BBB on a commercial pool?

march2012

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Jan 21, 2012
369
#1
We just bought a vacation condo and the condo pool is a milky color. There were like 20 people in the pool too (gross). Id like to help the condo association maintain the pool to keep it crystal clear. Right now the association spends 2K/month on pool maintenance.

I had read posts about commercial pools before that suggested that there are public health limits to CYA and FC levels.

Does anyone know in a general sense what those rules might be?
 

JasonLion

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May 7, 2007
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#3
It varies quite a bit from state to state. Some states limit CYA to 100, others don't allow any CYA. Some limit FC to 3, others to 5, some not at all. You really need to look up your local rules.
 

march2012

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Jan 21, 2012
369
#5
the condo is in corpus christi tx pre 99 construction. I looked at the texas code but it didnt give limits for chemical values
 

wetchem

Well-known member
#6
My advice, in Texas... having helped to keep a hotel pool in the clear while in college... call the local health departement!
You can try to look up the stuff online; however, the local inspector will have his/her own interpretation and it doesn't matter what the code states... think airport. You do not want to run afoul of these people... no sense of humor!
-wc
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
12,082
San Rafael, CA USA
#7
This link to the Texas code refers to this table of chemical parameter limits. FC must be between 1 and 8 ppm. Combined Chlorine (CC) must be "None" which is ridiculously strict and likely unachievable. pH must be between 7.0 and 7.8. CYA must be from 0 to 100 ppm and cannot be used in indoor pools nor in spas.

As wetchem noted, it's best to find out how the local health inspector interprets this code.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
#10
Because of the decades-long mantra from some manufacturers that "CYA doesn't matter; only FC matters", there are very, very few people in the swimming pool and spa sector or in the environmental health sector that understand the chlorine/CYA relationship even though it was definitively determined in 1974 with over a dozen prior and subsequent scientific peer-reviewed studies in respected journals showing the chemical relationship to hold true with regard to disinfection and oxidation rates and ORP levels (see the Chlorine/CYA Relationship section in the Certified Pool Operator (CPO) training -- What is not taught post for technical details and links to these papers).
 

march2012

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Jan 21, 2012
369
#11
chem geek said:
This link to the Texas code refers to this table of chemical parameter limits. FC must be between 1 and 8 ppm. Combined Chlorine (CC) must be "None" which is ridiculously strict and likely unachievable. pH must be between 7.0 and 7.8. CYA must be from 0 to 100 ppm and cannot be used in indoor pools nor in spas.

As wetchem noted, it's best to find out how the local health inspector interprets this code.
Thanks, somehow I missed the link to the water quality chart. That is exactly what I needed.
 

march2012

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Jan 21, 2012
369
#12
yossarian said:
Just curious, but aren't some these regulations countereffective if they have a FC limit of say 3.0, but permit CYA to get all the way up to 100?
They most likely have been using a solid chlorine source. The HOA pres basically said "2 years ago the pool was fine, but in the last year it has been bad". This is a classic, CYA built up issue. Im having them get a tf100 kit with XL option and Im bringing my test kit down this weekend. Most likely they will have to do a partial drain and then start the shock process.

The currently have a budget of 2k/month for 2 pools. Not sure of the volume, but they arent huge. Im estimating that chemicals should cost less than 300/month.

Im not sure how they are adding chemicals right now. I would think they would have automation, but they might not.
 

march2012

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Jan 21, 2012
369
#13
Just as an update, when I last measured the pool chemistry the FC was 25ppm and the CYA was about 160. The HOA president was skeptical that anything needed to be done so he had the manager take a pool sample to leslies.

Leslies measured the cya at 50 and the FC at "5+". The person who tested the sample even signed his name to make it official.

The HOA president considered the case closed since a professional pool company tested the water.

It is now two weeks later and I tested the water, the FC is now 35ppm and the CYA is so high I cant even read it even after diluting the sample. This means The CYA is over 200ppm. The water is pretty clear which is what the HOA president is using to judge it.

They are sucking down pucks like there is no tomorrow apparently.

Any suggestions with how to proceed?
 

yeggim

Well-known member
Jul 3, 2010
332
Philly
#14
You could approach them on an economic level. Hard to do if you don't know exactly how much it's costing to keep those levels up.

