This is my first post here, so please bear with me. Under the guidance of a licensed pool operator, I take care of the in-ground pool for the townhouse community I live in. Last year, I only had to deal with the chemicals while the regular operator was out of town...the rest of the time, I just plugged in the vacuum and locked up the pool area every night.
Now I have been "promoted" to taking care of the pool alone every day. Although the water looks great most of the time, I have learned quickly that accurate chemical adjustments are really vital vs. the method I was taught. Basically, I was shown how to do things in nondescript quantities like buckets, scoops, and bottles rather than ounces or pounds.
Problem: High-ish total alkalinity with constantly dropping pH and limited options for correction.
Here are my test results from this morning using a Taylor K-2006 kit:
TC: About 4.0
My pool: 40 x 20 feet, average depth 4.5 feet, plaster
Pool chemicals: Combination of chlorine pucks and granular chlorine, soda ash, cyanuric acid
My pump & filter: Pump has a deep end skimmer, shallow end skimmer, and two main drains; sand filter
Other info: Pool has a flow rate of only about 85 or 90, which is low from what I've been told, but that's because the pump from a previous, smaller pool was salvaged and used on this one. I live in Minnesota, so the pool is open generally Memorial Day weekend through mid-September. The pool is heated to 82°F. It is used heavily every day unless it's raining and/or the air temp is maybe less than 70°F - so in other words, it is rare to find it has not been used heavily all day long. The pool is open 12 hours each day, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Basically, I used about 10 lbs. of cyanuric acid to lower the TA, which started out at about 220. But it only came down to 190. Meanwhile, the pH drops continuously. I have already used an entire 30-pound bag of soda ash just to keep it at 7.0 to 7.2, and the pool has only been open for a week and a half.
I have read conflicting information regarding the TA as it relates to pH. Some say my TA is high but not high enough to worry about, and one of these people is the guy who "taught" me how to take care of the pool...and he's in charge of ordering the chemicals. He says the acid to lower TA is too expensive to get too much of it, but most of the information I've read indicates that if I can get the TA under control, my pH won't keep declining all the time. I also have no way (that has been provided to me, anyway) to aerate the pool, and I can't find anything in our complex's shop that would help me do so.
So my question is this: should I take up the issue with the property manager directly and just let her know that I need this stuff in order to get everything correct in the pool, or should I just keep going through what seems like large amounts of soda ash to constantly correct the pH? Is my TA too high? Or high but not bad? Also, on a side note, does anyone have any tricks for fixing slightly cloudy water quickly? Usually, the pumps fix that overnight, but once in a while, it's like they can't quite keep up with the bather load or something. The water doesn't turn into milk, but occasionally I can't see the drains really clearly...and I prefer the water to be clear enough to see them from the shallow end. Is time the only solution there (closing the pool for a day every couple weeks or something)?