Black Swamp at opening!

Causes and cures for cloudy swimming pool water.
Milky pool water, white, pink, brown, purple, black cloudy water.
spudd1943
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Black Swamp at opening!

Postby spudd1943 » Thu 08 May, 2008 17:56

I have been following this forum for a few weeks and am impressed by the knowledge. I have a somewhat kidney shaped in-ground pool, 20'X40' 9 foot deep end, 4' shallow end. I am estimating that it is between 22,000 and 25,000 gallons.

I am a new pool owner and opened the pool a few weeks ago. When we pulled off the cover we found a black/brown swamp. I am guessing that it was not closed properly by the previous owner.

I fired up all the equipment and started to run the pump. So far I have added 32lbs of shock and about 6 gallons of 6% chlorine over the past week or two.

Everyday I brush/vaccum to waste and backwash the filter when the pressure increases about 6-8psi.

I can see most of the shallow end and the deep end is becoming clearer each day. I have been running my 24" sand filter 24/7 since last SAT with a cup of DE added after each backwash.

Here are my current numbers: (using the Taylor 2006 recommended here)

FC 32.5
CC .5
TC 32
ph 7.2
TA 120
CYA 45-50
CH 160
Saturation -.04 or -.05

My chlorine is so high because recently I have noticed a yellowish/brownish silt that I can not vaccum away :( . I can brush it around very easily but cant seem to get rid of it so I wanted to SUPER chlorinate the water. Today my water is the bluest it has been. I am wondering if I still have algae (probably not with such a high chlorine level that held overnight) or maybe it is just silt. I noticed it always settles on the bottom but I cant suck it up. I been using a water clarifier every couple of days but not sure if it is doing anything.

The water is a nice aquamarine color, but still very cloudy :evil: . I can see just below the light at the deep end of the pool and that is it. I do have a floor drain and have my jandy valve in the middle of pool drain and skimmer running into the pump. I figure this is pulling water into the pump from both the skimmer and the drain at the deep end.

After I backwash I add the DE powder till I get a raise of 1psi (usually about a cup) about 20min after that my pressue has already risen by 4 psi. By the next day my pressure is 6-8psi higher and I have to backwash.

I would like some analysis about what is happening here (hopefully by chemgeek or backglass) but any input would be appreciated.

I am still running my filter 24/7 as I see an improvement everyday and my water is finally some sort of shade of blue. (thanks in part to these forums! :D )


chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Thu 08 May, 2008 20:54

It just sounds like its taking longer for your pool to clear. By the way, with a CYA level of around 50 ppm the appropriate shock level is 20 ppm (40% of the CYA level) so you don't need your chlorine to be quite so high. It doesn't seem to be helping to clear the pool that much faster anyway.

In the worst case, if it doesn't continue to clear, you can use OMNI Liquid Floc Plus and then vacuum to waste what settles to the floor (assuming you can vacuum to waste in your system).

When you say you added 32 pounds of shock, what did you use for shock? 32 pounds of 65% Cal-Hypo would add 99 ppm to FC and 70 ppm to CH. 32 pounds of Dichlor would add 85 ppm FC and 77 ppm to CYA which would not be good.

Richard
spudd1943
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Postby spudd1943 » Thu 08 May, 2008 21:15

Thanks for the reply!

The first 8lbs initially was the aqua chem shock, im not sure what type of chlorine that is, trichlor maybe. After that I added Dichlor shock approx 24lbs over several weeks while backwashing, vacuuming, refilling, etc. So it wasnt necessarily all at once. I plan to use up what Dichlor i have left and then switch to bleach or another form of unstabilized chlorine. I bought some stuff before finding this forum and doing enough research.

What do you think the yellow/brown stuff is that keeps settling on the floor and cant be vacuumed?

I assume it is not algae since my FC is so high and has been stable. I ended up adding a little more chlorine than I wanted to which is why i ended up with 30+ PPM. Although it did get most of the green color out of my pool.

By the way, I do have a multiport valve and can vacuum to waste.

