You should not swim in cloudy pool water. It is not only unhealthy but dangerous because lifeguards cannot see the bottom of the pool in case of an accident. Swimming in cloudy or turbid water is unsanitary and increases the risk of coming into contact with water-borne pathogens such as pseudomonas, E-Coli, and the protozoan crypto.
Why does pool water become cloudy?
There are three main reasons why pool water suddenly turns turbid and cloudy.
The natural environment of your pool can cause its water to become cloudy and unhealthy for swimming. All the surrounding factors such as birds, trees, the sun, weather, people using the pool, and algae can contribute to its pollution and affect the quality of water.
Your pool filter
If your pool filter system malfunctions or does not run for at least 8 hours per day, then the pool’s water may get contaminated and turn cloudy. Your filter cleans the pool water constantly and if it does not work as expected, you’ll have stagnant water that could become cloudy after a short while.
Use of excessive pool chemicals
The pool water could turn cloudy if you add excessive chemicals into the pool. This is due to high alkalinity, pH, or chlorine levels. When you shock the pool, make sure to use the right amount of chemicals depending on the size of your pool.
Clearing cloudy pool water
After you have discovered and taken care of the reason why the pool water turns cloudy, such as a faulty filter or excessive chemicals, you can then embark on the task of clearing the cloudy water. There are three ways of doing it.
Using a pool water clarifier
It’s important to use a pool water clarifier every week to maintain the pristine condition of your pool. Pool water clarifiers collect the tiny particles responsible for contaminating the water to form larger particles that can be removed easily. They form an easy to pick coagulant just like in the blood clotting process. The pool clarifier clots the tiny particles together to create larger particles that can easily be filtered out.
Using Flocculant or Pool Floc
If you want fast results in clearing out cloudy water in your pool, you can use a chemical known as Flocculant or Floc in short. It can clear a cloudy pool overnight. Floc works by collecting all the nuisance particles responsible for turning your pool water cloudy and sends them to the bottom. You’ll then manually vacuum the cloud out of your pool using a pool pump.
The particles turning your pool water cloudy are tiny and negatively charged, which means they repel each other and cannot be gathered together. The flocculant works by neutralizing the electric charge of the particles which helps to bond them together into bigger particles that can easily be filtered out. However, take care not to use too many clarifiers or flocculant as this may not neutralize the electric charge but instead reverse the reaction and make the pool even cloudier.
Using bottom drains and the pool filter system
The main skimmer of your pool can only clear unwanted particles at the top but does not help to clean the cloudy particles lying at the bottom. To reach the particles at the bottom of your pool, you can either stir up the water constantly by using a pool brush to push the particles to the top or use the bottom drains to clear out the water.
In-ground pools have bottom drains which make it easier to drain off the cloudy particles but an above ground pool does not have bottom drains. To create the effect of a bottom drain in such a pool, you can use a manual vacuum cleaner like you would when vacuuming the pool but place it at the bottom and turn it upside down. The pool filter will now be drawing water from the bottom of the pool with the help of the manual vacuum and releasing filtered water at the top of the pool.
A swimming pool with cloudy water is a risky and unhealthy pool to swim in. You can use available chemicals and pool equipment to regain the clean pristine condition of your pool water.
Related article on how to choose the best above ground pool.