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Thread: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

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    New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Greetings everyone! First, thank you for this site! Last year it help me tame a CYA 100+ swamp that had been clear for years. You all opened my eyes, and I thank you for getting me off stabilizer tablets and clearing it in under a week without needing to post. You existing info was more than enough to fearlessly DIY it back to perfection.

    New year, new state, new pool. This above ground vinyl has been uncovered and off for two years. I've raked three garbage bags of leaves, algae, sticks, pollen, insects, stool-smelling goop, and other treats. Racking the bottom brings up a substantial wave of green, brown, and leaves. I'm guessing/hoping brown is algae coated pollen, which is overwhelming during many moths of the year in this agricultural valley.

    The sand filter seems to function smoothly, backwash yields 20-25 seconds or so of green water, then clear.

    Small Skimmer basket fills with less than 30 seconds of vacuuming on the bottom. Turn off, empty, repeat.

    My Florida pool was large cartridge, so this is new...

    Pressure gauge is 5psi off, when filtering, during backwash, after backwash. Suspect broken or issue with sand/filter.

    Pump runs smoothly and strongly. One return seems sad for circulation, but I assume brushing will combat this. Frequent wind too, if it helps.

    I am impatient and purchased a stand alone fas-dpd. I'll order a full 100XL kit, but I have the time right now to test, add FC, brush, rake, and back wash, retest, re add for the next three days full time.

    Supplies on hand:
    7 x 73% 1lb cal hypo
    3 x 10% sod hypo

    Supplies I'm guessing I'll need:
    115 oz Muriatic Acid to drop ph from 8.2 to 7.4 (should I go to 7?)
    1-6 packets of dichlor to bring cya up ( tested at 25 without coffee filter strain, will redo tomorrow, bring up to 30 from filtered results)
    15-30+ gallons of 8.25% great value bleach (if they don't restock the 10% tomorrow morning)

    My biggest questions are:
    1) is the stool smell okay? To swim in after successful slamming and passed overnight?
    2) liquid stabilizer instead of dichlor so I can backwash tomorrow?
    3) how high can I keep shock level without damaging vinyl? It already has white at and above waterline. Honestly not too concerned about bleaching it some if it doesn't threaten integrity or have a negative chemical reaction.
    4) how low to bring ph at first 7.4 or 7 (thinking 7.4 for margin of error, can always add acid if you think I should if shock takes more than a few days)
    5) should I care about the pressure gauge now or just backwash constantly.
    6) cryptosporidium... Do you think a SLAM kills it? I've read the cdc hyper chlorination timetables, but that's a high FC for vinyl, isn't it? Idk if I have it, just a tad worried since it seems like that's nearly the only thing that proper FC after successful slam might not kill.

    Lastly, if this doesn't work, I'm draining and selling the pool, which is fine with me. I'm only here for the summer. If I can clear it this week, that works too.

    Pool store test a few days ago (right after I got here, but after other people had been throwing small amounts of FC, clarifiers, and algaecides at it in vain)
    CYA 25
    tot chlor 2.6
    FC 2.2 (haha)
    ph 8.2
    tot alk 140
    adj total alk 132. ( no clue, don't ask)
    tot hardness 260 ( don't need to care I assume)
    tds 800 (don't care I assume)
    sat index .8 ( ditto)

    my fas-dpd test just now using 25ml
    FC zero zero zero pink
    CC 0.6 (expected higher?)

    water is is clear when removed from pool
    pool looks sold green, only first step of pool visible
    when stirred, horrid nastiness comes up from bottom

    can answer any questions, will read all links

    Lastly, thank you so much for publishing the info that helped me with that Florida pool high cya green swamp. I love you all!
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Welcome out of lurkerville! Nice work taking care of your pools. I would lower PH to 7.2. Yes, the stink is OK and the SLAM will kill it all. It is just anaerobic bacteria making you a nice soup! CYA is good, round up to 30 and start your SLAM!
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    +1 on PH to 7.2, remember a sand filter will take the longest to clear a swamp
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Quote Originally Posted by BattleOfYakima View Post
    My biggest questions are:
    1) is the stool smell okay? To swim in after successful slamming and passed overnight?
    Probably go away with bleaching.
    2) liquid stabilizer instead of dichlor so I can backwash tomorrow?
    Put the granules in a sock and they won't get trapped in the filter and backwash away. Anyway, you want to keep CYA low during the SLAM, so using some dichlor to raise FC and CYA to 30 would take care of it, too, with no sock.
    3) how high can I keep shock level without damaging vinyl? It already has white at and above waterline. Honestly not too concerned about bleaching it some if it doesn't threaten integrity or have a negative chemical reaction.
    If CYA is at 30, go to 12 FC. Shouldn't bleach
    4) how low to bring ph at first 7.4 or 7 (thinking 7.4 for margin of error, can always add acid if you think I should if shock takes more than a few days)
    7.2. Be aware that if your pH reads 8.2, it could be even higher. So knock it down and allow it to mix well and recheck it because you may need multiple doses to shift the color off 8.2. Also remember that FC above 10 messes with the pH test, so get that fixed first.
    5) should I care about the pressure gauge now or just backwash constantly.
    Fix it now. It isn't significantly harder than changing a light bulb, and if you run into any circulation problems, the first thing we'll ask is what the pressure is doing.
    6) cryptosporidium... Do you think a SLAM kills it? I've read the cdc hyper chlorination timetables, but that's a high FC for vinyl, isn't it? Idk if I have it, just a tad worried since it seems like that's nearly the only thing that proper FC after successful slam might not kill.
    The CDC chart I saw said 10.6 days at 1 FC. Your FC will have active killing power greater than that despite the buffering effect of the CYA. And while hopefully the SLAM won't take that long, it'll probably be too cold to get in for longer than that. I wouldn't worry about it. Even if someone did dump in your pool, not everyone has crypto.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Coffee filter strained water read zero cya via pool store test, but they said their test can under report when algae is blooming.

