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Thread: My pool looks like it's filled with tea and leeches! HEEELP!!!

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    Jun 2015
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    My pool looks like it's filled with tea and leeches! HEEELP!!!

    GM All. I've only been a pool owner for a couple of years, and last year at closing time I closed up a decent amount of leaves in my pool, after giving up and trying to get out as many as I could. BAD MOVE! I opened the pool on Sunday to not only a very dark/murky brown water color, but also to some type of black algae-type things all over the walls of the pool. They were about 1-2 inches long, and about a quarter inch wide, and pretty much covered all walls of the pool. If I didn't know any better, I would have thought they were leeches! However, I rubbed one of the black areas, and it came off, so it appears to have been some type of algae.

    Here is what I've done so far:
    • Tested all chemicals with my Taylor kit, and brought up my PH and TA to proper levels.
      • My FC was at zero, of course, so I slammed it to 16 on Monday night. By last night (Tuesday) I was at .5, so I slammed it again to get to 16.
      • I also went ahead and put in the 4lbs of CYA to bring my levels from 0 up to hopefully around 40-50. I think this may have been a bad move, since now I won't be able to backflush for ~2 days.

    • I have scrubbed the walls of the pool as best I could without getting into the funky water. This took care of most of the "leeches" on the side of the pool, so it at least looks a little less disgusting.
    • I have vacuumed out around 2/3 of the leaves at the bottom of the pool, and will get the rest tonight. Is there an easier method than continuously filling my skimmer basket up with leaves and then having to dump it every 1-2 minutes? This is very labor intensive, but I have a feeling there is an easier way (I hope).
    • Sunday upon opening the water was a coffee color. Monday it was a dark tea color (could barely see the leaves in the bottom during broad daylight), and this morning it's not much better... maybe a little lighter tea color.
      • This morning, in a moment of weakness, I added some algaecide from Wal-Mart... I hope I don't come to regret that... but I figured foamy clear water was better than brown tea.


    Did the leaves being left in the bottom cause this? When I closed the pool all chemicals were in balance via the BBB method, and I added some additional chlorine just for safe measure. The pool was probably 60 degrees at the time.

    What should I do next? I'm shocked it hasn't cleared up more with running my sand filter for the last 2 days, so I don't know if I'm just supposed to wait, or if I should be doing something else. Also worth mentioning: I do not have well water, and so I don't "think" rust is the issue, since this is the same water that was in there crystal clear last year.

    Thanks!
    Heygreene
    24' AG vinyl round pool, 15,000 gallons, 2HP 1SP pump, Hayward sand filter

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    Pool Tool's Avatar
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    May 2014
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    Re: My pool looks like it's filled with tea and leeches! HEEELP!!!

    It could have been caused by many reasons, the leaves, water was too warm when you closed or opened, etc. Either way you need to SLAM to clear it up. Slamming is not a one time addition, it is a constant cycle of adding FC to the SLAM level, testing then adding to MAINTAIN the FC at or just above the SLAM level. At the beginning this could mean testing and adding chlorine every hour or less. FC consumption will start to decrease as the water turns gray and starts to clear. The pool turned that way over the course of months probably and will take several days, maybe weeks to clear. The good thing is that it will. Read the SLAM article and follow it to the letter.

    CYA is better to bring up to about 30 to SLAM to reduce chlorine use and then to your target gradually so you dont overshoot. You can choose to backwash if you want you may just wast some of the CYA you added. I am guessing you added it to the skimmer? Either way retest CYA and set your FC target accordingly.

    As for the algaecide, it is in there now so nothing can be done. It is not generally recommended since most contain metals or other things that can create problems later. Patience and attention you will turn it back clear in no time.

    Pool School - SLAM - Shock Level And Maintain

    Good luck.
    16' x 32' (21100 gal), vinyl, 1.5 hp Hayward SuperPump,
    Tagelus TA60/60D Sand Filter, Raypak 399K Digital Heater, TF-100

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: My pool looks like it's filled with tea and leeches! HEEELP!!!

    It's probably too late to help you this year, but for future reference:
    Canister fits in vacuum hose Leaf bagger

    One of the big rules for TFP is not to add anything to your water unless you know what it is. What's in that algaecide you added? Was it a copper compound? Do you prefer green hair to blond? Algaecides work better as a preventative than as a cure, anyway. Don't add any more.

    Continue removing debris and then commence the SLAM process. It will help us help you if you could post some test results and where they came from. There's an outside chance you have astronomical CYA levels or the CYA you had has broken down into Ammonia. In either case, a partial drain would be called for before you start pouring expensive chemicals in.
    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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    Mod Squad kimkats's Avatar
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    Re: My pool looks like it's filled with tea and leeches! HEEELP!!!

    The MOST important part of the SLAM is the M=maintain. As in maintain the FC at or just over the SLAM level for your CYA level. Use the CYA goal you were shooting for even if it does not test to it yet.

    The leaves and whatever else is probable what did you in this Spring I wonder if there was some "extra" stuff on the leaves that caused the "leeches"? I would NOT be getting in that water for a good, long while LOL

    BLEACH is your best friend for now!

    Kim
    TFP Moderator 33x52 round AG 25,600 gals Sand Filter 1.5hp Pump - 2 Speed, SLAM, Pool School, Recommended Levels, Recommended Chemicals, Pool Math, Chlorine/CYA Chart, TF-100 Test Kit

  5. Back To Top    #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
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    Greenville/SC
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    Re: My pool looks like it's filled with tea and leeches! HEEELP!!!

    Thanks everybody! I am feeling much better already.

    The pool water was smoking hot when I uncovered the pool... almost like steam coming off of it, so contrary to most southerners beliefs (I live in SC), I should have opened the pool around the first of April, I think. We've had a fairly warm spring though.

    I added the 4lbs of CYA to the skimmer... but I did it the lazy man's way (sorry it was 11pm last night and I wanted to go to bed). I just slowly poured it into the skimmer and moved it around until it was gone. I was going from 0 CYA, so according to the calculator this should bring me up to around 40-50. Last year I had really high levels of CYA... 70-90, but this was before I got "pool schooled". Can I check my CYA now, or will it not be "settled" yet? I know sometimes it takes a few days to get to the proper levels. If I check it tonight and it's already 30-50, I'm going to backwash the filter to remove the risk of it getting too high again... that was a pain last year.

    The "Maintain" is definitely what I'm missing in the SLAM... I will start that tonight, and try to maintain it all weekend. FYI I'm slamming at 16ppm, hoping my CYA will get to 30 or so.

    The algaecide that I used was a gallon bottle (I used 26oz, per instructions) of Clorox Algae Control. I'm not sure of the ingredients in it, as I'm not home right now.

    A BIG thanks again to everybody who has chimed in so far... I really appreciate it.

    Heygreene
    24' AG vinyl round pool, 15,000 gallons, 2HP 1SP pump, Hayward sand filter

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