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Thread: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

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    Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    OK, I'm just about at my wit's end. I'm no stranger to maintaining my pool, I've been doing it for 15+ years now. Having said that, I'm no chemist either. I know that pool maintenance is a 24/7 job and you can't let it go even for a day but it seems like I'm getting more than my fair share of algae, especially mustard algae. I stay on top of my pool maintenance: test water daily, shock weekly, algaecide, keep water balanced, etc etc. It seems, however, that my neighbor down the road doesn't have nearly the problem with algae that I have. The ONLY thing that's different (that I can see) is the amount of plants/flowers/trees surrounding our pools. So here are a few questions for anyone who cares to comment. They may seem like silly questions to you but I don't know where else to go with this, so here goes: FYI, I live in south Louisiana, 30,000 gallon gunnite pool. I know I'm supposed to post all the chemistry numbers but I just need general info.

    1) Are there certain trees/plants/vegetation that you should NEVER plant around pools? In other words, if you were building a new house from scratch and you hired a landscaper to decorate the pool area, are there certain plants that are a no-no?
    2) Is mustard algae more prevalent in certain parts of the country (south vs. north, warm vs. cold)?
    3) What is the best commercial products out there to PREVENT algae (if that's even possible)?

    I'm sure I have more questions but I don't want to overload the forum. Thanks in advance to anyone who cares to answer.

    Phil
    30,000 gallons
    Sand Filter
    IG Pool
    Plaster (gunnite)
    1 HP
    75 GPM flow rate
    Pool built in 1991

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Welcome to TFP!!!

    First, pool maintenance is not a 24/7 job ... it is a 5 minutes per day job (at least as far as the chemistry is concerned).

    If you are getting algae, there is only 1 explanation: You are not maintaining enough FC in the water and the required level is a function of your CYA level. See the FC/CYA Chart.

    Post up a full set of test results.

    1) No idea, some drop more junk than others
    2) No idea
    3) Chlorine. Period.
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    zimm's Avatar
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    It's not the plants. My pool is covered by huge trees. Mustard Algae only appears when you don't have enough chlorine working for you. And if your stabalizer (CYA) levels are too high, it prevents the chlorine you have from doing it's job.

    Based on all what I've seen from new members, I'm going to guess you test the water at the pool store, you probably use pucks for chlorine and your CYA is over 100.... Looking forward to you posting the results so we help you out.
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Thanks for your quick reply. I guess I should have said that pool maintenance "seems like" a 24/7 job...and it probably is for the uneducated (which I'm working on, believe me!). When you say to "post up a full set of test results", can you be more specific? I bought the test kit from TFP so if you can tell me exactly what you're looking for, I'll post results ASAP.

    Thanks again,
    Phil
    30,000 gallons
    Sand Filter
    IG Pool
    Plaster (gunnite)
    1 HP
    75 GPM flow rate
    Pool built in 1991

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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Run through the tests in order of the instruction card, then post.

    FC
    CC
    PH (PH can be in any order since you use the basic kit for that)
    TA
    CH
    CYA

    We're mostly concerned with FC, CYA, and PH at this point.
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Hi Phil, welcome to TFP

    1) Are there certain trees/plants/vegetation that you should NEVER plant around pools? In other words, if you were building a new house from scratch and you hired a landscaper to decorate the pool area, are there certain plants that are a no-no?

    If I was going to build a pool from scratch, I wouldn't want any maple trees around it. We have 2 maple trees and all they do is drop twirlies and leaves in the pool. We do get the branches trimmed back, but the wind still carries all that stuff into the pool.

    2) Is mustard algae more prevalent in certain parts of the country (south vs. north, warm vs. cold)?

    I don't know about effects of geographical locations, but from what I"ve read, it's more prevelant in pools that are in the shade a lot.

    3) What is the best commercial products out there to PREVENT algae (if that's even possible)?

    I think the only algecide that is ever recommended is a polyquat based one. However, if you keep your chlorine and CYA levels in sync, you should not have to worry about using an alegicide.
    IG 12' x 39' - 20k Gallons - Vinyl Lined - StaRite Cristal-Flo II 26" Sand Filter - Hayward SuperPump 1 hp - Dolphin Dynamic autocleaner - Lochinvar Energyrite gas heater - Aqua Rite SWCG T-15 - TF100 Test Kit - Skimlite Duallly 9016 pole (great pole)

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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Thanks, Zimm. I'll get those test results posted as soon as I can. Still in the "learning" mode.

