Okay, it's been a month now since we discovered our pool had turned into a swamp. Using the guidance in pool school and elsewhere on the board, we've been nursing it back to health ever since.
I must admit: We live in Canada and have not been able to purchase either of the test kits the board recommends. That said, our pool store does use what appears to be good reagents and testing apparatus (not dip sticks!).
Have been bleaching per Pool School to sustain the chlorine levels and I am confident the algae is all dead. What's left though is cloudy water. (Mind you, I could see the drain in the deep end for the first time yesterday.) It looks a bit like Lake Louise. It would almost be pretty if it weren't my POOL!!!
On the weekend, I took the top off the filter and gently hosed down the sand for almost two hours (per the guidance I read about here!). Lots of bugs, bits of the last two solar blankets, and milky water came out. The sand itself seemed fine.
I wanted to add diatomaceous earth, but I can't get the pool-grade stuff here in my town. It would have to be shipped and I'd be looking at $100+ for a small bag. At this time, that's a "no can do." I have, however, added a few of those aluminum "clarifying" tablets over the past two weeks. They haven't hurt, but I don't know if they've made any significant difference to the clarity.
Anyway, after all this, the water is much better but still murky.
Here are the most recent numbers (as given to me by the pool store. Apart from strips, this is my only testing option at this time):
CY: 30 (down from 50 over the last month)
Total Chlorine: 5
Free Chlorine: 5
Adjusted TA: 147
Tested for phosphates and came up with 3,000 ppm.
No iron. No copper.
Of course, they want to sell me phosphate remover. I declined.
It's been over a month. My POP is wearing thin....really, really thin. Is it my water chemistry or my filter that's causing the stubborn cloudiness???