Whether you swim in a private backyard pool or a public pool, water testing is vital to a healthy and enjoyable experience. Pool water should be tested weekly for the following:
Chlorine in pool water breaks down substances like sweat, skin, blood and mucous from swimmers’ bodies. It kills E. coli, salmonella, bacteria and a wide variety of hazardous environmental pollutants and organisms that can cause serious illness. Pool water must always have an adequate amount of chlorine available to neutralize any new contaminant that enters its environment. Companies that specialize in water testing Pittsburgh can help residential and spa pool owners achieve proper “free” chlorine levels recommended by the Center For Disease Control. According to the guidelines, it is necessary to have enough chlorine to sanitize the water, but not so much that it can irritate swimmers’ skin.
The ideal pH level for pool water is around 7.4 on the official pH scale ranging from 0-14. This level resembles the human body’s pH, making it slightly alkaline. When pH levels are too high or too low, chlorine cannot sanitize effectively. A pool maintenance company can recommend pH testing kits and stabilizing measures. For instance, borax can raise the pH of pool water that has been overtaken by algae, which consume carbon dioxide needed to maintain alkalinity. Sodium bisulfate can lower a pH that is too high due to excess salt in the water and prevent scaling of valuable pool equipment and plumping.
Your pool professional will recommend that you test your pool water for levels of naturally occurring calcium. Excess calcium can result in cloudy water and the accumulation of unsightly sediment particles on pool walls, pipes and pumps. Inadequate amounts of calcium can wreak havoc on a pool’s physical structure. The water is considered “aggressive” when it is calcium-deficient. It draws calcium out of the material from which the pool is constructed, causing corrosion, pitting and various damage. Pool frames, ladders and metal fixtures are especially susceptible to the adverse effects of low calcium levels. Testing kits are useful for measuring calcium levels before the signs of an imbalance are visible, and costly repairs are unavoidable.
Swimming is a healthy year-round activity that should not become hazardous due to inadequate pool water maintenance. Fortunately, skilled Pittsburgh pool maintenance professionals can help you select the appropriate water testing kits and products to keep your pool in the best possible condition.