Water Quality - smells like sweat socks/tastes salty

What is floc, clarifier, stabilizer, cyanuric acid,
algaecide, brightener, dichlor, sodium hypo,
sodium bisulfate, ....??
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Water Quality - smells like sweat socks/tastes salty

Postby amurray » Fri 28 May, 2010 12:30


I work at an indoor municipal swimming pool that has a water quality issue. I am not in-charge so I am trying to build a case for the powers at be to address this. The pool water has a distict sweat smell & it tastes salty (I know you're not suppose to drink it) they use liquid chlorine & test it 3 times a day. The chlorine is kept at 2.5-3.0 . They did do a TSD test & said it was a little high but in range. We have been asking for a partial/full drain for some time, but because of the budget they cannot afford it. What other test could we do, or other items should be be looking at to at least make a better case for the draining?

Thanks in advance.


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Water Quality - smells like sweat socks/tastes salty

Postby chem geek » Fri 28 May, 2010 19:23

The high TDS is probably from salt. You can do an explicit chloride test using the Taylor K-1766 salt test, for example, but will probably come up with a number that is just a little below the TDS number.

The sweat smell may be from a buildup of organics in the pool. Most indoor pools with high bather load need supplemental oxidation (ozone, UV, non-chlorine shock) since chlorine alone isn't able to keep up. Some organics take longer to get oxidized by chlorine. Even urea takes a while (days) unless the water temperature is warmer (above 85ºF; especially above 90ºF).

Another test you can do is a chlorine demand test when the pool is not in use, so probably overnight. See what the drop in FC is overnight. If it's more than 1 ppm, then you've got organics in your pool that are slow to oxidize. Though you could try shocking the pool to speed this up, it would be better to use supplemental oxidation.

Finally, is stabilized chlorine (e.g. Trichlor pucks or Dichlor powder) ever used in the pool? If so, then check the Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level. If it's higher than 20 or 30 ppm, then the active chlorine level is too low to oxidize organics quickly enough.

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