I hoping this thread will bring some ideas of not using new water and ways of conserving existing water in our California pools. I'm a newbie here and veteran with my pool. I've always done my own work. No matter what that may entail. Electrical, plumbing, cleaning.
Earlier this year around April, I got the great idea of buying a pool cover to reduce the evaporation in my pool. I travel allot and being home to monitor and check my pool was not an option and that would have to wait until the weekend.
Once I put on the cover, (let's say the after first week) the water evap was hardly noticeable. I dropped a couple of gallons of chlorine along with my two tri-chlor dispenser which were floating in the middle of the pool along with a polaris 360 in hopes this would keep the pool clean while I was away the following week. Upon coming home for the weekend, (the second week the cover was on) boy was I surprised with the pool turning into a green swamp!
But I put chlorine in and had the pucks going and the polaris was working?! Well, at least there was no water evaporation!!
So off came the cover. Added 8 gallons of chlorine over a two day period with the pump running the entire time. Cleaned the filter on the second day before adding the rest of the chlorine and by the time I flew out on Monday morning, I could see the pool was recovering. When I return, I would have a big mess to clean up and there goes another weekend to the pool!
The weeks following, I didn't use the pool cover and kept adding water to the pool every 4 days or so. So far, I am doing a lousy job of conserving water.
Using the 4 in 1 test kit I've been using for the last 15 years, I constantly keep the chlorine above the 3.0 ppm. Who really knows where the chlorine was.
I just keep on dumping chlorine and shock powder and tri-chlor pucks thinking I was a head of the game.
Wrong!! I came back one week to find the algae is taking over again!
After learning about CYA (on this website) I got a real test kit (I opted for the Taylor K2006) and found out what is really going on.
You all know ... it's those stupid pucks and the years of using them. The cya is about 240!! I had to dilute the pool water to measure it (3:1 fresh water to pool water).
Those of us in California are sensitive to the drought and would prefer to use other methods than dumping 3/4 of our pools to get the cya to a manageable level.
Now given the cost of water, sewage tariffs, I figure it will cost around $350 to refill the pool (not taking in consideration of penalties).
I checked for reverse osmosis water filtering for pools and the guy here in southern cal wants $875-975 for 20,000 gallons depending upon "where you want the cya level". 40 would be nice I thought. Oh btw, you'll need to pony up about a 1/4 of those gallons in clean water so your cost is $875 plus! If this cost was a little more reasonable I would do it. There wasn't any negotiating I guess he has plenty of business.
So I am going with science and I have purchased two bags of Bio-Active. The guy at the pool store (not Leslies's btw) said it's a relatively new product he just started selling and was interested in the results. So I am using it and will hopefully see some reduction of cya. I'll let you know how it's going. I bought two bags because my cya levels were greater than 150 which the product claims it can do. I figure that two bags will be able to "eat" (absorb) more than 150 ppm of cya.
I pose the question: What are we going to do about our water usage and keeping our pools alive, California pool owners? I would love to hear some feedback from others in the state of how to keep water evap to a minimum and what your plan is to get your cya under control.