Ooookay, after lurking silently the last two seasons and perusing the various helpful hints on pool maintenance, I have decided to take the plunge (I'm so punny) and beg for pool counseling. I'll try to be brief, but I admittedly quite verbose.
After last summer's success with a 15ft round above ground, I decided I was going to make aforementioned pool semi-inground for aesthetic purposes. I started digging. I started researching natural swimming pools and fashioned my pool much like a pond with tapered sides to prevent collapse. I have a small backyard and my pond was sculpting into roughly 14ft round-ish with a 5ft deep area and wading areas to a shallow end with stairs (fashioned out of earthbags, fancy!). I brought up the sides with two layers of earthbags. There was no way my yard could afford a bog area big enough to biologically filter the swimming area. I lined the pool with a few layers of "geotextiles" (aka weed-stop garden fabric), then some sand, then a 15ft expandable overlap pool liner. Add some chicken wire and some mortar, voila! We have a ghetto pool. Installed a skimmer in the shallow end and built a small waterfall at the deep end. 2" pvc pipes run to a 3/4 hp Hayward pump, a 25ft Hayward DE filter, then through a DelOzone Eclipse Ozonator, to the waterfall and back to the pool. Whew. I'm tired.
Anywho, maintenance has been "interesting". With just the waterfall feeding the pool and 3 kids consistently splashing around, I'm pretty sure this is running my ph consistently high. By high I mean 7.8+
I don't think the waterfall on its own is circulating the water enough, plus with wrinkles in the liner I have to wipe it down every time I get in. I can feel the slipperiness of algae but the water itself is sparkling. I have had no cloudiness, just gorgeous water.
I run the filter/ozonator at least 6 hours a day so I am hopefully turning over all the water once a day. I've dumped muriatic acid in a few times, get a ph reading 7.2-7.5, then it's back up to all its hydrogen-goodness in less than 24 hours. My FC reading will be around 2/4 immediately after dropping a deplorable amount of bleach or liquid chlorine, then back to yellow (0) the following morning.
Hardness runs around 200ppm
One of my (many) problems is reading the strips. I'll get tie-dyed readings for the CYA, pH and TA, showing good and terrible colors in the same teeny square. Dip, lay flat 15 seconds, read. Right? Right?!?!
Well, I hope if you've gotten this far you've enjoyed the novella. Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions are welcomed and appreciated. I will have to post some pictures of my Frankenstein pool