Common Swimming Pool Water Problems and Cures Part 1:

Common Swimming Pool Water Problems and Cures Part 1:

Here are some a few common pool water issues and some pool service tips as to how to correct them.

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Cloudy Water

Cloudy water is most often caused by inadequate filtration; either signifying that the daily filter run is not long enough of the filter itself is dirty. Solutions to those two problems are obvious. DE leaking through a filter back into the pool can also cloud the water, so check filter grids for holes or seams that have separated. Finally, check the total alkalinity and pH. Sometimes high readings result in cloudy water. In spas, this might reflect high TDS levels in a relatively confined small body of water. Adjust as described later.

Colored Water
If the problem is not algae, color in pool water means metals. It also means problems with plaster staining, so make corrections promptly.


Green or blue-green means copper. The water is probably etching (very acidic), so check and balance the pH. The copper might have come from pluming or heater components stripped away by acidic water and deposited on soft plaster walls. It can become very extreme and actually appears as black, sooty-looking deposits. When this happens, immediately shut down the circulation equipment until you can ascertain the problem and solutions. Apply the corrective measures and distribute the chemicals by brushing the pool. After several hours, take another pH reading. If it is now normal, turn the equipment back on, otherwise, keep balancing. The copper might also come from a copper-based algaecide, so examine the other products you might have used to eliminate any sources. Finally, apply a metal chelating agent to the water. These products, available in various brand names, will attract and combine metals so they can be filtered out. Follow the label instructions on the product you choose and in all cases, run the filter for 72 hours once you have balanced the chemistry.

Brown towards red

This is caused by iron. Check and adjust the total alkalinity first, then the hardness, and finally the pH. You might need to drain part or all of the water and add fresh. Iron precipitates out of the minerals in the water, built up over time, from corroding light fixes, ladders, and rails or from plumbing corroded by acidic water. Add a chelating agent to the water.

Brown towards black

This is caused by manganese or other heavy metals (including silver). Follow the same instructions as iron. Remember, the precipitated metal might have come from another chemical product you were using for algae control or some other purpose, so examine what has recently gone into the pool. Usually, however, the cause of all metal staining is water that is to acidic.

To be continued…

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