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Is your pool & spa water making you sick?
Viruses, bacteria, and protozoa are the culprits in most swimming pool-related sickness outbreaks. Mucus, saliva, blood and skin of infected swimmers can directly contaminate pool & spa water with sufficient pathogens to cause infections in other swimmers who come in contact with it.
Recreational Water Illness (RWI's) can be a wide variety of infections, including gastrointestinal, skin, ear, respiratory, eye, neurologic and wound infections. The most commonly reported RWI is diarrhea. Diarrheal illnesses can be caused by germs such as Crypto (short for Cryptosporidium), Giardia, Shigella, norovirus, and E. coli O157:H7.
What kills cryptosporidium in pools?
Cryptosporidium is a chlorine-resistant parasite. Once an outbreak has occurred in a pool, anyone swimming in the pool is at risk. Operators are advised to close their pools immediately and begin the hyperchlorination process. Hyperchlorination is the only way to eliminate and kill Cryptosporidium.
Why do pools sometimes have a chlorine or chemical smell?
Healthy pools don’t smell like chemicals. Pool water is often described as smelling like chlorine, but a well-managed pool shouldn’t have an odor. The pool water scent does not come from the chlorine itself but rather from chemical compounds called chloramines, which build up in pool water when it is improperly treated.
Chloramines result from the combination of two ingredients: (1) the chlorine disinfectants added to sanitize swimming pools, and (2) perspiration, oils and urine that enter pools from swimmers’ bodies. Chloramines can be eliminated using chlorine. “Shock treatment” or “super-chlorination” is the practice of adding extra chlorine to pools to destroy ammonia and the organic compounds that combine with chlorine to make chloramines.
What does it mean to sanitize your pool?
Sanitizers are used to kill bacteria and inhibit the growth of viruses, algae and other organic contaminants that enter your pool water by way of wind, rain, dust and swimmers. Best practices for keeping your pool cleaner, healthier and safer is to use a combination of chlorine, calcium hypochlorite (either daily, weekly) and pool filter sanitization twice yearly (minimum).
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1/ Total Available Chlorine
Total Available Chlorine (TAC) is the total of all the chlorine compounds in the water. When you subtract the (FAC) from the (TAC) that gives you the amount of Combined Available Chlorine (CAC). A (CAC) is a type of chlorine molecule that is contaminated and is no longer effective. Any level of (CAC) should be treated by oxidizing the pool. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your total available chlorine levels every week.
2/ Total Free Chlorine
Free Available Chlorine (FAC) is the amount of chlorine in the water that is available to sanitize and disinfect. The ideal range for Free Available Chlorine (FAC) is 2.0-4.0 ppm. Any FAC reading below 2.0 ppm or above 4.0 ppm needs to be addressed. A pool without enough FAC may not be able to overcome bacteria and algae that grow. A pool with too much FAC may be unpleasant to swim in, and cause bleaching or irritate eyes. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your total free chlorine levels every week.
3/ Potential of Hydrogen (pH)
This test reveals how acidic or basic your pool water is. The ideal range for pH in pool water is 7.4-7.6. A pH level in this range helps chlorine work effectively. The pH of our eyes is in this sweet spot as well, so matching that acidity will reduce red and irritated eyes from pool water. Any reading below 7.2 or above 7.8 needs to be addressed. High pH may cause scale and cloudiness, while low pH may erode your plaster or corrode metal. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your pH levels every week.
4/ Cyanuric Acid (CYA)
Cyanuric acid, sometimes called conditioner or stabilizer, acts like a sunscreen for chlorine and helps prevent burn off from the sun and high temperatures. If there is not enough Cyanuric acid, the chlorine will burn off too quickly. The ideal range for Cyanuric acid in most pools is 30-50 ppm. For those pools that use a chlorine generator (salt system), the desired range for Cyanuric acid is usually higher at around 60-80 ppm. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your cyanuric acid levels every week.
5/ Total Dissolved Solids (TDS)
This test measures the amount of Total Dissolved Solids in the water. Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) are the mineral content in the water. When the TDS is too high, it becomes harder to keep the water in balance. You can also experience itchy skin, eye irritation, and cloudy water. The maximum range for TDS in most pools is 3000 ppm. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your total dessolved solid levels every week.
6/ Metals (Copper/Iron)
This test measures the amount of metals in the water. Metals can be present in hard water. Water can be hard when there are no softeners present and typically from wells. Any amount of metal above 0 ppm could pose a risk for staining and should be treated immediately. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your pools copper and iron levels every month.
7/ Total Alkalinity
Total Alkalinity measures the water's ability to protect and buffer the pH against rapid changes. The ideal range for Total Alkalinity is based on the type of sanitizer used but it's between 80-120ppm. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your total alkalinity levels every week.
This test measures the phosphate levels in the water. Phosphates can provide food for algae to bloom and grow in the pool, so you should try to keep the phosphate levels low. Ideally, there should be no phosphates in the water but, since phosphates are created by other chemicals and bathers, they tend to increase over time and should be checked. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your pools phosphate levels every week.
9/ Calcium Hardness
This test measures the calcium levels in the water. If there is not enough calcium, the water will become corrosive and damage the surface or equipment. Low calcium can be especially destructive to pools with tiles or plaster, as your water will leech the necessary calcium from your surfaces. If there is too much calcium, scale and stains can form on the surface. The ideal range for Calcium Hardness is 200-400 ppm. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your pools calcium hardness levels every week.
10/ Salt Test
This test measures the amount of salt in the water. This test will only be done if you use a chlorine generator (salt system). Ideal salt ranges vary by manufacturer, so you may need to help us understand the salt cell you are using. While salt is natural and mild, it's typically best to use as few chemicals as possible, and salt is no different. If your salt levels aren't hitting the mark we have several strategies to help you lower the amount in your pool. Our Full-Service Pool Cleaning Service monitors and maintains your salt levels every month. (for salt pools only)
Poolio provides Pool Cleaning, Filter Sanitizing and Repair Service in Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa, Newport Beach, Irvine, Tustin, Orange. Call Poolio today to manage your pool and spa...professionally. Orange County's Premier Pool Management Company...Exceeding Expectations.