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Thread: Pollen

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    Pollen

    I did an overnight FC test and lost no chlorine, and we have high pollen alerts in my area pretty much every day for most of the year and this has been happening since I got the pool a few months ago, so I'm pretty sure the stuff I find in the bottom of my pool is just collected pollen. Now, what is the best way to clear the pool? Should I vacuum it up and catch it in the filter? Should I brush it and hope a skimmer sock catches it? Any other ideas I don't know about? Thanks so much!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen

    If you run your pump continuously you can have considerable success catching it in the skimmer sock after brushing to suspend it in the water. However, in my personal experience it's quicker to just vacuum it up. My pump runs only at night and during pollen season I usually have streaks of collected pollen on the bottom. Swimming stirs it up, of course, which is why one of my favourite observations is that "a used pool is a happy pool" and the sock does catch a lot of it. In my area pollen shows up as a gummy yellow substance in the sock, sort of like dissolved paper.

    I vacuum it when I can't stand the sight of it anymore.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

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    Re: Pollen

    Thanks for your reply!
    So,
    1. It doesn't cause any problems if you just leave it there for a while?
    2. Will it eat chlorine or contribute to algae?
    3. Will the sand filter catch the pollen when I use my Wanda the Whale or does it just get thrown back into the pool again?

    Thanks again!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen

    Well, pollen is organic, so it will have an effect on FC, ie, use some.

    I suggest you either brush it up or vac it out when you can.

    Don't know about Wanda, so can't say
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    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen

    Quote Originally Posted by numberonenole
    Thanks for your reply!
    So,
    1. It doesn't cause any problems if you just leave it there for a while?

    That probably depends on your definition of "a while". Mine is 2 or 3 days between vacuuming when pollen is heavy and no, it hasn't caused any problem.


    2. Will it eat chlorine or contribute to algae?

    Pollen is organic material and therefore contributes to the pollution of pool water. But again, based on my experience, because I test my water daily and keep the FCs at a level appropriate to my stabilizer amount, I have not noticed any algae or water problems because of the amount of pollens or tree bracts on the bottom of my pool. I have a lot of birch trees near the pool. In the spring that means yellow pollen. This time of year it's bracts. Because the water temperature has dropped some and algae growth is not an immediate concern I only vacuum once a week these days.


    3. Will the sand filter catch the pollen when I use my Wanda the Whale or does it just get thrown back into the pool again?

    I don't have a Wanda and can't really answer the question. I gather it's a suction cleaner? I use a skimmer sock when I vacuum and the sock catches the pollen before it even gets to the sand filter. I also use a PoolSkim which does a terrific job collecting that pollen which doesn't get soggy and sink.

    Thanks again!
    Hope this helps!
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen

    There's something I had meant to add . . .

    How often do you empty your skimmer basket? It collects leaves, pollen, bugs and all manner of organic debris. Water is circulated over this material when the pump runs and when it doesn't, you have standing water with organic debris on the bottom.

    On those days when you just didn't empty the basket for whatever reason, do you feel you have more of an algae problem? Do you even think about algae in terms of what's in your basket?

    The stuff on the bottom of the pool is visible and unsightly. IMO, and from experience, if your sanitation level is appropriate you can give yourself a break and not agonize so much about the consequences of not immediately vacuuming it up.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  7. Back To Top    #7

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    Re: Pollen

    Thanks!
    I have to empty my skimmer basket at least once a day, more if it is windy. We have pine trees that throw a lot of needles in the pool. They'll get so thick it will clog up the skimmer! And the bugs? Well, I might have destoyed the entire beetle population in this area. I'm talking at least 50 dead beetles a day!

    I wish I had a vacuum that filtered through the skimmer. Mine goes straight to the pump basket, so no skimmer sock when vacuuming for me.

    Thanks for reminding me that the pollen is yellow. For the longest time I kept thinking it was algae in the pool because it looked green. Luckily I have a preschooler to remind me of the simple things in life (colors, clouds, caterpillars, etc) and I remembered that blue and yellow make green. I have no FC loss or CC reading, yet the green color had me doubting it was pollen. Funny how I can so focused on making it a complex problem when sometimes it is as simple as pollen.

    Thanks again!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

  8. Back To Top    #8
    AnnaK's Avatar
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    Re: Pollen

    In my pool pollen which has settled on the bottom looks greenish-brown, either in clumps or in streaks. I was aghast that first spring at all the "algae" in my pool and spent inordinate amounts of time vacuuming and brushing, and a great deal of water backwashing and rinsing the filter. Still, each morning brought more of this stuff. It was disheartening!

    Then I learned about skimmer socks. I swear to you, it was an epiphany! That first morning after putting a sock in the skimmer brought a nearly clean pool bottom and some very weird, caked, fibrous light yellow stuff in the sock. What the heck . . . ? This was a day when all the trees had seemingly burst at once, the honeysuckle, the autumn olives, the birch, the firs and pines and the surface of the water was covered with various kinds of white and yellow fuzz. Bingo! Pollen!

    The following year I learned of the PoolSkim and bought one. Between it and the socks I have nearly no drowned pollens anymore. I do battle the bracts from the birch trees which sink very quickly and don't get swept into the skimmer or PS net but my attitude toward these organics has become very sanguine.

    Most days I toss the dogs in the pool to stir up the water - they're excellent aerators, dogs are, and do a wonderful job swirling up bottom debris. I run the pump for a couple of hours after they've mixed up the water and what doesn't get caught in the skimmer devices gets vacuumed up next time.

    After a while you get very good at "learning" your pool. You know how it responds to changes in water temperature, you know how to react to changes in chemistry, when to do something and when to let it go, and you learn to distinguish real algae from just dirt. Pools get dusty, too, especially if you live in a rural area, and wet dust = mud eventually. In my pool algae has two properties which clearly distinguish it from dirt: it is definitely green and it doesn't swirl up; it sticks, sort of. I've learned where in the pool algae will grow if given the chance, over on the shady side right where the cove meets the bottom.

    Each pool is different and each one has to be "learned" by its owner.

    I sympathise with you about the pine needles and the bugs. Our Japanese beetle situation wasn't bad this year (thank you, Mother Nature!) but there've been years where the skimmer basket was filled to the top with them - and for some reason those buggers don't easily die by drowning. I got to where I had to dig holes to empty the basket into, giving them a decent burial. For some reason my husband refused to allow me to burn them in the burn barrel.

    Ok, rambling. I'll shut up now.
    — AnnaK —

    12,000 gal AGP, Hayward sand filter, Pentair 2-speed pump, timer.
    Please visit our Pool Issues pages for information about step weights, managing the solar cover, and PoolSkim.

  9. Back To Top    #9

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    Re: Pollen

    Thanks again!

    I had a poolskim hooked up, but I got so annoyed and grossed out trying to get all the pine needles and bettle out of it that I took it off. I tried putting the bad that catched everything inside out, but no matter what those little bug feet would get trapped in the fabric and have to be puuled out. I'd rather dump the skimmer basket so I don;t have to touch them! Funny about digging a hole for their remains! I dump them behind the pool and I guess they make good ant food because the little suckers line up and cart them away! The ants do not like the wasp family of bugs though.

    So, I've attached a skimmer sock and I now feel better about stirring up the water and letting the skimmer sock catch some of the pollen.

    Thanks!
    24' Seaspray Evolution CLX Above Ground Pool (~13600 gallons)
    Pentair Sand Dollar SD60 / 22.5" filter / Maximum Flow Rate 60 GPM
    Pentair Dynamo Pump 1 1/2 HP

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