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Thread: Skunk in pool

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    Daisy08's Avatar
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    Skunk in pool

    My husband found a skunk in our pool a few days ago. He didn't tell me until I started saying, "Gosh, there must be a skunk in our yard because it's been smelly lately." So he ended up confessing that he uncovered the pool on Wednesday and was horrified to find a dead skunk under the solar cover. He was very upset to say the least. He got rid of it immediately and threw in the woods behind our home. I wonder if that is why we still smell skunk? I think maybe there are more skunks in our neighborhood which is why I smell it.
    At any rate, he told me that he shocked the pool and super chlorinated the pool that day. He also back washed that day. Is this good enough? I would assume the skunk sprayed because of being panicked in our pool. I checked the pool- chemical-wise we are good. Chlorine between 3-5, Free chlorine 1-2, PH and CYA on the lower side.
    Anyway- I just want to know if I have to drain my pool. I hope not! I am a little freaked out.

    Thanks...
    18x36 IG Vinyl liner Pool. 25,000 gal. Installed June 2015. Salt Water Hayward Aquarite AQR9. DE filter- Hayward DE3620. Hayward Super Pump variable speed. Taylor K2006.

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    Re: Skunk in pool

    How does the water smell? Skunk is an oil so it will probably be on the walls at the water line. Skunks spray in self defense. So I don't really think it would spray in this case. I could be wrong, but I feel like I'm right.
    Bob - Palm Beach by San Juan Pools. approx 5000 gals., Pentair 320 cartridge filter (all new guts installed by me), Goldline SWG, 'New to me' Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark, Intermec 104 Timer Test kit: TF-100 w/Speed Stir

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    Re: Skunk in pool

    OH NOOO!!! I'm so sorry. Bless your heart. That skunk scent can last a loooong time for sure.

    Out of curiosity, did you guys clean the Solar cover because he could have sprayed it too? I feel sorry for the skunk, but even sorrier for you all that you're having to deal with trying to get the smell gone. I had a dog get sprayed one time, and OH MY LOL. (My dog just couldn't understand why we refused to let him get in our lap). My sis had a pet skunk that had his scent glands removed, and he still smelt like a skunk.

    The home remedies for car seats etc. says Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda-both which are safe to wipe the pool walls with too. Here is a link for it: http://www.247wildlife.com/skunk-smell-removal.html

    (The home remedy also uses a small amount of dish liquid with the peroxide and baking soda). For the solar cover that would be fine LOL, but I wouldn't recommend the dish liq for inside the pool though, unless you want a bubble bath.

    I'm sorry I can't offer you more help in eliminating the odor. Perhaps others will come along with more suggestions. The super chlorination and raising the FC levels should be fine from a germ/sanitation standpoint, but it is the sulfuric based oil that they secrete that is the issue. If the remedy doesn't eliminate the smell you might have no choice, but to buy a nose plug. Again I am so sorry, I can not even imagine. Have a wonderful day.
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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Look familiar? My wife will never go in this pool again...... In any case, make sure you bump your pool up to SLAM level to eliminate any possible bacteria. You might also consider an OCLT just to be sure. Pee-eeewwwww!
    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
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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Shock the water good and backwash the filter and load with new DE.
    Paul
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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Thanks... My husband was so upset not for us but the skunk! Finding a dead animal in my pool is my biggest fear... We have had the pool for 1 season so I know this is something that happens periodically. It's just awful. Thanks for the home remedy... You know, since my PH is a little low- I am actually gonna drop some baking soda in the pool just in case the oils got in the water. Thanks again for the kind words... it is a little jarring to find something like that in your pool... poor skunk.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ps0303 View Post
    Shock the water good and backwash the filter and load with new DE.
    Perfect... did all that. Excellent! Thank You..
    18x36 IG Vinyl liner Pool. 25,000 gal. Installed June 2015. Salt Water Hayward Aquarite AQR9. DE filter- Hayward DE3620. Hayward Super Pump variable speed. Taylor K2006.

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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Baking soda doesn't raise PH, it raises TA. Raise PH with Borax, soda ash or aeration. More here, Pool School - Recommended Pool Chemicals
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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Daisy08 View Post
    I checked the pool- chemical-wise we are good. Chlorine between 3-5, Free chlorine 1-2, PH and CYA on the lower side.
    Those numbers are not good. They indicate that you have combined chlorine, and that is bad.

    A good test kit would be more reliable than test strips, too.
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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkle View Post
    Those numbers are not good. They indicate that you have combined chlorine, and that is bad.

    A good test kit would be more reliable than test strips, too.
    Nice catch Sparkle.

    Not to weird you out anymore than your already are by this, but I tend to agree with Sparkle that by the numbers you posted it is showing a potential combined chlorine of approx. 1-3ppm.

    It may Not be skunk related, but then again, it could be? I agree that you really should bump the levels up to Shock level as already suggested above, and consider getting one of the recommended test kits to get a more definitive absolute number, instead of a mere baseline because I can't say if it is from the skunk, or from algae, or what, but Something, if those levels are correct, is in there combining with your chlorine, and it really needs to be gotten rid of.
    24' Round x 4.5 ft deep AGP (15,200 Gallons), Vinyl Liner, Hayward Vari Flo XL Sand Filter- (model SP0714T1),
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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Sparkle View Post
    Those numbers are not good. They indicate that you have combined chlorine, and that is bad.

