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Thread: Black Water at Opening

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    Black Water at Opening

    Hi there!

    I'm thinking about opening the pool soon (first time I have done it myself). I am in Ohio & we had a very mild winter here so the temps never got super low. We didn't have a cover on it and the water is totally black. Not even pond green like when we bought the house... I mean REALLY black. Also, I think we might have had a problem with mustard algae toward the end of the last season which I never treated.

    As far as chemicals go, should I just SLAM it like normal? Should I follow the mustard algae procedure? Something else? I'm worried at this point that it is going to take a long, long time to clear it up & I want to start the season off on the right foot. I don't want to waste time and money experimenting when some of you have so much knowledge!

    Thank you so much for any advice/opinions!!!
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    Hi Kelly. First thing you need to do is take pictures. We LOVE pics. Yes, regular SLAM is required (link below in my sig). BUT FIRST! In a pond that black, we need to rule-out ammonia. Please have a good amount of bleach on-hand and preform the following test:
    1. Begin a SLAM and dose FC up to SLAM level. If your CYA test is showing as zero (perhaps already converted to ammonia), use a SLAM/Shock FC of 10. Do not add additional CYA at this point.
    2. Retest FC at 10-minute intervals.
    a. If FC loss is greater than 50%, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level and continue retesting FC @ 10-minute intervals.
    b. IF FC loss is 50% or less, add FC to bring back up to SLAM level. Go to Step 3.
    3. If CYA is below 30 ppm, add enough CYA to bring level up to 30 ppm.
    4. Continue SLAM as directed in the SLAM article until the SLAM Criteria of Done are met. Test as directed in the SLAM article - no longer need to test FC at 10 minute increments at this point.

    Make sure you read each SLAM step carefully and don't skip any of the processes. Just over 20K of water, yes, it will take a while, but it can certainly be done and be quite rewarding afterwards if you stick to it. You've got the best test kit out there, so that's a step in the right direction. Do the ammonia process above, read the SLAM page, and you'll be fine. Let us know if you have any questions. Good luck. Don't forget the pics!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh, and since you are opening yourself for the first time, please read this: Pool School - Opening Your Winterized Above Ground Pool

    - - - Updated - - -

    With well water, you "may" have metals (iron). If so, that will need to be watched and/or treated AFTER the SLAM. First priority is clearing the water.
    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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    kcindc's Avatar
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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    A regular slam in order. After your SLAM is completed, we can address Mustard algae, if you have it.

    After taking photos, you should circulate the water for 30 minutes and post up set of results. We'll help you

    Use a leaf rake and remove any debris that is sitting on the bottom of the pool since you didn't cover your pool. You will probably be scooping blindly, but it will speed up the clearing process. You want the bleach to oxidize the small organics instead of being wasted on the big chunks that you can remove easily.

    Photos actually help show improvement over time, during this process, you may feel defeated, but the photos might show marked improvement. Best to take a photo on the steps so you can see the progress.

    Keep us posted, ask any questions and we'll be here to help you
    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    OK. Well, the opening got delayed... just trying to open today. Not sure if I something changed or if I caught it in the wrong lighting, but the water is now super green (not black at all) which I can deal with! My questions now is about CYA. A test strip showed it super high but a test with my TF-100 test kit shows the CYA as super low. Can CYA disappear over the winter? I thought the only way to make it leave was through draining some water. Thanks!
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

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    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    Yep, still the same. Follow the steps in post #2 and you should be fine.
    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!

  6. Back To Top    #6

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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    In step 3, if I need to add CYA... we did it last year with powered CYA in a sock in the skimmer. Is that still the best way? And should I continue keeping the FC at SLAM levels while I the CYA is being raised?
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

  7. Back To Top    #7
    Texas Splash's Avatar
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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    The granular stabilizer is still fine by placing in a sock and setting in the skimmer - or hang it near a return jet if you're concerned about suction flow to the pump. Either will work, just squeeze the sock occasionally to help it dissolve. Once you complete the first couple steps and know for sure you can hold FC for at least 10 minutes, then raise the CYA to 30, and raise your FC to 12 and you are in good shape. Maintain that FC 24/7 until you pass the 3 SLAM criteria. Hope that helps.
    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!

  8. Back To Top    #8

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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    Thank you!
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    So pH was off-the-charts high & I messed around yesterday putting in little bits of pH Minus at a time. No results so today & I put a bunch more in. Now the pH levels are too low (lower than the test will read).... UGH! I'm so anxious to get the chlorine in! I'm assuming I have to figure out how to increase the pH (which I've never had to do before) before I can start the process above? Thank you!!!
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

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    kcindc's Avatar
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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    20 mule team borax will raise ph. You can get it at walmart. Use pool math for amount.

    Karen
    33K IG w spa plaster, Pentair 1HP Whisperflo, DE Filter, SWG CircuPool RJ-60, Dolphin Triton Plus, Raypak Dig 336K BTU, TF-100.
    Pool Math Chlorine / CYA Chart SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain
    2017 replaster/retile

  11. Back To Top    #11

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    Re: Black Water at Opening

    Cool. Thank you!
    Kelly
    ~~~~~~
    32x16 rectangular vinyl in-ground pool (21,000-23,000 gallons?) filled with well water. 24" Hayward sand filter & a Hayward super pump (unsure of model # or specifications). TF-100 test kit.

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