Residential Pools and Spas

Treating swimming pools in bushfire areas

October 18, 2013

Steven Humphris from Focus offers advice for techs cleaning pools after bushfires.

With devastating bushfires running rampant through New South Wales, many pools will end up with a build-up of ash and debris. If the level of build-up is only minor, Humphris recommends using a strong clarifier to filter the particles out of the pool using the filtration system. If the build-up is substantial, he recommends the use of a liquid flocculant to drop the particles to the bottom of the pool where they can be easily vacuumed to waste. He suggests that one litre of the flocculant should be sufficient for the average 50,000 litre backyard swimming pool.

For best results, ensure the pool has a pH of 7.8 or higher (add a pH buffer or increaser if the pH is below this). If the level of debris in the pool is extreme, the use of a heavy duty flocculant (such as a granular flocculant) may be required. If the pool has a media filter installed, select bypass on the multi-port valve and run the pump for three to four hours. If the pool has a cartridge filter, remove the cartridge and run the pump for three to four hours to mix the flocculant through the entire pool.

Once mixed, turn the pool pump off for six hours or until the particles have settled to the bottom. Once settled, move the valve to the waste position and manually vacuum the pool water to waste. If not all the debris is removed in the first vacuum, you may need to allow the particles to settle again for a further six hours and re-vacuum.

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