So, long time TFP member.
In august this year we took about 3 feet of flood water in our home.
Of course the pool was inundated with floodwater as well. IMG_0206.jpg
Besides filling the pool with gross water, a couple of carp, and flood debris, it damaged my pumps, heater, and heat pump.
The mechanical stuff was easy, just troubleshoot and replace parts as needed. It took about a month to work through that completely. First thing to do was get the pumps up and running, which took two days to get shipped in and installed. During the wait time I didn't really bother testing, just dumped a gallon of bleach in to let the stuff in the pool know I wasn't ignoring it. I also fished out most of the larger debris.
After the pump was in, I just set it on high and let it go. In one day it jumped way over my "clean the cartridge filter" threshold, which is normally not met once a year, but I clean them once a year in the spring anyway. When I cleaned the filters, it was just gross. I didn't do the most thorough job... as you can imagine we were very busy during this time with cleaning and gutting the house. I just hosed them off quickly and threw them back in. Looking at the water, you wouldn't think it but the mud being filtered out was red clay (I guess washed down from further north, we dont have red clay around here).
After about a week of this daily filter cleaning and emptying the skimmers and honey-badger (the Polaris, cuz the honey badger doesn't care, it will suck up anything) and the pool skim, while the water wasn't clear or even close to blue, it was better. All the particulate matter large enough to skim, and catch in a bag was gone, what was left was the mud.
I figured it was time to start brushing. Brush I did... two or three times a day every day. We hadn't gotten back in the house yet, so when I arrived I would brush, around lunch I would brush, and before I left I would brush. By this time it was taking a few days to get the filter pressure up to cleaning level, so progress was being made, it just wasn't very visible. All this time I was just dumping a gallon of bleach in every day to keep the algae in check and that was working well... no formal testing yet as I figured that was worthless just yet. I hadn't really decided at this point that I was going to save this water... I just didn't want a cesspool in the back yard while we were working to try to get back home.
But the time had come for a decision, so I tested the water. Salt was effectively zero (under 100ppm), FC was high, (a gallon a day was too much at this point I guess... all at once), cc was less than 1, ph was around 7 and I assumed a zero on the cya as well, without testing. Frankly I wanted to save the water. More as a test of my patience and persistence, and a proof of the TFP methods.
I have a friend at the water co, and took him a sample to see if there were any contaminants that mandated I change the water. The test came back ok, nothing to be concerned about, the water was healthy. I adjusted my salt levels to bring the salt water generator online, and added about 30-40 ppm cya.
So I filtered, and brushed. A lot. For a long time. I cleaned my cartridge filters more than I want to admit.
I am sure it would have been more cost effective to just change the water and start from scratch. I know a pool owner that did and he had a blue pool back in a week.
Little did I know just how long it would take. After several weeks, I just didn't seem to be making much progress. The chlorine levels stabilized, the pool was sanitary, it just had a lot of dirt and stuff in it.
I got in and walked every inch of the pool. The dirt on the bottom was exceedingly fine and slippery, but not in any way slimy. Remember I am still brushing like 2-3 times a day here. The whole pool.
At this point I can see the tile edging on the first step after the tanning ledge but not much else.
I took a sample of the water from the bottom so it would be full of the dirt, and spread it out in a pane of glass and let it dry. The resulting dirt was really really fine, like finer than talc. So I decided to sacrifice some water and vac to waste.
I let the pool settle for 8 hours or so, and then vacuumed the bottom and steps to waste. About 2 inches of water worth. Near the end I broke by old vacuum head and ordered a new one from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This one sucked.. or didn't actually suck. It wasn't doing the job. I decided I wanted something with an integrated brush. I ordered another: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
This one did much better.
After a couple of sessions of this, MUCH progress was made. I could see the honey badger as he patrolled the bottom.
I didn't have the time or energy to vacuum much any more the past few weeks, I just monitored and brushed about once a day. It has made such progress. The pool is now blue, clear (I can see the screw heads in the drain covers) - and very refreshing after working my tail off in the house.
We got back in the house to live ASAP and it was almost a month to the day. Recovery in other areas has been slower than the pool, but progress is being made every day. Something is put back to rights almost every day. We now lack about 600 sq ft of flooring, trim, and doors in some rooms to be right again, and our furniture is still a few weeks out as we are having it made, in some cases re-made as well really liked the pieces we had and wanted them back.
But we are really glad to be home, and to have suffered as little loss as we did. Some folks were just plumb financially destroyed. We were lucky to have lived a life of savings and good income. So we lost most of our material possessions but it was not as much of our net as it was for other people. Our house, two rent houses, my daughters house, and my parents house, as well as a niece and her family were all flooded out and had to evacuate our homes.
We were the first back in, my daughter was about two weeks after that, and my parents are a little older and want to wait until the house is closer to completion before returning. They are about two weeks out now from returning home and they are living with my sister until then.
Above all, the TFP principles WORK. Testing, monitoring, and patience work. Even the nastiest swamp can be cleared up applying these methods. Have faith in them. It's dark now so I can't go take a picture of the pool to post, but I will try to remember to tomorrow.