There are many who generally avoid public swimming pools, and one of the top reasons here is based on parasites and bacteria that can be found in such locations. A combination of high body counts and limited maintenance can lead to such concerns in some cases, and this is one of several reasons why many who want to swim regularly invest in their own new swimming pool.
At Packman’s Pools, our pool builders are here to remind you that while these kinds of parasites or bacteria are certainly less common in your own custom pool, they’re still possible if you don’t follow a few basic procedures in terms of keeping the water clean and sanitary. In this two-part blog, we’ll detail a few important areas that take very little effort or time, and that are well worth it to keep you and other swimmers safe and healthy at all times. Today’s entry will focus on the chemicals found in your pool and how they help with pool sanitation.
pH levels: The pH level of a body of water speaks to how acidic or alkaline the water is. The lower the number, the higher the acid content; the higher the number, the higher the alkaline content. Too high a number will cause you to be swimming in bleach, while too low a number will leave too much acid in the water for swimmers to be safe. Rather, the ideal number sits between 7.2 and 7.8 here.
Too much direct chlorine can be risky to swimmers, meaning this chemical is generally mixed with other elements to get a proper solution that kills germs and bacteria without impacting other areas like the color of the pool or skin and eye irritation. On the flip side, you have to ensure chlorine levels aren’t too low, otherwise they won’t kill the germs. The proper levels here range between 2.0 and 3.0 ppm (parts per million).
Within a given pool, alkalinity is a measure of the carbonates, bicarbonates and hydroxides present in the water. When the levels here are too high, or above 120 ppm or so, it will be difficult or even impossible to properly adjust your pH levels. When the levels get below 80 ppm, on the other hand, the pH levels will change so quickly and often on their own that you also won’t be able to maintain them properly.
Abbreviated CYA, cyanuric acid is in place for one purpose: To stop chlorine from being absorbed by the sun and being rendered useless. Keep its levels between 20 and 50 ppm at all times – too far below this level means too little chlorine, while too far above messes with pH again.
Finally, calcium hardness is a term that speaks to how soft or hard the water is – how much calcium is present. When there’s under 200 ppm present, water is considered soft and may absorb calcium off pool walls or other sources, not a desirable outcome. When the number is above 400 ppm, the water will be hard and cloudy.
For more on how to keep your pool free of germs and parasites, or to learn about any of our custom swimming pool design or construction services, speak to the staff at Packman’s Pools today.