    I'm guessing it really is all gone in two years without maintained FC.

    pool "super solvable" store dichlor 5lb $40
    1.75 lb stabilizer $11.50

    Will the 100% stabilizer dissolve enough following your method to start slamming in sunlight tomorrow? Or wait a week?

    checking Walmart and hardware stores now for price on dichlor
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Quote Originally Posted by BattleOfYakima View Post
    Coffee filter strained water read zero cya via pool store test, but they said their test can under report when algae is blooming.

    I'm guessing it really is all gone in two years without maintained FC.

    pool "super solvable" store dichlor 5lb $40
    1.75 lb stabilizer $11.50

    Will the 100% stabilizer dissolve enough following your method to start slamming in sunlight tomorrow? Or wait a week?
    Overnight Chlorine Loss Test
    checking Walmart and hardware stores now for price on dichlor
    You can start SLAMming tonight if you want -- you won't lose any FC to sunlight in the dark-- it can all go to killing algae. CYA can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple days to dissolve, depending on the brand, how much water is going through it, how much you work it, and how warm the water is. Dichlor granules are pretty much immediate.

    If you figure out your pool's volume and input that at the top of poolmath, down near the bottom Effects of Adding Chemicals will tell you what effect Dichlor will have on things. Note the pH will be an estimate and for the amounts you'll be using, will be waaaaay wrong. But it will tell you how much dichlor you can use to raise the CYA. Use that first, aiming for 10 FC each time as you add. By the time the last of it has been added, you'll have 30 CYA, and the pH will be lower as well. Check/adjust pH and switch sources of Chlorine and be shooting for 12 FC for the duration. You can raise CYA after the water is clear.

    I know, clear as your pool. Sorry.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Got busy for a few days there, but I am back.
    For those who view this page looking for knowledge to do your own SLAM, I will be including the online resources that helped me fill the gaps.
    When stocking up on sanitizer for a slam (chlorine/shock/bleach/dry) you really want to read this before going to the store, and probably bring it with you:
    Chlorine Date Code Decoder/Easy Way to Measure Strength.
    that's is how to determine the manufacture date from the stamped codes on jugs/packets for most brands, with the additional bonus of using your FAS-DPD to same a small amount of the liquid, dilute with a liter of water, and calculate the actual % strength as it sits in front of you if you have any doubts and want to buy one and test it before buying 10+ jugs for a slam.

    Back to my green swamp. Supply update time:
    Muriatic Acid - 1 gallon 31.45% purchased from Yakima Watermill pool store (they have great inventory including Taylor K-2006 test kit and any chemicals Walmart doesn't stock)
    Found (purchased just before I got here) 8lb trichlor tabs
    Pool Math says this bucket would FC +52; CYA +31; PH -2.76
    so my question is, if I can't return this for them, can I use these in a leaf rake or something at the return to fast dissolve to raise CYA from zero and return the stabilizer I bought?

    Thanks!
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    Mod Squad pooldv's Avatar
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Yes, you can use trichlor to raise the CYA, that is fine.
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Thank you. I was reading How to vacuum to waste correctly and feel like it missed an important situation:

    When vacuuming normally, the skimmer basket seems to clog after about 30 seconds. I've used the leaf rake extensively, removing four and a quarter black HD trash bags full of algae leaf sludge. Leaf raking is yielding little now for the time it takes. Am I allowed to vacuum (whether to waste or filter) without using the small skimmer basket without damaging the pump/motor/impeller in this system, given how nasty this stuff is? It does have the strainer basket still in it. Thanks! Can upload any pics vids requested promptly.
    Attachment 46930
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    What we're dealing with: before leaf rake rises, as it is rising, the wave that continues to rise from the bottom.
    Attachment 46938Attachment 46939
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Quote Originally Posted by BattleOfYakima View Post
    What we're dealing with: before leaf rake rises, as it is rising, the wave that continues to rise from the bottom.
    Attachment 46938Attachment 46939
    If you're worried about loading the pump impeller with stuff, how about trying a siphon vacuum?

