By David Wilfong
When the hot summer months hit, swimming pools become very popular very quickly. For those who have a pool at home, this is convenient and healthy. While swimming has long been a favorite activity for families, keeping a swimming pool safe and healthy does require a little bit of work. Many homeowners opt to contract this responsibility to a professional company.
One basic recommendation that often gets overlooked is keeping a pool cover on the water when the pool is not in use. This one simple amenity is worth its weight in gold in avoiding problems which can arise.
“Big and small pools can both benefit from a pool cover, which can lower maintenance requirements and keep your family and pets safe during the colder months,” says Deep Blue Inc. of Salt Lake City in its online blog. “A pool cover can even help maintain the amount of water in your pool, which protects the environment and saves you some hassle when you open your pool again during the summer.”
Of course, water quality is paramount to keeping a good swimming environment for family and friends to enjoy. There are several aspects of water quality which must be monitored. The first factor to keep an eye on is the pH balance of the water, or how acidic it is. Then there is alkalinity, which is affected by the amount of hydrogen in the water. A pool also has dissolved calcium in it, which can affect how “hard” the water is. A pool owner will also want to cap a lid on TDS (Total Dissolved Solids), which come from contaminants introduced into the pool. Then there is the important issue of keeping proper chlorine levels.
Pool chemistry can be checked in a number of ways. The easiest is the use of test strips that can be dipped into a water sample and then read. There are also liquid testing kits, which are a little more in-depth in how well pool chemistry can be monitored. As of late, there is even digital testing equipment which is available for home use. However, regardless of testing method, it must be done regularly as a rise or drop in one area can affect all the others.
Regardless of how well kept the water is, sooner or later a pool should be emptied and completely refilled with new water.
“Generally, pool water needs to be replaced once every five to seven years,” Deep Blue Inc. adds. “This should be done during mild weather, so that your pool surface is not at risk from strong sunlight and heat. Your pool maintenance company can recommend when it is time to drain your pool.
“Keep in mind that you can minimize the number of times your pool needs to be drained by sticking to a regular pool maintenance schedule, which will help to control the levels of potentially damaging elements in your pool water. Because pool drainage can be complex and doing so at the wrong time can damage the pool, it’s generally best to allow your pool maintenance company to perform the task for you.”