Anyone who has a backyard pool knows just how stressful this time of the year can be. Sure, you’re excited to get to spend time with your family, friends, and neighbors hanging out, swimming, and relaxing by the pool. But it also means you have to be extra vigilant about keeping your pool properly cleaned.
After all, while pools can certainly be a lot of fun, they can also pose health risks. As the CDC notes, if the right amounts of cleaning chemicals aren’t used, you might subject you, your family, and your other guests to recreational water illnesses. But overdoing it on the chemicals is just as risky. Over-chlorinated water can irritate the eyes and skin and has even been linked to asthma.
So, if you’re in charge of keeping your pool clean, here are a few quick tips to make your life a little easier.
Use the pool calculator. If you’re new to pool maintenance, measuring out and balancing all of the chemicals needed to keep you safe can be overwhelming. As someone who recently had to learn the ins and outs of maintaining a pool, I found this information on pool chemistry really helpful. The site also provides a calculator to make calculating the chemical amounts a little easier.
Lower chlorine levels if needed. As I touched on above, it is possible to over-chlorinate your pool. If that happens, you can take steps to lessen the amount of chlorine in the water. My neighbor was having trouble keeping his chlorine at the right level back in May. I shared this article I had read about lowering a pool’s chlorine levels on SFGate.com. He tried the six-step process and said it did the trick.
Know when a shock treatment is needed. As the American Chemistry Council notes in its article on chlorine sanitizing, if there is a chlorine smell coming from your pool, it may be a sign that a shock treatment is needed, not that there is too much chlorine in your water. The added chlorine “destroys organic contaminants and oxidizes ammonia and nitrogen compounds to rid the area of irritating chloramine odor.” It will also kill off algae and bacteria that may be hiding out in your pool.
Make sure chemicals are properly stored. Once you’ve got the right amount of chemicals in your pool, your works isn’t done. To have a truly chemically safe pool, you have to make sure those chemicals are stored away safely as well. As this guide on pool chemical safety advises, your pool chemicals should always be stored out of the reach of children. And if there is ever a spill, clean it up immediately. Pool chemicals are dangerous and can cause health issues for humans and animals and can also be harmful to the environment.
Don’t let being your pool’s “chief of maintenance” get you down this summer. With these helpful tips and resources, you can reduce the amount of time you spend “on the job” and have more time to enjoy your time with family and friends.