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Healthy pool water is water that's safe for your family and your swimming pool. Maintaining a healthy pool makes it less susceptible to harmful bacteria, viruses, algae, cloudy water, stains and protects your pool and equipment against corrosion and scale build-up.
There are two aspects to the maintenance of your swimming pool water - sanitation and water balance.
Everything that enters your pool, including swimmers, pets, leaves and top-up water is a source of bacteria or algae. To control bacteria and prevent algal growth, you should treat your pool with a sanitising chemical, usually chlorine, and continuously filter the water to remove dead bacteria and algae.
An adequate level of residual sanitiser will deter any unwanted contaminants without affecting the quality of the water. Regular testing and chlorine top-ups will help you maintain the desired residual level of 1.0 to 3.0 ppm (parts per million).
Having the right water balance is crucial to your health and the longevity of your swimming pool and equipment.
A chemical imbalance can lead to corrosion and scale build-up, causing costly damage and preventing proper sanitation.
The pH level indicates how acidic or alkaline the water in your swimming pool is.
- The pH level ranges from 0 to 14
- 7 is the neutral pH (a value below 7 is acidic and above 7, alkaline)
- For most swimming pools, the recommended pH range is 7.2 to 7.6, and 7.0 to 7.2 for fibreglass pools
- Swimmers, rain, top-up water and chemicals all affect the pH level
- A pH imbalance can cause skin irritation and poor sanitation
- Sanitiser levels should be checked regularly and adjusted accordingly
Total alkalinity refers to the level of bicarbonates, carbonates and hydroxides in your pool water.
- The recommended range is between 60 and 200 ppm, depending on the type of swimming pool
- Low total alkalinity can cause erosion of concrete, tiled and painted pool surfaces, and destabilise pH levels
- The total alkalinity of your top-up water will affect the total alkalinity of your pool
- To raise total alkalinity, add buffer to your pool water
- To lower total alkalinity, add acid to your pool water
Calcium hardness is the level of dissolved calcium present in your pool water.
- The recommended calcium hardness range is 80 to 500 ppm
- Low calcium hardness can lead to corrosion
- High calcium hardness can result in scale build-up
- Test your pool water for calcium hardness once a year by an accredited pool supplier
- If you use calcium hypochlorite in your pool, you may need to test and adjust calcium hardness more frequently
- Add chemicals in small amounts, filter the water, test and if required, add more chemicals