    Phil
    30,000 gallons
    Sand Filter
    IG Pool
    Plaster (gunnite)
    1 HP
    75 GPM flow rate
    Pool built in 1991

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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Zimm, I just shocked my pool yesterday afternoon - will the test results be valid if I test it today or should I wait till the chlorine level goes down a bit (it's off the chart).

    Phil
    30,000 gallons
    Sand Filter
    IG Pool
    Plaster (gunnite)
    1 HP
    75 GPM flow rate
    Pool built in 1991

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    Mod Squad jblizzle's Avatar
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Depends on what test kit you have, and how high you actually raise the FC. We do not "shock" pools for no reason, we follow the ShockLevelAndMAINTAIN Process only when there is a problem.

    Have you started reading Pool School yet? I would suggest starting with these at a minimum:
    ABCs of Water Chemistry
    Recommended Pool Chemicals
    How to Chlorinate Your Pool
    Jason, TFP Moderator
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    zimm's Avatar
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilTrosclair View Post
    Zimm, I just shocked my pool yesterday afternoon - will the test results be valid if I test it today or should I wait till the chlorine level goes down a bit (it's off the chart).

    Phil
    If you have the good test kit (TF100) there is no "off the charts", you can tell exactly what your levels are. Your test results will be valid except for Ph. What test kit are you using?

    And again, no need to just "shock" for no reason. What are you shocking with?
    45'x12' 17k gal, IG plaster, Pool Pilot Nano+ SWG, 1/2hp Whisperflo pump, PAC-FAB TA-60D sand filter, Raypak 266 heater
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Welcome to the forum
    In answer to your first post
    (1) You don't want a pine tree anywhere near one. They are great for privacy but the needles get everywhere and they can travel on the wind and they collect in your skimmer basket, pump basket and filter. You don't want a tree anywhere near your pool unless you want to put up with the falling leaves and seeds. I fight two large maples yearly. One I got crazy with and cut 2/3 off. They are just far enough away they don't give shade but somehow it seems every leaf that falls makes it to the pool along with those "helicopter" seeds !!
    Then there is always the chance if it's close enough to give your pool or pool deck shade it's close enough to put a root through your wall or liner.
    I have plants/fowers around my pool deck but they don't shed foliage or anything that would add to the debris I already have collecting in my skimmers. With flowers I trim the heads as they die to keep that out of the pool. I cut them back in the fall before snow.
    (2) Sorry, don't know.
    (3) Chlorine in the form of liquid bleach or liquid pool shock which is liquid bleach. No matter what it isn't algaecide, especially not a weekly maintenance dose !!
    The exception for winterizing or on a case by case basis is the polyquat based algaecide. Some algaecides add metals.

    If you are doing a SLAM you should be testing every hour at first if possible and maintaining a specific shock level. Why are you, how much are you adding?, what's your target and instead of off the chart what was the actual level of FC ??
    Might want to read up on the pool care articles that have been suggested. I understand you've been taking care of a pool for 15 years but not that you have an kit and you are "here" you'll see the way we do it is a bit different than the pool store way you likely have been following all this time. Best part is if you follow the advise you pool will likely be cleaner than it ever was before and it's cheaper to do !!
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Hi Phil!

    Here are my answers to your questions:

    1) Are there certain trees/plants/vegetation that you should NEVER plant around pools? In other words, if you were building a new house from scratch and you hired a landscaper to decorate the pool area, are there certain plants that are a no-no?

    We have a very "treed" pool area. We have a weeping cherry that weeps directly over the pool. A gi-normous crepe myrtle (like 40' high) with some branches are over the pool and deck, and lots of other smaller crepe myrtles around the deck. A tulip poplar very near, but quite over the pool, and a few oaks that are near, but not quite over the pool. All of them contribute to stuff in my pool all the time. The oak alone had about 4 different waves of different "stuff". The third wave reminded me of chia seeds which gelled in my skimmer. The poplar and cherry dropped flowers all spring and are now dropping leaves on a regular basis. The crape myrtles drop flowers, green beads and pollen July-August. It's never quiet in my pool. Tree frogs sleep along the coping and in the skimmer sometimes.

    That being said, I love the trees around the pool. It's a daily chore to sweep them out, hose out the skimmer basket and sweep the deck, but if I do it daily, it's a 10 minute chore and I don't mind it. As long as I get them from the top of the pool within 24-48 hours, they don't sink. I do a complete brushing 1-2 a week. I have not needed to vacuum all summer. We don't have a cover that we use regularly. I haven't had an algae problem all year, not even a cc count that is readable. (See also my answer to #3)

    Last year, once we got the pool cleared, it stayed cloudy all summer. I bought a skimmer sock in late August, and that made the difference. This summer it just barely started to turn cloudy, and I mean just barely. Skimmer sock got it sparkling again in a day. I'm guessing all these trees add pollen that the pump just can't seem to get, but the skimmer sock does.

