I'm at a loss here, I don't really even know which category to start this thread in. I've been fighting this problem for two weeks now and it seems to be getting worse. I keep getting these spots all over the bottom of my pool. They never show up on the walls, only on the bottom. They appear almost daily in small "piles" or drifts. It's like a very fine powder with a yellowish orange tint around the edges. Whatever it is vacuums up easily and requires no scrubbing. I left the pump off night before last, and when I woke up yesterday morning the pool was clear and the bottom was spotless. I had a few pine needles floating on top (as usual) so I turned the pump on to let the skimmer catch them. When I came back out about an hour later the bottom was covered with the mystery spots again. I thought maybe my cartridge filter needed to be cleaned so I disassembled it (and found that it was disgustingly dirty and smelled like fish) and gave it a good thorough cleaning hoping this would solve the problem, but it didn't. The water started getting cloudy before the day was over. It has been crystal clear all summer until this point. I have let my FC get down lower than it should be a couple of times but never to zero, and my CC reading was 0, but I panicked and thought maybe it's mustard algae and I should shock. After dark I raised my FC to 36, (34 is mustard algae shock level since my CYA is 60) and I passed the OCLT test. The spots on the bottom were worse than ever this morning and were still the same color even at shock level. I guess this means I don't have algae. The water doesn't look terrible, but it's definitely a little cloudy. I want my clean sparkling pool back!!! Could it be pollen from nearby trees or bushes? I'd appreciate any thoughts or feedback.
Here are my numbers:
FC: 34 (was 35.5 before sun came up)
PH: (didn't test today because of high FC level, it was 7.6 yesterday)