Warning: Is Your Pool Safe to Swim In? (Expert Advice)

February 23, 2023

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Are you a property owner asking, is my pool safe to swim in? This is an excellent question for both homeowners and commercial property owners! A business owner is often liable for injuries and health issues caused by an unsafe pool. At the same time, homeowners don’t want to risk unsanitary conditions for their family and friends.

Hiring a pool service professional is the best choice for ensuring a safe and sanitary pool. However, pool owners can also take simple steps to ensure clean, sparkling water. Check out a few of those here so you can provide a safe, enjoyable experience for everyone visiting your pool!

is my pool safe to swim in

How Do You Know If Your Pool Is Safe to Swim In?

Note a few ways to determine if a pool is safe for swimmers. Also, never hesitate to contact pool care professional for needed deep cleaning and pool maintenance! They can test the waters thoroughly and recommend a custom care routine for your pool.

Tips for accurately testing pool water for beginners

Testing pool water is the best choice for ensuring it’s safe for swimming! Testing kits make this process easy and alert you to needed treatments. They’re also very affordable and an excellent investment, especially for commercial pool owners.

First, circulate the water through the filter with the pump set on high for an hour. Second, take a water sample at least 12 inches under the surface. Then, record the test results so you can monitor when your pool might need cleaning and treatment.

Choosing a test kit for your pool

Test kits for pools react to the pool water, alerting you to chemical levels and other needed information. Strips and liquid kits use a color code for their results. Depending on the test water’s color, you’ll know what chemicals need adjusting or if the pool needs cleaning.

Test strips are fast and inexpensive, making them a great choice for residential pools. In addition, most strips offer several results at one time. You can adjust the chemicals or schedule a cleaning as needed.

Liquid test kits offer a more accurate reading than strips. Some even provide dosing results, meaning they tell you how to correct poor-quality water. Many also offer more readouts than simple strips, making them a great choice for busy commercial pools.

Digital test kits offer the fastest and most accurate results. Also, their LED screens make it easier to read and understand those results! Additionally, digital kits take the guesswork out of color matching those test results. They’re also an excellent choice for anyone with color blindness.

pool maintenance with digital test kit

What Tests Are Needed for Pool Water?

A pool testing kit does more than determine chlorine levels. Also, adequate chlorine is not the only factor affecting a pool’s condition! Check out what tests you might need for your pool and its water to ensure it’s safe and in good condition.

Free chlorine

While chlorine levels are not the only important test, they’re still vital for ensuring a clean, safe pool! Chlorine helps kill germs, bacteria, and algae, keeping water and pool tiles pristine. In turn, check these levels twice weekly or more often for busier pools. Readings between 1 and 4 parts per million or ppm are ideal.

Water pH

The right water pH or acidity level helps chlorine work more effectively. It also means a more comfortable swimming environment and helps equipment to work effectively. Test the water pH several times weekly and look for a range between 7.2 and 7.6. Invest in a pH correcting kit if the pH falls outside this range.

Calcium hardness

Calcium hardness can create a scaly residue on pool tiles, risking corrosion and other damage. It also means very uncomfortable water for swimming! Test calcium hardness monthly and look for a range between 175 and 275 parts per million.

Chlorine stabilizers

A chlorine stabilizer prevents it from being burned away during hot summertime weather. Stabilizers are especially vital in tropical areas or pools with lots of sun exposure. Check the stabilizer every season or more often in areas with lots of sunlight. Ranges from 30 to 150 parts per million are ideal.

How Do You Tell When a Pool Isn’t Safe for Swimming?

While testing waters with a pH kit ensures safe conditions, you might note some warning signs of an unsafe pool. These can alert you that it might be best to lounge by the water rather than go in! Also, if you’re a pool owner, consider these signs that it’s time for a pool cleaning and treatment.

Dirty and cloudy water

Some light debris along the water’s surface isn’t necessarily unsafe. However, dirty and cloudy water indicates needed cleaning! It’s especially vital to address this dirt if it coats the pool floor or obscures your view of the tile.

Algae growing in the pool

Slimy, smelly algae thrive in dirty pools! This toxic growth is dangerous for people and pets and indicates a neglected pool. Avoid green water, a pool with foul smells, or pools with slick and slimy tile. If your collection has algae growth, consider a high-quality treatment and needed scrubbing.

More swimmers mean more risk

The more swimmers in a pool, the more germs, bacteria, dead skin cells, and the like. Also, note that filters can only remove so much undesirable debris. An overcrowded pool can then mean an overworked and ineffective pool filter! Therefore, pool owners should adjust their cleaning and treatment schedule accordingly.

Babies can mean contaminated pools

Even in a swim diaper, babies in the pool can mean contaminated water. Diaper leakage, vomit, and even baby care products can create unsanitary conditions quickly.

In turn, pool owners might prohibit babies in the pool or ensure a thorough cleaning after their visit. Other swimmers might also exercise caution about using a pool while babies are present and before it’s cleaned.

