What To Do With Cloudy Swimming Pool Water?

Cloudy, hazy, dull – and no, we aren’t talking about Seattle’s weather. We’re talking about cloudy pools.

It can happen without warning, one day your pool is perfect, properly balanced and clear as glass. Then all of a sudden… it’s cloudy and looks like nobody has balanced it in months.

Typically the first reaction is to throw chlorine at it (since we all know adding more chlorine fixes everything, right? ;)) so, *blurp*, the chlorine goes in… but nothing changes. You wait a bit and you check your readings and yup, the chlorine is there, higher than it was before but the pool is still cloudy. So you think, “gotta be the filters” right? Everybody knows, if the chlorine is good, it has to be the filters! So you rush back to the pump room and clean the filters (even though they don’t actually need it yet). Confidently you return to the pool deck and wait, expecting the freshly cleaned filters to do their magic and scrub all the nasty out. Problem solved, right?

What if overnight the problem not only didn’t go away, but actually got worse! Oh, no! Now what to do? The filters are clean, the chemicals are in the right ranges, you’ve done everything!

… Or have you?

Did you know that oils from people’s skin, hair products and lotions can build up in your system and cause some pretty crazy things to happen?

Some of the things that can happen are;

Oil sheens – the surface of the water will look like, well an oil spill happened.
Filter caking / channeling (sand) – the oils and grease clog up the filter causing the sand to compress and stick together resulting in caking and eventually channeling.
Clogged/greasy filter grids (DE) – DE Filters catch everything, and when the grids get oily and sticky, they tend to not clean off as easily and flow is restricted.
Excessive scum lines and slippery deck surfaces – more oil and grease equals more buildup around the pool, on hand rails and on the deck around the ladders and stairs.

In some cases this buildup can even result in bubbles forming in filter pits and/or on the surface of the water and can create a hard to remove haze. In especially bad cases this can cause the main drains to be obscured causing a shut down.

The treatment? Easy… Enzymes.

In recent years the value of using regular doses of enzymes to break down these oily/ greasy substances (especially heading into spring/summer) has been proven to many commercial operators. Some are stand alone products, others are mixed in with other chemicals used in multi-faceted water care programs.

If you aren’t using an enzyme regimen during summer already, next time you see some clouding show up out of nowhere, instead of reaching for the chlorine, try reaching for some enzymes you might just like what you see.