Think Organic, and I Don’t Mean Your Food

By Rick Myers, Team Horner / Lo-Chlor / rmyers@teamhorner.com

This is the time of year when bathers, weather, and environmental debris have combined to deliver a significant organic load into swimming pools. Short of covering the pools and keeping bathers out, there isn’t a good way to prevent this annual build-up of contaminants. Fortunately, there is a great way to reverse the build-up.

Did you know... all of the various types of organic contamination that foul pool water, which we usually refer to as organic debris, are sources of very familiar problems in swimming pools? An increase in chlorine demand is almost entirely caused by a high level of organic debris. Chlorine reacts with all of the organic matter and so, in effect, it is sacrificed to the organic debris rather than remaining available to disinfect the water. Untreated, this requires either buying and dosing more chlorine more often to maintain adequate chlorine levels, or cranking up a salt-chlorine generator to a higher output level and so shortening the life of the chlorine generator's plates and requiring greater acid use.

Hazy water can arise for various reasons but the most common is a high level of organic debris. Pool wall scum lines only appear in pools with high levels of organic debris (assuming that the water is properly balanced). This is because the organic matter in the water serves as a glue to bind various bits suspended in the water to one another and to the pool wall. Rapidly rising backpressure at the filter housing and/or a frequent need for filter cleaning are also usually caused by high levels of organic debris.

The best way to remove organic debris from pool water, by far, is to use a high-quality enzyme product. A powerful, well-designed enzyme cocktail is extremely efficient at so completely decomposing organic debris, that the breakdown products off-gas from the water directly into the air. This cleanses the pool water, decreases the burden on the filter and, in fact, it strips the organic matter right off the filter! And so enzymes free up the chlorine to do its sole duty of disinfection in order to keep humans safe from water-borne pathogens.

Regular, weekly use of a robust enzyme product is one of the best and easiest ways to keep pools clear, safe, and easy to maintain. But even if you haven’t yet included enzymes in your regular maintenance program, using a powerhouse product for a few weeks now will make an enormous difference in pool water quality and manageability. Try it, you’ll like it!