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Why is my pool green? We bust 5 pool water quality myths


Whether it’s for swimming lessons, pool parties, exercise or cooling off on a hot day, many people spend significant time in the pool each year. No matter how clean a pool might appear, pool water that is not properly balanced and sanitised isn’t actually clean. Check out our 5 pool water quality myths to find out how much you know about pool water quality.

The heavy chemical smell around the pool is a reminder that chlorine is killing germs

FACT: A properly disinfected pool should not have a strong chemical smell. The odour we sometimes notice around pools arises from chloramines in pool water. Chloramines form when chlorine disinfectants react with contaminants brought into pools by swimmers. These contaminants include perspiration, urine, body oils and cosmetics. Chloramines can redden swimmers’ eyes and make skin itchy.

I clean my pool often and allow the filtration system to run over 12 hours a day. This means it is safe to swim in.

FACT: Just because you spend hours scrubbing, skimming, vacuuming and filtering your pool doesn’t mean it is clean. If chlorine levels are inadequate, your pool is not clean and the water is not safe.

The pool water is only a little cloudy or green. It’s safe for swimming, right?

FACT: It is never safe to swim in cloudy or green pool water. If a pool is green and growing algae, it is a good indicator that the water is unbalanced and not adequately sanitised.

Pool chlorine turns hair green

FACT: Chlorine isn’t to blame. The green colour comes from metals in the water, such as copper which is added to control algae and may be leached from pool plumbing and fixtures.

Pool water is disinfected so it is okay if my children swallow some

FACT: Although chlorine does kill waterborne germs, chlorine levels fluctuate in pools, especially crowded pools. Some germs take longer to destroy than others and unfortunately not all pools are carefully maintained. It’s best to err on the side of caution and warn your kids not to swallow pool water.

What are phosphates?

Phosphates are organic materials that naturally occur in the pool, coming from dead leaves, lawn fertiliser and other sources. At high enough levels, phosphates feed algae to grow in your pool. This will turn your pool’s water green and cloudy.

Public swimming pool and spa pool requirements in NSW

Public swimming pools – which include spa pools, water slides, water play areas and pools within motels and gyms – must comply with the following standards:

  1. Public swimming pools and spas must not be used unless the water in the pool is disinfected in such a way as to minimise the transmission of disease to the other users of the pool; and
  2. The pool surrounds, including any toilets or change rooms, must be kept clean and in such condition, as to minimise the transmission of disease.

For more information on the health requirements for public swimming pools, contact Inverell Shire Council or the public health unit on 1300 066 055.

Sunderland’s Cleaning and Pool Supplies – leading the way in quality pool products in Inverell

Looking for quality pool and cleaning products? Sunderland’s Cleaning and Pool Supplies are a one-stop shop for all your pool supplies, cleaning, industrial and catering needs. We’re your local experts in all things pool maintenance. For more information on our products and services, contact our friendly Inverell team on 02 6722 1130 or find us online here.

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