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Thread: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

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    this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    HI all, like so many others i question whether i have an algae problem or is it just mud or pollen.

    My pool has been crystal clear all summer, never a cloud or dis color just crystal dreamy clean. The debris on the bottom begin to accumulate slow, maybe a week to get to the point in the pics. Then it starts to accelerate. Now, I vacuum and it reappears in just 2 days. Note, its hard to vacuum, the head passes over the debris and doesn't really suck it up; have to scrub at it which is probably just diluting the debris back into the water. I pass the OLCT and all my numbers are in order. Note my pool sits up against my back woods. tons and tons of trees surround it.

    last night at 7pm
    FC 6.0
    TA 80
    CYA 45-50
    pH 7.5

    this morning
    FC 5.5
    CC less than .5
    Attached Images Attached Images
    27' above ground
    voyager cartridge
    2.25 hp hayward pump 2 speed

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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    Probably dust and dirt is my guess. And a pain in the neck. What if you brush it and get it in suspension? Maybe the filter can filter some or most of it. We're in the woods too with pastures, hay, livestock, quite a bit of mowing, etc. We can always kick up some dust on the bottom of the pool. And I am glad we have a black pebble bottom pool!
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    Hello Justin. Well, I supposed we have to look at a couple scenarios:
    1 - If it's pollen we might expect the debris to appear fluffy and quite possibly be seen around many others areas of your pool and home (lawn furniture, cars, on the surface of the water, etc). You might also see it in your skimmer or skimmer sock.
    2 - If it's algae, it will certainly look like the pics you posted, and we have to be critical on our own testing as well. For example, with a CYA of 50, your target is 6, and we know from this morning's testing you already fell below the target. Sure, there is a "minimal" FC as well, but anytime we fall below the target, the odds increase for algae. Also, even though you passed an OCLT, did you increase the FC to your SLAM level to perform the test? That is important to ensure an accurate result.

    I'm leaning toward algae at this point based on your pattern(s) of FC and the image itself. Of course you would need to SLAM, but I wouldn't expect it to take too terribly long in that's the case since your water is looking good so far. Still, we can always wait for a second opinion or two to confirm before you proceed. I see Poodv responded, so you'll probably receive a few responses. Either way, I wish you luck! Have a nice day.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    Good point, was the OCLT done with at least 10ppm FC?
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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    Thanks to all. No, the OCLT was not at 10. I guess i missed that part of pool school.

    pooldv - will a flocking agent solidify the debris?

    Texas Splash - thank you we had serious pollen in the spring and my tiki bar is always dusty. Last few weeks however i would say low to no pollen. RE #2 I would say that i frequently fall below my target. I was under the impression 6 to be my target and 3 to be my NO FLY ZONE. I've never gone below 3.5 but I am below 6 frequently. Tonight i will go back to pool school and re-affirm the step by step procedures. thanks and will report back soon.
    27' above ground
    voyager cartridge
    2.25 hp hayward pump 2 speed

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    Hi Justin. Yeah, next time you decide to do an OCLT, bump that FC anywhere from 10 to your SLAM FC. It helps provide a more accurate FC loss reading. For your FC, even though the chart lists a "minimum" FC level, we roll the dice when it gets that low. I always keep mine at or slightly above my target. My pool is fine, my skin and clothes are fine, and most importantly, my water is happy.

    Well, if you have to SLAM, it's not the worse thing. Your water is clear, so hopefully it will go fast. But don't get impatient or quit early. If you have any more questions, give us a shout.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    I am not a fan of flocs and it is not on the list of TFP Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
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    2012 build and pics, 20k gal gunite, black onyx pebblesheen, OK flagstone, IntellifoVS, cart filter w/Pleatco, IC40 SWG, Solartouch, 5 12'x4' solar panels, HP50HA heat pump, 8mil solar cover, borates, TF-100 test kit, SONOS, Doheny's Discovery Robot, hot tub on bleach

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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    I am almost certain that is dead algae settled to your pool floor. You have enough chlorine in your pool to kill some, but not all algae so it continues to grow, then die and leave "debris" on your pool floor.

    Vacuum that visible debris up and SLAM your pool. Since your water doesn't contain a LOT of algae, your SLAM will go quickly.

