for you, but prevents dirt from harboring in the pores of the plaster, which is a good start for an algae colony.

The use of specialty chemicals or algaecides is recommended to provide a back up to normal sanitation and filtration processes and is completely necessary for many pools. These chemicals are described below:

  • Potassium Tetraborate:

This chemical, when added to the pool water in proper dosage, prevents algae from converting carbon dioxide into the fuel it needs for growth. Manufactured under the trade name Proteam Supreme. An extraordinary product.

  • Chitin:

 Not an algaecide (meaning to kill algae) per se, but its properties might be called.

Problems with your swimming pool water

Solving swimming pool water problems

This is a quick general reference guide to swimming pool water problems.
For more in-depth swimming pool problem help.

Cloudy water 
green or brown
Recharge Pool Wizard, shock treat pool
Dust, sand, contaminants
Use a flocculant/ coagulant, increase pump cycle, check & service filter
Green/ brown clear water
Iron or copper in fill water. Ionizer.
Use a chelating agent, use zeolite in your sand filter
Black/ dark clear water
Manganese in fill water
Use a chelating agent, use zeolite in your sand filter
Milky cloudy water
Conditioner CYA level too high
Partially drain and refill pool
Hardness level too high
Use "hardness reducer", use zeolite in your sand filter
TDS level too high
Partially drain and refill pool, use zeolite in your sand filter
Stains on walls or floor
Manganese, copper or iron in pool water
Use a chelating agent, use zeolite in your sand filter
Overuse of ionizer (copper-silver)
Test ion levels, use a chelating agent, use zeolite in your filter
Green hair, green nails
Uncontrolled use of copper ion generator
Test ion levels, use a chelating agent, use zeolite in your filter
Chlorine smell
Too little free chlorine, too much combined chlorine
Chlorine (or non-chlorine) shock treatment
Burning eyes or throat
Too little free chlorine, too much combined chlorine
Chlorine (or non-chlorine) shock treatment
Total alkalinity level too low
Use sodium bicarbonate alkalinity increaser
pH too high/ low
Adjust pH according to test results

Super-chlorination of Swimming Pool

What is super chlorination?

Super-chlorination is a water treatment process in which the addition of excess amounts of chlorine to a water supply speed chemical reactions or insure disinfection within a short contact time.  

What does it mean to shock a swimming pool?

The term, "Shocking” refers to the process of adding chlorine or non-chlorine chemicals to your pool in order to raise the "free chlorine” level to a point where contaminates such as algae, combined chlorine (also known as chloramines) and bacteria are destroyed.

Super-chlorination Process.

How to Super-chlorination  A Pool & Chlorine Safety

Always remember it's safety first.

To start you'll need:

  • Pair of heavy duty rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • Pool chlorine. I prefer liquid chlorine opposed to calcium hypochlorite especially if you have hard water levels. 
  • Large bucket
  • A stir stick or pool pole

Process time

You'll want to shock your pool either in the late afternoon or early evening to allow the chlorine to do its job for the longest amount of time.

Be sure all of the other readings are in line; the pH, total alkalinity, and hardness.

First is to be sure your filtration system is properly working.

  • Scoop out as much debris as possible. The only thing you want soaking up your good pool shock is the water.
  • Fill the bucket up about 1/2 full of water
  • Add the correct amount of pool chlorine into the bucket. It's 1 gallon of liquid chlorine per 10,000 gallons of pool water.
  • Stir the mixture with a good stir stick (PVC pipe works nicely)
  • Broadcast it around the perimeter of the pool starting in the deep-end and working aroundBe sure the filtration system is running and everything is working properly.
  • Test the water in the morning to be sure your super-chlorination was successful

If you need to use the pool you can add another chemical called Thiosulphate which can remove chlorine from water or reduce it tremendously.

I don't recommend this because if you're not careful it can skew your other readings. And it's a real pain if you put too much in.

How Much Pool Chlorine Do I Need?

The basic formula is to bring your pool chlorine level up 10 times per every 1ppm of free available chlorine or a 10:1 ratio.

This is called breakpoint or super chlorination.

To reach your breakpoint chlorination with a chloramine level of 1.0ppm or less you may follow this chart:

                                  Chart - Super Chlorinate Your Pool
                                 (Amount Needed to Reach 10 ppm)

Type Of Swimming Pool Chlorine










Sodium Hypo

10 oz.

1 3/4 qts.

3 1/4 qts.

1 1/4 gal.

1 2/3 gal.

2 gal.

4 gal.

6 gal.

Lithium Hypo

4 oz.

1 1/4 lbs.

2 1/3 lbs.

3 1/2 lbs.

4 3/4 lbs.

6 lbs.

12 lbs

18 lbs.


2 1/4 oz.

11 oz.

1 1/3 lbs.

2 lbs.

2 2/3 lbs.

3 1/3 lbs.

6 3/4 lbs.

14 lbs.

Calcium Hypo

2 oz.

10 oz.

1 1/4 lbs.

2 lbs.

2 1/2 lbs.

3 1/4 lbs.

6 1/2 lbs.

13 lbs.

It’s all “all or nothing” approach so don’t skimp on the pool chlorine.

When you super-chlorinate your pool you must go all out and pool shock it all at once, not over a few hours or days.

Using less or skimping on pool chlorine will only make your swimming pool problems worse and the chloramines and bacteria will only get stronger and more resistant to future pool shocking treatments.

Remember, you must use your pool chlorine and “slam it” or the chloramines, bacteria, and contaminants will return.

Ways To Control Chloramines

You cannot eliminate chloramines or that pool chlorine smell altogether by simply shocking the pool.

However, you can take steps to contain them by trying a combination of the following:

  • Good filtration
  • Good pool water chemistry and swimming pool care
  • Good circulation
  • Good ventilation (mainly for indoor pools and spas)
  • Volcanic Ash retains the ammonia from chloramines in the filter rather than in the pool
  • Boost the pool chlorine level up 1.0ppm-2.0ppm from your normal level prior to having a heavy bather load
  • Require all swimmers to take a hot soapy shower prior to entering the pool. This is one of the best and easiest ways to reduce chloramines up to 50%.
  • Drain and refill (up to 1/3 of your pool volume) with fresh water
  • Nicely ask people to use the restroom prior to entering the pool
  • You can vacuum the bottom at least once per week and brush the steps and sides of the pool on a daily basis

If you have any questions, please contact AQUAREGIA TECHNOLOGY Engineer or drop the e-mail to us: solution@aquaregiame.com  

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