    A good test kit would be more reliable than test strips, too.
    What is combined chlorine mean? Or having bad combined chlorine? Do you mean my total chlorine is too high? Heading back to pool school.... <sigh>

    I ran the super chlorinate overnight because frankly, I am still freaked out. It is almost like I could care less at this point what my numbers are, I just want to clean, clean, clean the pool.

    Will be buying test kit for next year. We are in PA so I will be closing pool in next 2-3 weeks. No point in trying to get things perfect at this point and learn how to do all this new stuff when we have maybe 2-3x swimming in the pool.
    18x36 IG Vinyl liner Pool. 25,000 gal. Installed June 2015. Salt Water Hayward Aquarite AQR9. DE filter- Hayward DE3620. Hayward Super Pump variable speed. Taylor K2006.

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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Understand completely. Just so you know, This is the definition of CC from the Pool School's ABCs of Water Chemistry:
    Combined chlorine is an intermediate breakdown product created in the process of sanitizing the pool. CC causes the "chlorine" smell many people associate with chlorine pools. If CC is above 0.5, you should SLAM your pool. CC indicates that there is something in the water that the FC is in the process of breaking down. In an outdoor pool, CC will normally stay at or near zero as long as you maintain an appropriate FC level and the pool gets some direct sunlight.
    So just think of it as the trash chlorine. If it's high, your pool is trying to get rid of something.
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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Splash View Post
    Understand completely. Just so you know, This is the definition of CC from the Pool School's ABCs of Water Chemistry:

    So just think of it as the trash chlorine. If it's high, your pool is trying to get rid of something.
    Thank you! That makes sense completely. How did Sparkle know my CC was high based on the numbers I gave? Total Chlorine between 3-5, Free chlorine 1-2. I am going to purchase the TF-50 for next years use bc won't come in time to straighten out my current situation, in the meantime, I need to get the CC down and I can't tell how to do so with what I have currently? Thanks for your help!
    18x36 IG Vinyl liner Pool. 25,000 gal. Installed June 2015. Salt Water Hayward Aquarite AQR9. DE filter- Hayward DE3620. Hayward Super Pump variable speed. Taylor K2006.

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    Re: Skunk in pool

    To remove any kind of bad smell from anything - oil. Not practical in your case, but keep it in mind for the future. Sometimes you do something with your hands and no matter how long you wash it with soap, the smell is still there (like spilled fuel on hand). In this case, just clean hands with olive oil first, then dish soap. Would work to wash off skunk smell from pets too. Oil is a good smell neutralizer.
    Kyle. I manage a residential complex and taking care of the swimming pool is one of my duties. It is an indoor, 36 000 gallons (140 000 liters), Marbelite, heated pool, with sand filter, and Jacuzzi 1.5 HP pump. Normally I aim to keep the following chemical composure in the pool: FC = 1.5 - 2.5; PH = 7.4 - 7.6; TA = 80 - 90; CH = 200 - 300; Saturation Index = 0.0 - +0.2 Testing Kit: Taylor K-2006

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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Daisy, to get the cc down, you'd want to follow the Slam (shock and maintain) instructions in my signature links. But you will need the kit to do so.

    For that kind of Slam, you're not using your swg, you're using liquid chlorine, then switching back to swg when done.

    Also, I'd like to note than when you say your CYA is "low ish" -- that SWGs actually need a higher amount if CYA to improve efficiency and extend cell life. So please also read the cya:chlorine link in my signature to review those parameters.

    Btw, the way we could tell you had high ccs is because your TC reading was higher than your FC reading. Any time your TC is higher by 1 ppm than your FC, is a signal that your water needs "slamming" to oxidize the ccs.

    While waiting for your kit, there would be no harm in adding a jug of liquid chlorine to help your swg to clear your water. SWGs are best at "maintaining" an FC but benefit from an occasional boost of liquid chlorine.
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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Daisy, in your first post you said, "Chlorine between 3-5, Free chlorine 1-2". In TFPC, we know that TC = FC + CC. So let's say they are 5 and 2 respectively as an example. So, if your TC was "5" minus your FC of "2", that leaves 3 as you combined chlorine which is way above our recommendation of <=.5ppm. That's why when we ask people to post their full set of readings, we ask for "FC and CC" because that's what is really important. We can always add them together if we want to know TC, but it's best to know what each one is specifically so we know what the water is really doing.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Ha, Swampwoman and I were posting at the same time. But as everyone has said, if you are going to SLAM (which we all recommend) you need the right test kit to read the higher FC required. You can't do it from those test strips. I know you'd prefer to ride-out the rest of this season, but that's our recommendation.
    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
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    Re: Skunk in pool

    Same thing happened to me a few years ago. I rolled off the solar cover and found a very large skunk floating dead in the pool. Like your husband I chucked the skunk in the woods behind our pool and shocked the pool. The only mistake I made was throwing the skunk in the woods. It smelled for about two weeks. I should have put the skunk in a few garbage bags and placed it out with the trash.
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