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Keeping Your Swimming Pool Clean During The COVID-19 Pandemic

In Ask the Pool Experts by Swimming Pool Expert

COVID-19 is taking the world by storm, and not in a good way.  Many small businesses and large corporations are opting to have their employees work from their homes.  World leaders are taking drastic measures on placing a curfew to avoid the spread of the virus.  While schools are closing, kids and teenage students are staying at home.  If you have a swimming pool in your backyard, you may be in luck. 

The CDC stated that “there is no evidence that COVID-19 can spread to humans by using pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”

Maintenance is a fundamental aspect that pool owners must take into account to keep their oasis running properly.  Not only does it help to extend the life of the pool, but it will also give you more time to enjoy your pool.

The Importance of Clean Pool Water

Here are the chemicals you need to keep your oasis clean and free of germs and bacteria:

Chlorine

Chlorine is a swimming pool’s best friend.  It is responsible for effectively eliminate a wide range of pathogens that deposits in the water. It is economical and easy to use.  But you need to know that there are different types of chlorine and each has a mixed-use:

  • Trichloride – continuous maintenance of disinfecting the water.  You can get it in powder or tablets, but the second one is better.  You can place it in a skimmer, and it will do the rest.  Make sure that you put another tablet after it dissolves.
  • Dichloride – the chemical is an oxidizer and chlorinator.  Many use it to shock the pool after an extended period of neglect, after having many people using the pool, or by bad weather.  It is recommendable to have a supply of Dichloride available.
  • Multi-Action Tablets – a mix of disinfectant, flocculating, and anti-algae ingredients in one; it is ideal for when someone skips a step during the maintenance process.  Many experts recommend combining the tablets with chlorine maintenance.

According to our experts, Chlorine Tablets are more comfortable to use. Make sure your pool chlorinator is properly stocked to keep your water free of pathogens.

Borates

Using borates in a swimming pool represents easy maintenance.  It helps to stabilize the pH in your water.  It also tolerates the increase in temperature, which makes it perfect for indoor pools with heat or spas.

There are other benefits to the use of borates:

  • Prevents Algae – borates help keep the pH in control; it does not tamper the effectiveness of chlorine and helps to stop algae development in the pool.
  • Reduces the use of chlorine – since borates prevent the growth of algae, there is no need to apply too much chlorine.  Besides, if the pH continues stable, the use of chlorine is less, reducing the pool shock treatment.
  • Soft Water – hard water can cause the skin to dry and cause red, itchy eyes.  By using borates not only keeps the water clear for a long time, but it works as a water softener.

Most borates have a chlorine stabilizer.  It helps to keep from evaporating from direct sunlight to the water.

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid is another chemical often used in the pool cleaning procedure.   In most cases, the acidic element helps to lower the pH levels in the water.

For example, if tests give a pH level higher than 7.8, add ¼ gallon of muriatic acid to the pool water.  For smaller pools, it only needs one cup of muriatic acid.  Like all chemicals, people MUST handle muriatic acid carefully.

Ozonators

Ozonators are part of the filter system that provides ozone into the pool water. Although ozonation combines with other chemical treatments, the benefits are excellent.

Studies revealed that the use of a pool ozone generator:

  • Cleans the pool and frees the water of mold, mildew, bacteria, yeasts, and fungi.
  • Neutralizes and removes organic oils and other human contaminants.
  • Ozonators reduces the need for other purifying methods.
  • Neutralizes and removes neutralizing and eliminating bodily oils and other human contaminants in the water. 

Using a pool ozone generator also helps to reduce the overall maintenance costs of keeping a pool clean. 

Ozone generators work for microscopic organisms; it does not replace proper pool maintenance.  You need to remove large debris and leaves using a vacuum or a pool net.  A quality pool filter will remove smaller items.

Other Ways to Avoid Spreading COVID-19 in a Pool Area

Although the pool water is safe, it is essential to follow these crucial tips from the CDC:

  • Use test strips to check chlorine or bromine and pH levels before getting in the water. Most superstores, hardware stores, and pool-supply stores sell test strips.
  • Rinse off in a shower for one-minute prior and after getting out of the pool. It helps get rid of most stuff that might be on the swimmer’s body.

Any pool part that is not submerged in chlorinated water can be a harbor for the virus. The COVID-19 coronavirus can survive:

  • maximum of four hours on copper
  • maximum of 24 hours on cardboard
  • up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel (pool rails, floats or other surfaces)

Don’t take any chances.  Keep anyone and everyone who has, or may have, COVID-19 out of your pool and spa until they’ve recovered.

On behalf of the Platinum Pools family, please stay home and stay safe.  We will be available for any questions or suggestions by calling us at 281.870.1600 or visit our page on Facebook and our website for updates and online conversations.