    One drawback of the trees is that the pool is shaded and never gets "warm". Here, in Hot-lanta, the pool has never gone above 81 degrees. It's something to think about if you want or need a warm pool. We're going to invest in a cover of some sort to keep the heat in.

    2) Is mustard algae more prevalent in certain parts of the country (south vs. north, warm vs. cold)?

    Don't know the answer to that.

    3) What is the best commercial products out there to PREVENT algae (if that's even possible)?

    As a previous poster said, only polyquats are to prevent algae. I had a bottle of it and poured it in before I went on vacation this year. I raised the FC to slam level, turned the pump timer on to include the Polaris, and tried not to worry about it for a week. Came home to a sparkling pool with the skimmer and filter basket FULL of leaves.

    Hope that helps your decisions!
    New at pools. 23k Gallon pool - 36x17 ft grecian, vinyl. Pentair TA60 sand filter with new valve. Hayward superpump. Booster pump for Polaris 280C.

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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I realize that there is no need to just "shock" the pool for no reason. BTW, I was shocking with granular chlorine. This morning I sat down and read most of the pool school articles and feel a lot better. I plan to maintain my pool in a VERY different way than I have been doing in the past.

    I do have the good test kit (TF-100) and I ran through all of the tests this morning. Here are the results:
    FC - 25 (This sounds very high to me but I did the Chlorine Drop Test TWICE and this is what I came up with. Remember, I dumped a lot of granular chlorine in the pool yesterday afternoon).
    CC - 1
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 160
    CH 260
    CYA >100

    Slowly but surely I'm getting educated on all this stuff. It's very disheartening to realize, after all these years, that there are two worlds of pool care (the Pool Store and everyone else) and I also can't help feeling like I've been duped. Anyway, today is a brand new day and maybe I can save myself some deniro by following the advice on this forum.

    Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate your help.

    Phil
    30,000 gallons
    Sand Filter
    IG Pool
    Plaster (gunnite)
    1 HP
    75 GPM flow rate
    Pool built in 1991

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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Phil,

    Some of the stuff that gets dumped into my pool by the trees looks like it could be mustard algae to me, and last year (before I found TFP) I was about to treat for it. but it isn't, it's pollen and/or dead algae. It oozes down the walls if I haven't brushed recently. It's gross, but it's not algae. Skimmer sock.

    Becky
    New at pools. 23k Gallon pool - 36x17 ft grecian, vinyl. Pentair TA60 sand filter with new valve. Hayward superpump. Booster pump for Polaris 280C.

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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilTrosclair View Post
    Thanks, everyone, for the replies. I realize that there is no need to just "shock" the pool for no reason. BTW, I was shocking with granular chlorine. This morning I sat down and read most of the pool school articles and feel a lot better. I plan to maintain my pool in a VERY different way than I have been doing in the past.

    I do have the good test kit (TF-100) and I ran through all of the tests this morning. Here are the results:
    FC - 25 (This sounds very high to me but I did the Chlorine Drop Test TWICE and this is what I came up with. Remember, I dumped a lot of granular chlorine in the pool yesterday afternoon).
    CC - 1
    pH - 7.2
    TA - 160
    CH 260
    CYA >100

    Slowly but surely I'm getting educated on all this stuff. It's very disheartening to realize, after all these years, that there are two worlds of pool care (the Pool Store and everyone else) and I also can't help feeling like I've been duped. Anyway, today is a brand new day and maybe I can save myself some deniro by following the advice on this forum.

    Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate your help.

    Phil

    With the CYA over 100 in your pool the FC is "bound up" and cannot sanitize properly. I will bet this is the primary reason you're having algae blooms. The only way to reduce the CYA to acceptable levels is to partially drain your pool. BTW, the excess CYA comes primarily from chlorine pucks.

    I know that answer sucks but I had a very similar problem. Following the guidelines and experts on this website has got my pool crystal clear and sparkling with minimum cost and hassle. I highly recommend reading and re-reading the articles jblizzle recommended a few posts ago. Good Luck!
    19,500 gal, 16' x 38' PebbleTec IG Pool, Built 4/2013; Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3050 3 HP Pump, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Pentair IntellipH, Pentair 520 sq ft/150 GPM Cartridge Filter, A&A In-Floor Cleaner, Dolphin Nautilus Plus Robot (aka "Robbie"), Pentair EasyTouch Power Panel w/ Quick Touch 4 Remote Control, Autelis WiFi controller, Clear 12 mil Solar Cover on Presto SS Reel, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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    Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    You need to zero in on that CYA level better. Anything approaching 100 is too high.