    Given these pictures, I'd say set the vacuum head with the hose attached in the pool several hours before you intend to start. When you're ready, meaning things have settled enough that you can see, slowly feed the vacuum, hose in keeping it vertical so any air gets pushed out. Then cap the end of the vacuum hose with your hand and haul it out and get it below the water level in the pool as fast as possible. That should start the siphon. Then slowly push the vacuum head through the drifts and let the pressure of the water above push the debris out the vacuum hose.
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    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Mmmm, tasty soup! I would leave the skimmer basket in. You don't want to clog up your plumbing lines or your pump/impeller. Even though it is a giant pain right now. We've had folks with clogged plumbing lines that is a bigger pain. Test and add bleach as often as you can, every couple of hours. The more often the better, especially at first and if FC is dropping rapidly.

    There is a side benefit to the pain, it will make you happy to test and maintain your chlorine forever! 2 minutes of making sure your FC is at the right level to avoid this is totally worth it. Most people only SLAM once!

    Edit: good idea on siphoning out some goo Richard!
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    IF you want you you can also rest a "trash pump" to help remove that goop. Just make sure your water is as high as your pool can take and have the hose running into to replenish the water as it goes out. This almost the same as Richard is saying except using an electric pump.

    Kim
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Thank you! I'll try siphon vac today I think. Anything else I can do before starting my SLAM to minimize my bleach expense?
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Nope, the number one thing that uses bleach is organic matter, number two is the sun. CYA protects it from the sun and you are working the organic matter.
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Quote Originally Posted by kimkats View Post
    IF you want you you can also rest a "trash pump" to help remove that goop. Just make sure your water is as high as your pool can take and have the hose running into to replenish the water as it goes out.
    That's what I'd do - forget about trying to salvage the water that's in there now, get a trash pump, get some hip waders...get in the pool, and then run the trash pump suction house around on the bottom and get rid of as much of the water and gunk quickly (without removing so much that the liner doesn't remain set) and then refill. Even if I needed to refill part way again and then trash pump a second time to remove more of the solids it would seem to me to be a much quicker path to a solution vs constantly vacuuming and fighting with clogged skimmer baskets and constant backwashes.

    Be careful with the trash pump though, some of the larger ones create a LOT of suction, you don't want to damage the liner.

    Once all the solids are gone, then I'd restart the filtration and start working on the SLAM and chemistry while the filter does it thing on the small suspended stuff left over.
    Mark
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Thank you everyone. Tomorrow I'll check water prices and compare it to $100-400 in bleach. We also have the irrigation water service online at the moment. I'm not sure exactly the source (reclaimed, river, or other) but I know it isn't potable and I pay a fee for the summer and get unlimited. Is this a valid refill option or an unthinkably disgusting no-no?
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    It is not a no-no, but it may not be a lot better than what you have in your pool now. You will almost certainly have to SLAM it anyway.

    Likewise, you will have to SLAM if you drain and refill with tap water, albeit with less bleach. There is still algae in the pool that needs to be killed.

    I wouldn't spend a lot of time figuring out how to drain and refill. Just get as much junk out of the pool as you can and start slamming. People have seriously successfully SLAMmed black water with wheel barrows full of muck and tadpoles in it.
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Thanks for the additional info. My Florida SLAM went so easily and was so cost effective that I truly want to just start SLAMing this one, but deep down I just feel like the first $150 of bleach will just be killing the stuff I think I can remove for under $50 with the additional hassle of still having all of it converted to the grey graveyard that I still need to vacuum out anyway. One way or another, tomorrow this battle begins. I'll take daily pictures and post numbers. I'm hoping to provide people with similarly abandoned pools in overwhelmingly leaf, pollen, and flower ridden winds a rough estimate on how much bleach it will require after bringing it to the point where leaf raking is no longer helpful and you either siphon vac or trash pump the bottom sludge layer out, but leave the rest of the water.

    I must confess, I am super tempted to skip the siphon vac and/or trash pump just to see how many times the FC would drop from shock to zero in 30 minutes, but not curious enough to spend my money on that entertainment. If anyone out there is curious and wants to fund it, please do let me know, I think it would be extremely captivating. I'd be willing to take whatever measurements you wanted to quantify the extent of the starting point. Hmm, I wonder how much a lab would charge to test a vertical sample from surface to floor using a hollow pipe to extract a vertical column. (I learned that trick from the poster who used a pipe with their hand over the other end to take a sample from 18" deep. Super helpful, super fast way to get a sample without kneeling down on the wet deck during Florida tropical storms.) Anyway, rest well and thank you to everyone posting in this thread and all over the forum on the many posts I've read and learned from.
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    Re: New to Washington from Florida, inherited 2 yr swamp

    Ha! I wonder how a gofundme pool experiment page would work. Good luck with your science project!
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