Keeping your swimming pool clean is an uphill task because many things cause the water to get dirty. To keep your pool clean, you must focus on physical aspects such as vacuuming and filtration and water chemistry aspects like chlorine or salt content and pH balance.
The first step in keeping your pool clean is to reduce the number of contaminants and dirt getting into the pool. You also have to learn what causes the pool to get dirty so you can deal with it.
Follow this guide so you can spend less time worrying about your pool and more time enjoying it!
The Location of the Pool
The environment around the pool plays a big role in keeping it clean. For example, if your space is paved and has a solid fence all around it, it will stay cleaner longer than one with no fence or paving. Chlorine treatments will work hard to break down contaminants, but constant contaminants will leave you needing constant treatments.
Water is also likely to get dirty faster if the garden beds around it are bare with no ground cover or mulch.
Below are some environmental factors which may be causing your pool to get dirty faster.
Wind-Blown Debris and Dirt
If you live in a dry environment like the desert, your water will get dirty faster no matter how you protect it. This is because wind can transport contaminants from faraway places and deposit them where you swim. Debris and dirt get suspended in the air and can be transported over hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. Constructing a solid fence around the water can prevent some of these particles from reaching the water. The only way around this is to have a cover.
Dust and debris can also be an issue, even if you don’t live in a desert environment. If there’s no rain, dust can be generated on the ground if it’s bare and dry. In dry weather, dust will come from the soil surface and garden beds that are not planted. To prevent this, make sure your gardens are planted and mulched properly. Watering is necessary during dry seasons to prevent dust formation.
Grass Clippings and Tree Leaves
If you have trees and shrubs planted around the pool to provide shade, they’ll also be among the causes of your water getting dirty. While these trees may help prevent debris and dust from settling in your pool, they are also known to lose leaves that can fall into the water.
No matter how far the trees are from the edge, the wind can still blow them into the water. And the leaves will also carry the dust they have collected over the months. The water will wash off the dust from the leaves and deposit it into the water.
If you don’t remove the leaves promptly, they will rot and get deposited at the bottom of your swimming spot.
Another way you can get your water dirty is when you cut the grass around it. Some grass clippings will inevitably find their way into the pool, especially when you cut the grass close to the pool. However, these grass clippings can also carry dust into the pool, so you should try as much as possible to avoid them being blown or thrown into the water.
After mowing the grass around your pool, you should rake the cut grass as soon as possible. Even if you thoroughly rake the grass, some tiny grass cuttings will still stick to swimmers’ feet when they walk on the grass. The swimmers will eventually wash off these grass cuttings into the water.
Also, remember that if you use chemical fertilizers on the grass, these chemicals will also end up in your pool. It’s advisable to use organic fertilizer for the grass and trees around the pool.
Swimmers and the accessories they use also cause contamination. Swimming accessories include inflatable floaters and boats, swimsuits, and jewelry. The equipment you use to keep your water and lining clean may also transmit contaminants into your swimming space.
Other ways swimmers contribute to dirtying the water include the sunblock, makeup, lotions, and other chemicals swimmers use on their bodies. Then there’s also perspiration, dirt, bacteria, skin cells, body fats, and other contaminants that the human body deposits into the water. Even though these contaminants are released in small quantities by each swimmer, they usually build up to significant levels.
One way to limit contaminants from the human body is to install a shower close by and encourage people to use it before entering the water. Also, you can have a foot bath and a trap for swimmers to clean their feet before jumping in. If your space is open to kids, you can teach them proper etiquette by teaching them how to use the foot bath and modeling for them when they should use it.
Some kids consider it great fun to urinate or even defecate in the water. Remind the children that water with urine or poo is not good for their health and should not enter their mouths, ears, or eyes. You can also encourage them to go to the bathroom before getting in the water.
The pool filter itself may not add dirt to the water unless it’s dirty. If the filter isn’t working properly, you’ll see dirt reappearing at the pool’s bottom even after vacuuming it. If your pool filter isn’t clean, it won’t work adequately, and your pool will always be dirty. You need to clean the filter once in a while, freshening it up and ensuring the sand is sharp (if it’s a sand filter).
Remember that the filer works many hours in a day, trapping and storing dirt and other debris. These particles can clog it and may eventually damage it. To ensure the filter works properly and is always in good shape, keep monitoring it and back-washing it regularly to detoxify and flush it.
How to Keep Your Pool from Getting Dirty
Now that you know what dirties your pool, it’s easier to devise ways of protecting it against contaminants. Some of these preventive measures include:
Using a Pool Cover
A pool cover can protect the water from nearly all that causes your water to get dirty, except those from the human body. For example, the cover can prevent dust, birds’ droppings, leaves, and other debris from falling into the water.
Vacuuming your pool is the best way to keep it clean. You can start by brushing the wall to loosen the dirt so it can sink to the bottom to be vacuumed. The floating dirt can also be filtered. You can choose an automatic or manual vacuum to suck all the debris from the bottom of your pool. The vacuum you use should have a head that’s safe for the finish on your pool. Otherwise, it may poke a hole in your pool floor or wall.
Running the Pump
Allow your pump to run for at least eight hours a day to ensure your pool is properly sanitized. The pump will filter out all the dirt that floats around before it settles at the pool’s bottom.
It’s advisable to install an external shower where swimmers can clean themselves before entering the pool. You can make it a rule that all swimmers must shower before swimming. This will protect water against all contaminants from the human body. Also, train the kids to use the pool to keep it clean.
Read our detailed post for more information on how to keep your pool from getting dirty.
Enjoy Your Crystal Clear Water
Understanding what makes the pool dirty is the first step in keeping your pool clean. A clean place to swim will ensure all your guests are safe and healthy. Make sure you take the steps discussed above to keep your water clean for everyone to enjoy.
About the Author
Stefan Schulz is the founder and owner of PV Pool Cleaner. He spent his college years working at Niagara Pools and Spas, one of the largest Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Dealers in the Eastern United States.
Today, he utilizes his background, experience as a pool owner, and the resources of his digital marketing agency, Orpical Group, to generate informative and engaging content for pool owners everywhere.