About 40 years ago when I began my career in aquatics I was quick to learn the importance of keeping swimming pool water crystal clear. And back then it wasn’t as easy as it is now; we hand fed pools with chlorine and tested the water chemistry manually as well. Nearly half a century later, I’m still consulted on drowning cases where non-swimming children have disappeared in the deep end of the pool but no one can recover, rescue or resuscitate the kids because they can’t find them. Simply stated, cloudy water should no longer be a topic of discussion in aquatics. Keeping swimming pool water clear is not a difficult task: test the water chemistry at least three times a day and keep the chlorine levels up.

Although many people blame poor filtration for cloudy water, it’s most often a lack of oxidation provided by the chlorine. Hopefully the MAHC will improve water quality and clarity. The MAHC not only strongly recommends Certified Pool Operators (CPOs) for every pool but also calls for continuing education of pool operators. And last but not least, if you can’t see the bottom drain clearly, close the pool immediately!!! No it’s not rocket science, but too many pools in this country let their water chemistry get out of whack and cloudy water is often the result, but the pool remains open! Whenever you see a cloudy pool, whether it be a hotel pool, an apartment pool, or even a residential pool, first teach the owner/operator how to keep the water clear, then recommend additional education and training through the many and varied pool operator courses that are available throughout the country.

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Comment by Pat Meloy on February 24, 2015 at 7:23am

That can happen in otherwise well run pools. A private facility I visited had their gas chlorine system break down and had to run manually for several weeks. At the same time the health authority was all over chloramine levels so guarding staff were continually dealing with chemistry. For sanitation they used calcium hypochlorite and for chloramine control they used an Oxone product. All of this caused big pH drops so manual soda ash additions were required.

The result was water the colour of skim milk and visibility no more than 2-3 inches yet they remained open and, shocking to me, patrons were allowed into the pools and they actually got in.

I expressed my concerns to the manager but the excuses boiled down to "We can't afford to close pools".

One of the many reasons I only patronize public facilities.

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