If you’ve been waiting for warm weather and bright sunshine to get back
into your workout routine, the time has come for pool fitness. From swimming laps to doing water aerobics, your pool makes exercise fun and engaging for the whole family.
But it’s important to remember that exercising in your pool introduces swimmer waste—perspiration, for example—that you’ll need to address as part of your regular maintenance program. Contaminants also can be an issue if you have high bather loads—such as a lot of kids in your pool throughout the summer—creating increased maintenance demand.
If your pool will be
a hub of activity this season, exercising and otherwise, consider these tips to keep your water clear and free of contaminants.
Pay attention to bather load
Bather load is a primary consideration when determining how much swimmer waste is in your water. But the number of people in your pool isn’t as important as the swimmers’ activity, says John Puetz, technology directory for Arch Chemicals, Inc., now part of Lonza.
“A physically engaged swimmer will produce a minimum of two pints of perspiration per hour,” he
says. “And the chemical makeup of sweat is the same as urine, which really startles pool owners.”
Generally, any time there’s an increased bather load in your pool, it creates a stress in the water, Puetz says. For example, if your pool endures consistent use throughout the week but an increased bather load on the weekend when your kids’ friends pay a visit to your backyard, higher levels of contaminants will be introduced into the water. In this case, the normal chlorine level is an insufficient amount of sanitization, and you should think about shocking the pool to restore its cleanliness and clarity.
You also should think about bather load in maintaining your hot tub water. Hot tubs have a much higher bather load than pools, so you should add a dose of chlorine or bromine after spending time in the spa, says Lauren Craig, general manager of Waller Pool and Spa in Wheeling, W.V. It’s harder to maintain a consistent sanitizer level in a hot tub compared to a pool because both the hot water and higher bather load render the sanitizing product ineffective faster, Craig says.
Balance, shock and oxidize your pool water
If your pool is a regular source of exercise and activity for family and friends, it’s imperative that you have the right products on hand for proper sanitization. Products include shock treatments and water balancers.
“After a pool workout, pH and alkalinity should first be adjusted, then the pool should be shocked,” Craig says. “When there is added perspiration in the pool, it’s important to shock to remove those organic compounds.”
If you typically have higher chlorine levels in your pool, the POOLIFE® Quick Swim Oxidizer is an ideal product to use before or after high bather loads, Craig says. The POOLIFE® Quick Swim Oxidizer gives the pool a low dose of
chlorine, along with an oxidizer, she says. The product is a quick-dissolving shock, oxidizer and chlorine boost in one package.
At Waller Pool and Spa, Craig and her team call POOLIFE® Quick Swim Oxidizer “party shock” because it’s an ideal product to add to the pool before a party, when you expect
high bather loads and eager swimmers who want to dive in as soon as they arrive.
Purchase the right pool products
If you own a chlorine pool, shock treatments are the best way to
clean the water after a workout or heavy bather load.
Consider using POOLIFE® TurboShock®—Step 2 in both the POOLIFE® Brite Stix® System and the POOLIFE® Multipurpose Tablet System—to kill algae and bacteria while destroying swimmer contaminants.
“Chlorine kills bacteria and oxidizes the waste,” Puetz says. “By shock treating, you will restore some of that chlorine residual that was significantly lowered with the high bather load.”
Oxidizing waste is the key to cleaning your chlorine-free pool after workouts, and Puetz suggests using the BAQUACIL® CDX™ System to kill bacteria. “You can add non-chlorine chemicals prior to a workout or immediately after it because the chlorine-exposure limitations do not exist with BAQUACIL® products,” Puetz says.
It’s important to remove contaminants from your pool, but don’t over-treat your water with unnecessary chemicals, Puetz says. If you let byproducts accumulate in the water, it can be uncomfortable for swimmers.
Recognize signs of contaminated water
If you’ve had high levels of activity in your
pool, it’s important to recognize signs that your water needs treatment. For example, after a heavy bather load, your water will have a dull appearance, and swimmers might complain about burning or irritated eyes. Many times, swimmers associate burning eyes with high levels of chlorine, but that’s a misconception, Puetz says.
“Everything that’s normally
blamed on high chlorine levels is actually a result of not enough chlorine,” Puetz says. “It’s very common that skin irritations develop due to not having enough oxidation, not too little.”