    If you make a half-hearted attempt to "play patty cake" with the algae, you will continue in the never-ending cycle you are currently in.

    SLAM the pool and then maintain your FC properly and it will never happen again.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    Good morning friends Im here with an update. I don't know exactly what that stuff was, but if a green filter is any indication; yes it was algae. After I added bleach rather than try to vacuum the debris i just brushed it up into the water. That seemed to be a better solution to attacking the debris. Dave I think you were right to a point, It was dead algae mixed in with living algae. I started my SLAM Sunday night, and after 2 days of failing the OCLT i decided that my CYA reading was either off or i conducted the test wrong So i increased my SLAM parameters to meet a CYA of 50. Having a minimum FC of 20 the pool went into overdrive and this am it passed the OCLT.

    Ive been thinking of the CYA test; "is the black dot still there, hmm yea maybe... yea I see it. maybe..... oh i don't know. yea there it is... ok add some more... there ok yea its gone now."

    I think the CYA test is a pothole in the road to SLAMing. with the wrong numbers it'll never be right. Is there a better way to get accurate CYA readings?
    27' above ground
    voyager cartridge
    2.25 hp hayward pump 2 speed

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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    Quote Originally Posted by justin_huffman View Post
    Good morning friends Im here with an update. I don't know exactly what that stuff was, but if a green filter is any indication; yes it was algae. I started my SLAM Sunday night, and after 2 days of failing the OCLT i decided that my CYA reading was either off or i conducted the test wrong So i increased my SLAM parameters to meet a CYA of 50. Having a minimum FC of 20 the pool went into overdrive and this am it passed the OCLT.

    Ive been thinking of the CYA test; "is the black dot still there, hmm yea maybe... yea I see it. maybe..... oh i don't know. yea there it is... ok add some more... there ok yea its gone now."

    I think the CYA test is a pothole in the road to SLAMing. with the wrong numbers it'll never be right. Is there a better way to get accurate CYA readings?
    You can buy a "standard" with a specific CYA level that will at least allow you to compare your reading on the standard to what it actually is. This isn't perfect but it will help clarify your reading of your own water. I'm not sure if that makes sense the way i explained it but let's say the standard is 50 and you read it as 60 you will know your "reading / view" is a little off. It is the trickiest test of all.
    21,000 gallon inground
    Haywood Sand Filter
    Vinyl Liner

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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    Another note, somehow I got in my head that based on CYA of 40-50 that my FC range to be 3-6 when it should be 4-6. That right there was a big deal...So I was doomed from the start for not paying close enough attention to the numbers. Thanks again to everyone here.
    27' above ground
    voyager cartridge
    2.25 hp hayward pump 2 speed

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    You have learned perhaps one of the most valuable lessons from TFPC. That's great to see. When members put it all together, and understand the relationship of CYA and FC levels, it makes everything SO much better. Happy to hear your water is improving. Shouldn't be long now.
    Pat (a.k.a. Texas Splash) ~ My Pool: Viking Fiberglass; 17,888 Gal; Waterway Supreme 2-sp/2-hp pump; Hayward Ctg filter; TF-100 w/ Speed Stir
    Vital Links: POOL SCHOOL, RECOMMENDED LEVELS, RECOMMENDED CHEMICALS, Poolmath Calculator, SLAM, Chlorine/CYA CHART.
    If you enjoyed your TFP experience, please consider donating to Support TFP!

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    Re: this is mud, or pollen year after year lol

    I am glad your pool is clearing up....Happy Swimming!

    One last note, don't make these numbers we suggest so hard and fast. There is no real "line in the sand" where 4 FC is perfect but 3 FC loads your pool with algae. It's more general than that.

    In a troublesome pool, we often see a mild boost in the SLAM level as the "tipping point". More likely is it was going to clear up anyway, but you can give it a helpful boost with a bit more FC.

    For the forseeable future, that's the best CYA test. Don't gt fooled by these Pool Store digital readouts (CYA = 42.33). That is just so bogus someone ought to be arrested. You'll get where you can test just about plus or minus 5 ppm for CYA and that's as precise as you will ever need. It'll take some practice.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
    TFTestkits , PoolMath , Pool School

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