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Thread: foamy, white water

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    foamy, white water

    We own an 18 foot (4 feet deep) round above ground pool. We live on a farm and use well water and it is very, very rusty apparently. We filled the pool over a time span of four days with the garden hose and at about the second day we noticed the rust sedimenting on the bottom. We are talking about a quarter of an inch of sediment. We bought a 1.5 HP pool pump this year to help try to keep the pool cleaner. Problem: This pump has a basket that will catch leaves, large bugs etc, NOT small bugs and definitely NOT rust. We then bought the basket socks to filter out the rust and I bought an automatic pool cleaner that attaches to the pump intake and the little guy cruises about the bottom sucking up rust...which promptly sprays (high power I must add) out the outflow. I bought pillow stuffing and packed the filter basket with it but it doesn't help much and is hard on the pump. So the water was a murky brown, rusty color....until we added chlorine and de-algae stuff. Now the water is white, like milk, can't see the bottom, and foamy! A covering of whitish rusty colored foam now covers the pool. I am fed up. I have no idea how to filter out the fine particles. HELP ME!!!!!!!! Please.....

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    frogabog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Portland, Oregon

    Re: foamy, white water

    Welcome to TFP!

    Relax, because you've happened to stumble upon the best place to get your pool cleared up. You've got two issues as I see it right now, metals and algae. They will be handled separately.

    Have you tried vacuuming to waste this thick sludge? Do you have a standard vacuum that you can direct? Running the vacuum on filter sends it back to the pool if the particles are small enough. Vacuuming to waste lowers your water, but it goes OUT instead of back through the filter.

    Can you tell us what kind of filter you've got? Sounds like it might be a sand filter. The sand filter should absolutely catch small bugs. Have you looked inside and check for channeling of the sand? If it's a cartridge filter, there's little or no reason for it to not catch bugs and most of the tiniest particles, on average.

    The foaming is likely from the algaecide. I suggest that you take a stroll through Pool School (upper right of every page here at TFP - whit button). In fact, take a few strolls (reads).

    It sounds like you do have metals, but the fact that you cleared the pool from brown to white/blue/milky with chlorine suggests algae.

    When it's suggested that you get a good test kit, do not take that lightly. The kind of kit you need is listed in Pool School, the best value for your buck is from (see my sig).

    Others will chime in about the metals and how to deal with that but your first stop should be the information in Pool School about how to shock your pool and the ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry. Shocking is not a product or a one time event, but rather a process that involves testing and maintaining shock level consistently till the pool passes 3 tests. For this you will need a good test kit.

    Do you happen to have any test results from either your own kit, or a pool store? If you can post them here it will helpful for us to be able to help you.
    Where kids swim in 54 degree water, turn blue, and giggle happily cuz they got a POOL!
    Year 3 BBB -15' x 48" Intex Metal Frame - Was using (2) 1000gph Intex cartridge filters (see Full time pumping Intex). 2012, converted to 1600gph and sand filter+SWG = Sand filter love affair!
    Don't waste time and energy looking for a better value on test kits, the TF100 is the best deal around. I did the looking and spent the extra money, but you don't have to make the same mistake. Just go here: TFTestkits. I use Pool Calculator for min/max, and shocking chlorine levels.

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    Swampwoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Grand Rapids, MI

    Re: foamy, white water

    How many gallons? If youre taking about 5k or 10k, I think I'd recommend you start over only because the cost-benefit equation to sequester that much iron plus the filtering hassle would perhaps outweigh a fresh start IF my evil plan works. Evil plan would be for you to buy one of those hose filter attachments from pool store and PRE-Filter a refill to keep *most* of the iron out to begin with, and still add a full dose of a metal sequestrate such as jack's pink stuff (meant for iron) and then to try to keep your ph on the low side to avoid the oxidization of whatever remains.

    Alternately, if you have a water softener, can you rig the fill hose up to a treated faucet? Or truck in iron free water?

    I am newish to pool school with just this season under my belt (but tons of schooling but many of the lifers here say iron is worth a drain and refill -- IF you can keep iron out of the refill. If not, then be sure to get some sequestrate into it. You might try paper towels in the filter so you can just keep throwing them out.

    (I am on well myself, using softened water, but still fight stains from .5 ppm with ascorbic acid, lowering ph etc. But we're in-ground and are reluctant to drain/truck water in unless we're prepared for possible water table issues -- b/c pool used to be the storm cistern between a hill, a terrace and a river and required some "major engineering" according to the original pool builder, who we tracked down when we purchased the
    foreclosure. He warned us to consider carefully how to orchestrate a drain/refill, so we'll likely wait til we replace the liner AND add a whole house iron curtain filter with dedicated fill line.)
    In ground extended Grecian, 22,000 gal, Hayward 220t sand filter, vinyl liner, dolphin m4 supreme.
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    GET A TEST KIT Chlorine/CYA Chart How to SLAM About Metals & Stains

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: foamy, white water

    Update: After almost giving up here is what I did to help our white water. Kept shocking the heck out of the water for 3 days to make sure all bad buggies were dead. Turned off the pool pump and let everything sediment to the bottom. Filled to overfilling and turned on the little vaccuum guy that scoots around the bottom to pump to waste. Brought the water down about a foot. Lots of sludge was pumped out. Allowed it to sit overnight with no pump running. Chlorinated again in the morning and turned the pump back on but didn't use the vaccuum right away, just wanted to circulate everything. Set the vaccuum back in and stuffed the filter basket full of pillow stuffing inside a filter sock. Diligently turned everything off and hosed off the sock and stuffing, about every hour. Also took an old sheet and using those heavy black paperclips, clipped the towel onto our ladder right in front of the output, letting it balloon out a bit, catching the **** that was getting through the filter apparatus. Can see the bottom, water is still murky but not foamy and not too disgusting. Seriously hot and sunny today, spent a few hours in the pool, and now we are going to get a bad storm. Numbers will be crazy out of whack in the morning but at least I am not starting with milky water! Thanks for the tips.

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