MOUNT VERNON — As the summer continues its hot pace, Knox Countians are turning toward ways of cooling off. Pools are sprouting up around the county at a fast pace.
As people put up pools for swimming, there’s a few things that need to happen before diving in.
Water, especially well water, contains many different minerals and other chemicals that might contaminate the water for swimming. The biggest issue with well water is metals such as iron. Iron usually does not present a health problem, but it will make the water look red and could damage the pump or other items with the pool if left intact.
A metal remover is the best place to start for those in rural areas, putting well water in their pool, said George Horlacher, owner of Leisure Life Pools and Spas on Columbus Road. The agent will band the iron and copper together until it becomes like a black pepper, which is then filtered out through the pump and filter system.
Once the metals are removed, it’s time to balance the pool water.
“The normal routine is then for chlorine shock, algaecide and then sanitizer,” Horlacher said. “Throughout the year, you need to test it nearly every day to keep the chlorine levels right.
“Chlorine is susceptible to sunshine. Your chlorine levels will be different from morning to night. The sun cooks it out.”
One misconception about chlorine is that too much causes red eyes and a strong chlorine smell. It’s actually the opposite. Pools that are causing red eye should be shocked to break apart the nitrogen or ammonia molecules and much more chlorine should be added.
Tests for the proper pH and alkaline balance should be done once a week.
Algae is one of the more common problems for residents who own a pool. Perspiration, skin cells and rain all help dry up pH, allowing a stinky green algae to form in the water and on the pool surfaces.