    Take a water sample and dilute that 1 to 1 with tap or bottled water. Then retest CYA and multiply your result by 2. If you still get over 100, then try diluting your sample with 1 part pool water and 3 parts tap water, retest and multiply value by 4.

    The CYA number is critical. Was the granular shock you were using DiChlor or Calcium Hypochlorite (cal-hypo) ?

    Also, if your FC is truly 25, then your pH results are invalid and should be ignored since the pH indicator solution gets bleached out at FC levels above 10ppm. The same may be true for the TA and CH indicator solution as well. Normally you don't test those parameters at high FC levels.

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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Update - tested everything again at 4:00 central time and here are the results:
    FC 23
    CC 0.5
    PH7.3
    TA 130
    CH 200
    CYA Exactly 100 (down from something over 100)

    I think I'm trending in the right direction. The pool looks great - I just can't wait to go to the BBB method and save some $$$.
    30,000 gallons
    Sand Filter
    IG Pool
    Plaster (gunnite)
    1 HP
    75 GPM flow rate
    Pool built in 1991

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    tucsontico's Avatar
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilTrosclair View Post
    Update - tested everything again at 4:00 central time and here are the results:
    FC 23
    CC 0.5
    PH7.3
    TA 130
    CH 200
    CYA Exactly 100 (down from something over 100)

    I think I'm trending in the right direction. The pool looks great - I just can't wait to go to the BBB method and save some $$$.

    OK. Read this link http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...mmended-levels. It will help you zero in on the numbers you need to maintain. As SunnyOptimism noted, your CYA value is too high. You're looking for a CYA value of 30-50 for a plaster pool. Due to the high CYA, your FC is not nearly as effective. Read this article: http://www.troublefreepool.com/conte...art-slam-shock. I believe you're wasting time and $$ until that CYA value is lower.

    The ONLY way to do that is partially drain and refill your pool. Use PoolMath (http://www.troublefreepool.com/calc.html) to determine how much to drain. My estimate is you'll need to drain 60% of the water out of your pool to reach a CYA of 40. Be careful draining too much at one time if you have a high water table. The external pressure from the ground water could cause cracking of your pool!
    19,500 gal, 16' x 38' PebbleTec IG Pool, Built 4/2013; Pentair IntelliFlo VS 3050 3 HP Pump, Pentair Intellichlor IC40 SWG, Pentair IntellipH, Pentair 520 sq ft/150 GPM Cartridge Filter, A&A In-Floor Cleaner, Dolphin Nautilus Plus Robot (aka "Robbie"), Pentair EasyTouch Power Panel w/ Quick Touch 4 Remote Control, Autelis WiFi controller, Clear 12 mil Solar Cover on Presto SS Reel, Taylor K-2006 Test Kit.

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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    Quote Originally Posted by PhilTrosclair View Post
    I think I'm trending in the right direction. The pool looks great - I just can't wait to go to the BBB method and save some $$$.
    First thing you need to do is lower that CYA value to something reasonable so you aren't spending more $$$ on bleach than you really need to.
    '70s IG Vinyl 32K gal, Lazy L, Hayward SuperPump 1.5hp 120V, S240 Sand Filter W/DE
    Solar Blanket, Well Water, Borax Added, TF-100 tester. ? too cold
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    Re: Role of plants/vegetation/trees near pool?

    From experience ....do not plant pines or oak trees...OMG I have a gazillion on city property 20 ft from my pool. It is a 24/7 constant battle with the trees winning. I beg everyday for a big storm to come and knock them down or hope someone accidentally drops a match? I ask myself this question everyday...what dummy would build a pool with this many trees...?? Then ask myself, What dummy would BUY a house with a pool with this many trees....ummm that'd be me. But. House appraised for $268k,,,,got it on foreclosure for $119k...have to take the bad with the good I guess.
    Montgomery, AL
    27000 16 x 36 IG, Vinyl, Grecian, Hayward Sand filter, 1 HP Pentair whisperflo motor, Aqua Genie filter not by choice, no extra jets, Dolphin s300i robotic cleaner,Taylor K 2006 test kit, speed-stir which I couldn't live without!

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