Last year was my first full summer in the pool and I had no issues. I kept the pump running about 2 hrs a day through the summer, had a fairly high chlorine concentration due to the shading that the cover gave, and put the SWG on 0%. I tested my pH a few times during the winter with no major issues. When I took the cover off the steps were orange with a good bit of Alabama red clay all over them. When I got the dirt off the steps stayed that color...so I assumed it was the dirt. Over time the steps have lightened a great deal. The skimmer intake has the same color but has not lightened. It doesn't get direct sunlight. I've attached pictures of each. Is this really a metal stain or something else? I have actually written my kids names in the stains with Magic Eraser. The eraser does get it up. I notice some tinting in my liner too so scrubbing that whole thing doesn't sound fun.
Note the white plastic above waterline inside the skimmer and the color change below waterline.
As of yesterday:
FC - 3.5
TA - 60 ( I think, I'm going from memory)
pH - 7.8 (I'm pulling that down to 7.5 tonight)