Improve water clarity and swimmer comfort with clarifiers

Getting your pool’s water chemistry right is definitely a balancing act — it’s called water balance after all. As a pool owner, you’re probably across the chemistry basics and know how to adjust pH and sanitiser levels to keep your water healthy. It’s not a difficult process but there are a few factors that can shift conditions enough to throw things out of whack, even when you’re sticking to the same maintenance program.

Cloudy water is a common pool problem. It can be caused by a range of things including insufficient sanitiser, so check those levels first. Cloudy water indicates the presence of unwanted particles, which can be a build-up of sunscreen, cosmetics or skin care products, microscopic skin or hair particles from bathers (including pets), other organic materials like broken down leaf litter, dirt and dust and rainwater run-off. The presence of pretty much anything other than water and the appropriate types and measures of pool chemicals can and will cause a cloudy pool. Due to their small size, these particles would normally pass through the filter. When a clarifier is added to the water it combines the small particles together to become larger particles that can be captured in the filter.

Once you’ve confirmed sanitiser levels are correct, check your water is balanced (pH levels and total alkalinity should be within the recommended range) and that your filtration system is working as expected. If everything is in order, you may need to use a clarifier. As the name suggests, clarifier chemical products are used to remove cloudiness and restore water clarity. Clarifying treatments are generally used throughout the swimming season, firstly as a larger dose and then a smaller dose each week.

Your local SPASA pool shop will probably offer a range of options in tablet or liquid form, as well as advice on how to use the product. In a nutshell, you’ll need to balance the water chemistry beforehand, add the clarifier product as instructed, then run the filter continuously for somewhere between 24 and 48 hours. Cleaning of filters and backwashing will need to be undertaken more frequently due to the filter being able to capture more contaminants. Backwash the filter to dislodge dirt and debris, then check and rebalance the chemistry once again. Make sure to give it a vacuum or clean and you’re good to go — happy swimming!

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