Havoc on Your Pool
- July 29th, 2011
- in Yachting
Curtailing Hurricane Havoc on Your Pool
Summer is hot upon us. Is your pool safe? The sultry summer days can spell defeat for your swimming pool—save in mind the threat of another Earl. Sure, the refreshing, cool water is more appreciated now than ever, and keeping the kids out of it is a feat. And so it should be—that’s why we have swimming pools.
But keeping the water in perfect shape becomes a much more difficult task as the temperatures jump and direct sun exposure increases. You’ve probably noticed that with temperatures in the pool about 10 degrees warmer that the amount of chlorine the pool consumes is now about double. Keeping the water balanced, clear and healthy has now become an arduous chore, especially with unexpected pool parties involving a gaggle of kids, inevitably turning a healthy pool into a lackluster cloudy mess in a matter of hours.
Weather forecasts now mainly consist of tracking tropical systems through the area. We are seemingly glued to our screens to make our best and wishful predictions, hoping for the storms with illustrious names to magically sail around our Islands. With last year’s pounding and drenching still fresh in our memories, it is now perhaps as good a time as any to remember the procedures of hurricane preparedness. But remember: It does not take a hurricane to wreak havoc on your swimming pool. A tropical storm with enough rain will adequately terrorize your carefully maintained pool, leaving you pulling out your hair with frustration. Gone is easy balance of pH and Chlorine levels. The calcium and total-alkalinity have all but disappeared. In preparation for the onslaught of this foul weather we can make the recovery somewhat easier; however, only Mother Nature knows for sure what’s in store. If your house is surrounded by any trees and shrubs, it is likely that your pool will become the gathering grounds for leaves and foliage from gardens in your yard and beyond. Hopefully the trunks and limbs from the trees themselves are not following that same route. However, we have seen the occasional palm tree so thirsty during the height of the storm that they seem to prefer the pool to their recently detached roots. Also, during the longer lasting deluge, it is not unlikely that the soil surrounding the pool gets so saturated that it too lets loose and finds its way into the bottom of your pool.
In many cases where a substantial amount of foliage and soil has entered your pool, replacing the water will be the easiest and the least expensive option. The usual prolonged power outages and full cisterns that accumulate after a tropical system has passed make emptying and refilling your pool with fresh water the best option. Sure, there are chemicals that can make your pool nice and clear again, but keep in mind that the introduction of nitrates and phosphates found in soil make the water so inept to change that the cost of these chemicals and the increased total dissolved solids will make your pool balancing at least ten times harder and will trump chemical costs in the long run.
After preparing for the worst, we hope that we will be lucky recipients of a calm and peaceful hurricane season. But, if the threat of a building system exists, try to prepare your pool like you would for a kid's party: balance the pH, up the chlorine levels and, if you have weatherproof deck furniture, dump it in the water for a rinse—that way the wind will not send them flying. And, most importantly, keep yourself safe.