Probably your best bet is to wait. There will come a time when the Chlorine will be below 7% of the CYA level if they're using pucks. When that happens the pool will turn. It'll take a tanker truck of liquid Chlorine to fix if the CYA is 200 or above. Given their lack of knowledge about the CYA/Chlorine ratio they'll probably throw more Trichlor and/or Dichlor at it. Even if they use CalHypo , the amount needed could cause additional problems depending on CH levels. Add the fact that they probably have no concept of a proper shock process, they'll probably wind up draining the pool.
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
#15
An anonymous call to the health department and their coming out and measuring the FC above 8 ppm and the CYA above 100 ppm will have that pool shut down at which point an "I told you so" would be appropriate. Well, OK, so that's pretty extreme, but jeez, this HOA president is just going to drive you nuts.

Sucking down pucks means the chlorine demand is rising and that's probably due to a nascent algae bloom even if not yet visible. So soon the water will turn dull and then cloudy and then a full-fledged bloom. Show him the Leslie's report at that point in time to remind him of their incompetence.
 

march2012

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Jan 21, 2012
369
#16
chem geek said:
An anonymous call to the health department and their coming out and measuring the FC above 8 ppm and the CYA above 100 ppm will have that pool shut down at which point an "I told you so" would be appropriate. Well, OK, so that's pretty extreme, but jeez, this HOA president is just going to drive you nuts.

Sucking down pucks means the chlorine demand is rising and that's probably due to a nascent algae bloom even if not yet visible. So soon the water will turn dull and then cloudy and then a full-fledged bloom. Show him the Leslie's report at that point in time to remind him of their incompetence.
the water is already cloudy at the end of each day. any ideas when the pool will turn? how long can it be maintained like this?
 

chem geek

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Mar 28, 2007
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San Rafael, CA USA
#17
It depends on the algae nutrient levels (phosphates and nitrates) in the pool. It will probably stay cloudier longer as the CYA rises over time and may get visible algae at some point, but can't predict exactly when that will be.
 

march2012

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Jan 21, 2012
369
#18
yeggim said:
You could approach them on an economic level. Hard to do if you don't know exactly how much it's costing to keep those levels up.

Probably your best bet is to wait. There will come a time when the Chlorine will be below 7% of the CYA level if they're using pucks. When that happens the pool will turn. It'll take a tanker truck of liquid Chlorine to fix if the CYA is 200 or above. Given their lack of knowledge about the CYA/Chlorine ratio they'll probably throw more Trichlor and/or Dichlor at it. Even if they use CalHypo , the amount needed could cause additional problems depending on CH levels. Add the fact that they probably have no concept of a proper shock process, they'll probably wind up draining the pool.
I did, right now they are budgeted for 2000/month. I explained they could get it down to about 500/month or possibly even less. But right now they trust the professionals at the pool store.
 

march2012

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Jan 21, 2012
369
#19
chem geek said:
It depends on the algae nutrient levels (phosphates and nitrates) in the pool. It will probably stay cloudier longer as the CYA rises over time and may get visible algae at some point, but can't predict exactly when that will be.
The CYA is over 200, with probably 60 people swimming over the course of a day, kids peeing in the pool etc. Right now it is clear in the morning and then cloudy in the afternoon. According to a paper I read, CYA reaches is maximum effectiveness around 70ppm and then doesnt get any worse. Does this mean that 200ppm is pretty much the same as 100ppm?
 

yeggim

Well-known member
Jul 3, 2010
332
Philly
#20
march2012 said:
The CYA is over 200, with probably 60 people swimming over the course of a day, kids peeing in the pool etc. Right now it is clear in the morning and then cloudy in the afternoon. According to a paper I read, CYA reaches is maximum effectiveness around 70ppm and then doesnt get any worse. Does this mean that 200ppm is pretty much the same as 100ppm?
Good question. I always thought that the Chlorine baseline in a clean pool was around 7.5% of your CYA. Does that ratio hold true when we're talking about CYA in the 200 range? I don't know but those last test numbers you posted (25 ppm Chl/160 CYA) puts them at 15%