Thanks again for your input, and for sharing your knowledge with those of us who are learning.
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Fri 09 May, 2008 00:14

So I'm not sure what is in the Aqua Chem Shock -- if you have the bottle and can read the ingredients, that would be helpful. At any rate, with the Dichlor you add, for every 10 ppm FC it adds it also increases the CYA by 9 ppm. This will make the chlorine less effective so at the same FC level it will take longer to kill algae and potentially clear the pool. It's strange that your CYA measured what it did given how much you apparently added via the Dichlor and possibly with the Aqua Chem shock.
spudd1943
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Postby spudd1943 » Fri 09 May, 2008 09:13

Yeah I thought the CYA levels would have been higher as well.

The aqua chem shock is in fact trichlor as I had thought.

In the last couple weeks I have vacuumed, backwashed, and added water quite a bit so that may have contributed to the CYA levels not being as high.

I am just wondering now how long it is going to take to clear up the cloudyness and why it is so cloudy. I can tell that the filter is working albeit a little slow. So I guess i just need some more patience.

Is there any place that sells unstabilized chlorine in granular form?
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Fri 09 May, 2008 22:48

The only granular forms of chlorine that are unstabilized are Cal-Hypo and Lithium Hypochlorite. Unfortunately, with Cal-Hypo, for every 10 ppm FC that it adds, it also adds 7 ppm to Calcium Hardness (CH). Lithium hypochlorite doesn't add to CYA nor to CH, but it is very expensive. Unscented bleach or chlorinating liquid are economical, but not as convenient, though you can look at using The Liquidator talked about in this thread .

Even with dilution, I'm still suspect about the CYA levels. The numbers you initially posted wouldn't give the saturation index you indicated. They would be more like -0.45 due to the low Calcium Hardness (CH). If your numbers are correct, then at least we know the cloudiness isn't from over-saturation of the water with calcium carbonate. If it's algae, then the chlorine should clear it (unless the CYA were really, really high). As I mentioned in an earlier post, if you get frustrated or impatient, you can use a floculant or if you can't vacuum to waste then a clarifier could help (assuming your filter is in decent shape -- it sounds like your filtration is slow, however). I'd give it more time if it continues to improve. Has the filter stopped increasing in pressure so quickly? If so, then you're nearing the end of the clearing.

Richard
spudd1943
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Postby spudd1943 » Sat 10 May, 2008 10:06

Sorry I miss typed the saturation index. it is somewhere between -0.4 and -0.5.

I backwashed it yesterday when the pressure was at 27psi. My filter dropped around 18psi (seems normal for my setup), I added 1 cup of DE powder (pressure went up to 19psi). I checked the pressure this morning and it was back up around 27psi.

I am wondering if I need to change the sand in my filter. I really dont want to go that drastic since it looks like the pool is clearing.

Have you had any experience with zeosand or any of the alternative products to regular sand?
chem geek
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Postby chem geek » Sat 10 May, 2008 13:49

Nope -- I have a cartridge filter. If the pool is still clearing and if this rise in pressure is unusual and is only happening during this clearing process, then I'd just stick with it even though it's time consuming. For more professional advice about zeosand and other filter questions, someone else here will have to help you or you can also try TroubleFreePool .

Richard
spudd1943
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Postby spudd1943 » Sat 10 May, 2008 15:18

Thanks for all the advice, on this post, and others that I have read through. These forums have really kept me out of the pool store. I am a very big DIY person and prefer to learn new things rather than pay someone to do it.

I just put some floc in the pool today. I will see what happens in the morning and then vacuum and start filtering again.

Thanks again, and Im sure you will here from me in the future.
jdlloyd1183

Pool Filters

Postby jdlloyd1183 » Sat 10 May, 2008 20:39

Zeolite is much better than sand. It filters smaller particles(10 microns) than sand. IT has 2 times the surface area of sand, so you need half as much,eg. a 200 lb filter uses 100 lbs of zeosand(zeolite, zeobest, all the same) Are you putting in D E as a filter aid in your sand filter, or do you have a de fitler??

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