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Swimming Pool Time: Getting the Water Ready

As summer approaches and the days get warmer, we all want to run for our bathing suits and to jump into the cool refreshing water of the nearest swimming pool. Most of the time we don’t think about the condition of the water before we send the kids to the wading pool or stand by to judge the cannonball splash. So before we land the first belly flop, let’s make sure the water is truly clean and the pool is ready for fun.

We all love a visibly clean pool. When the pumps, filters, pipes and circulating systems of the pool are working properly and all debris vacuumed or removed from the pool, it looks very inviting. But what about the things in the water that can’t be seen? According to the Arm & Hammer Pool Guide, the purpose and goal of any pool maintenance program is to make certain that the water is safe and enjoyable for the swimmer. Maintaining the safety of the pool water involves monitoring certain qualities of the water and applying additives as needed.  The most important of these to monitor and adjust are disinfectant levels, pH and alkalinity levels.

Chlorine is the most commonly used pool disinfectant.  Chlorine kills germs that can make people sick and it prevents algae growth. A disinfectants’ effectiveness can be decreased by sunlight, dirt, debris and material from swimmers’ bodies. All of these materials will also affect the pH of the water, which will change the effectiveness of the chlorine. 

The pH is a measure of the acidity or basicity of the pool water. The pH is measured on a scale from 0-14. The pH of 7 is considered neutral. An acidic reading would be below 7 and a basic reading would be above 7.  Ideal pool water that is sparkling and clear will have a pH of 7.2-7.8.  If this range varies higher to a base reading, chlorine cannot fight germs effectively. Also, the pH of the human body is between 7.2 and 7.8, so the pool water is most comfortable to people when between these numbers. This range prevents eye and skin irritation.  Maintaining this range will also prevent damage to the pool.

Normal alkalinity levels help to stabilize the pH of the pool by minimizing fluctuations.  Adding baking soda can be safer than adding harsher chemicals to balance the pH.

Real Property Management, the leader in residential property management will be happy to assist the property owner with annual pool inspections and maintenance and routine monitoring of water quality so that their tenants can jump right in and enjoy safe sparkling clean swimming pools this summer.  


For a quick fact sheet for pool staff or owners/tenants, go to the following website: for Disease Control and Prevention   1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30333, USA800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 – Contact CDC–INFO

For specifics of pool care, visit the Arm & Hammer Pool Guide at the following website: & Hammer. Consumer Relations Department. Arm & Hammer Division of Church & Dwight Co. PO Box 7648. Princeton, NJ 08543-7648

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