Rainwater can contaminate a pool

Rain brings with it bacteria, air pollution residues, dust, and more. In turn, a pool should be tested and cleaned after heavy rains or strong storms. Pool owners might also adjust chlorine levels during a rainy season.

Is It Safe to Swim In a Pool Without Chlorine?

While chlorine keeps pool water safe and clean, it can also mean dry skin and an unpleasant smell! However, it’s not typically safe to swim in a pool without some chemical treatment. While some swimmers might reason that you can swim in a lake without chlorine, these are not the same.

First, consider that natural water bodies have built-in filters, including sand, surrounding soil, and the like. Second, remember that lakes, streams, rivers, and other water bodies are far larger than pools. In turn, they aren’t likely to hold the same concentration of bacteria as you might find a small pool.

Also, water in a small pool holds heat better than larger lakes and other water bodies. Unfortunately, heat encourages the growth of bacteria, algae, and other harmful organisms. Consequently, it’s typically best to avoid swimming in an untreated pool.

What Diseases Can You Get From a Swimming Pool?

Swimming in a pool with unclean water can mean serious health risks. Untreated pool water can carry bacteria, E. coli, norovirus, and other contaminants. Your skin, eyes, and nasal passages absorb these easily, risking serious health concerns, including:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Skin rashes
  • Lesions
  • Ear infections
  • Eye irritation

Also, while these sicknesses might eventually pass on their own, you can avoid them by keeping a pool clean! Additionally, if you’re using a public pool, stay out of the water if you notice any signs of contamination listed above. Lastly, shower right after using a public pool to remove any residual contaminants from your skin.

Should You Add Chlorine to a Pool Every Day?

Most pools don’t need daily chlorine additives. Instead, you might add a chlorine tablet every 3 to 7 days. However, as with most pool care routine steps, adjust this schedule for your pool. For example, a commercial pool with lots of visitors might need more frequent treatment. On the other hand, if you use a residential pool only on occasion, you might add weekly treatments.

Also, you might adjust this treatment schedule according to the area weather. Rainstorms mean added contaminants in the water, as said. In turn, you might add more chlorine after a rainy season or heavy storms.

Pool owners might also add extra chlorine before opening the pool for visitors. This can ensure the water is clean and pristine and safe for everyone! Your pool testing results can also indicate when you might add some extra chlorine or other needed chemicals.

How Do You Keep a Pool Clean?

Adding the right treatments and testing pool water often is vital for ensuring a clean space. Additionally, you might check out some added tips for maintaining a pool on your property:

  • Skim leaves and other debris from pool water at least weekly. Ignoring this debris risks clogging the filter. A clogged filter cannot clean sediment from the pool effectively and breaks down more easily!
  • Scrub the pool walls and floor weekly as well. A good scrubbing loosens debris so the filter can pull it out of the water. Also, thorough scrubbing protects tiles and keeps them looking their best.
  • Vacuum the pool weekly or as often as needed to remove sediment. A pool vacuum pulls up debris a filter misses and keeps water sparkling clean.
  • Empty the skimmer basket every day. This basket traps debris and without emptying, it can then backwash into the pool. Full baskets also put more pressure on the pool pump, risking premature breakdown.
  • Check the pump regularly. The pump pulls water through the pool filter and skimmer basket. If a pump fails to work effectively, the filter won’t clean pool water as it should.
  • Cover the pool often and especially before it rains. A pool cover keeps airborne chemicals, storm debris, and dirty rainwater out of the water!
  • Ask guests to shower before getting into the pool. Even rinsing dirt from your feet can mean cleaner water and a stunning pool.

Above all, invest in regular pool cleaning services. A professional ensures a stunning pool and can suggest adjustments to its care, to keep it as clean as possible.

pool service fruitville

How Do You Know If You Have a Pool Leak?

Pool leaks can contribute to dirty water and unsafe swimming conditions. How so? Those leaks let in dirt, sediment, and other contaminants. They also waste water and make it harder to maintain proper chemical levels. In turn, you might note some common signs of a pool leak needing repair:

  • Dropping water levels are an obvious sign of a pool leak! However, remember that pool water also evaporates especially in warm weather. If you’ve ruled out evaporation, have a pool checked for leaks if you notice dropping water levels.
  • Wet spots in the yard and underneath pool equipment often indicate leaks.
  • Pool leaks mean shifting and damp soil around a pool. This dampness damages tile grout and lets a pool settle and sink. In turn, you might soon notice cracked or shifting pool tile.
  • If you cannot keep your pool free of algae and other contaminants, this can indicate a leak. Leaks let in contaminated water that risks contamination. Consequently, check for leaks if you’re always struggling to keep pool water clean!
  • Most pools have a self-filling feature. Since leaks trigger this equipment to cycle on, you might then notice higher than average water and electric bills.

Sarasota Pool Service Pros is happy to help answer the question, is my pool safe to swim in? Hopefully, this blog post has been informative and useful! If you’re in the market for expert care, call our team. We offer FREE estimates and services that work around your needs and budget. Also, we’re happy to answer your questions about pool care. To find out more, use our callback form or reach out to us today.


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