Cloudy pools are often only viewed as only an eyesore, but they also present a health and safety hazard. It is usually quick to resolve and simple to find the source of the problem. Today, we at Metropolitan Pools would like to discuss the dangers of cloudy pool water.
Dangers of Milky Pool Water
Murky water may not seem like a big deal, but water that’s even a little bit murky or cloudy can hide some risks. You are not able to easily see the bottom of the pool, close the pool to swimming and treat the water right away if your pool water is not clear.
Can I Get Sick from Cloudy Pool Water?
Though it doesn’t necessarily mean the water is unsanitary if your pool water is cloudy, but generally, cloudy pool water stems from poor filtration and/or water chemistry. Chlorine and other sanitizers to effectively reach all areas of the pool is hindered by suspended particles. Also, filtration can be ineffective by excessive particles cloggin up a pool filter. The growth of bacteria that produce RWI (Recreational Water Illness) or “stomach bugs” in swimmers are produced by low chlorine and/or poor filtration. When contaminated water gets absorbed through the mouth, nose or eyes it is much easier to become infected with germs like Giardia, E-Coli, or Cryptosporidium under these conditions.
Cloudy Pool Makes it Difficult for Swimmers to See
Especially near the bottom of the pool, it makes it difficult to see when swimmers may be in trouble when a pool is cloudy. There have been several drownings in cloudy pools in recent years, and for safety reasons, it is recommended to avoid swimming in a cloudy pool. Serious injury can occur from diving or jumping. A noticeable side effect of cloudy water is not being able to judge the depth of the pool floor. Diving or jumping into the water can be dangerous when the floor of the pool is not clearly visible. Diving is the fourth leading cause of spinal cord injuries, in fact.
Can Too Much Chlorine Cause Cloudy Water?
As mentioned, there can be several reasons the pool water is cloudy and can usually be easily fixed.
Inefficient Water Chemistry. Balancing of pool water and regular testing is important. Cloudy water can come from incorrect levels of Free Available Chlorine, Calcium Hardness, pH, Total Alkalinity, and Cyanuric Acid. Cloudy conditions can also be contributed from elevated levels of Minerals, Metals, or Total Dissolved Solids. A shock treatment or clarifier may be needed to help clear the water if the water is balanced but still cloudy.
Filter and Pump are Not Functioning Efficiently. This equipment can cause cloudy water. Ensure the pump is running long enough each day. Because all the water in the pool passes through the filter at least once, your pool should have at least one turnover per day. Especially during hotter weather, two turnovers are needed for many pools to maintain water clarity. To compensate for less effective sanitation or filtration, most pools need at least 12 or more hours of filtration daily.
Pools Does Not have Proper Circulation. The pool should also have adequate circulation. In some pools, there are areas that do not receive much circulation, such as corners and steps. Aiming the eyeball return fittings in the same direction to push water around the pool, a circular flow pattern is best. Using an automatic pool cleaner can increase circulation with brushing and vacuuming.
Weather and Pool Activity Increase. Environmental factors are a primary issue when it comes to cloudy water. Spring pollen, heavy rainstorms, forest fires, air pollution, or dust and sandstorms can create murky water.