Can't get rid of Brown Water

tdkorson

Active member
May 26, 2013
28
Ooltewah, TN
Location: Chattanooga Tennessee

20,000 gallon inground fiberglass pool

Hayward s-244T sand filter – new sand within the month. Laterals checked and one replaced. Filter augmented with 2 cups of diatomaceous earth after backwashing

My Pump is the ¾ HP Hayward STX 2600 super pump

Ph 7.0

Fc 16

Cc 0.5 and has remained constant for several days

Cya 30

TA 95

Water – brown and cannot begin to see the bottom

Skimmer bucket is stuffed with polyfill

Clean Filter pressure is about 14

History: Pool has not been opened in a couple of years. I have been slamming and working on opening it for over a month. We’ve scooped out dozens of wheelbarrow loads of leaves; vacuumed the bottom to waste and brushed the sides multiple times. I’m convinced that practically all of the leaves and sediment have been removed.

After filtering several days, the filter pressure only raises about 1 point of pressure, So I am assuming that the water does not contain much that the filter can catch. Is this a reasonable assumption?

Since the cc stays about 0.5 I am considering discontinuing the slamming process even though the water is still brown.

When the pool was last open I ran it all year round and I heated by circulating the water through a wood heater. This exposed the water to some short lengths of iron pipes, and some short lengths copper pipes. This worked fine for many years. After years of use the stainless-steel interior started to get holes in it that I patched from the outside with JBWeld. Just before closing the pool the water suddenly turned dark and no-one could figure out why.

Given all of the above I thought that maybe the problem is iron in the water, so I stuffed the skimmer full of polyfill last night. No change as of this morning and the polyfill doesn’t look stained.

UPDATE: I have installed the following sump pump
AgiiMan Submersible Utility Sump Pump
and it has now run for 2 days. THe pump claims to be rated at over 1000 gph, so I thought one day should do it. One day didn't do much, so I checked the real flow by using a 5 gal bucket and the real flow is only about 170 gal per hour - so that means it will take 5 days for a complete exchange.

I am not using the pool pump and filter because I don't want to mix the inflow and outflow, but I am worried that in five days of hot sum, a lot of algae will grow. Can I just add bleach even without the pool pump running?

My surface water is currently 82 and my soft fill water from the well is about 70. So I am filling at the bottom of the deep end and draining from the surface of the shallow end.
 
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mknauss

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May 3, 2014
44,354
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
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Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
A water exchange to fresh would be the first thing. Too many metals in the water. Also debris consuming chlorine. CC is not the definitive marker on organics.
 

tdkorson

Active member
May 26, 2013
28
Ooltewah, TN
The pool manufacturer says I can't drain the pool so I'll try to fill from the bottom and drain from the shallow end. I just ordered a Sump pump. I'll let you know how it goes. I hope the temperature difference is enough to make this work.

Tim
 
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tdkorson

Active member
May 26, 2013
28
Ooltewah, TN
UPDATE: I have installed the following sump pump
AgiiMan Submersible Utility Sump Pump
and it has now run for 2 days. The pump claims to be rated at over 1000 gph, so I thought one day should do it. One day didn't do much, so I checked the real flow by using a 5 gal bucket and the real flow is only about 170 gal per hour - so that means it will take 5 days for a complete exchange.

I am not using the pool pump and filter because I don't want to mix the inflow and outflow, but I am worried that in five days of hot sun, a lot of algae will grow. Can I just add bleach even without the pool pump running? Please advise.
 
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mknauss

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May 3, 2014
44,354
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
That is a very small sump pump. My Superior 1/2 hp through a 50' 3/4" hose give me about 7 gpm.

The process will still work but with significant inefficiency. Did you check water temperatures and chemistry differences between the pool and fill water before starting like the Draining Wiki explains?
 

tdkorson

Active member
May 26, 2013
28
Ooltewah, TN
I didn't check the chemistry, and only checked the temperature by feel. But even if the data was not favorable, what other options are there?

After 2 days, I am seeing improvement. I can now actually see the bottom of the shallow end. I just hope the improvement continues. What is your recommendation about bleach during the water exchange?
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
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Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
The options were whether to pump from the deep end or near the surface. The process outlined in the Wiki article sets you up for success.

With your slow exchange, I would suggest you add 5 ppm FC worth of liquid chlorine at the surface where you are adding water. That will disperse pretty well on its own. Add it very slowly.
 

tdkorson

Active member
May 26, 2013
28
Ooltewah, TN
My surface water is currently 82 and my soft fill water from the well is about 70. So I am filling at the bottom of the deep end and draining from the surface of the shallow end.
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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Laughlin, NV
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SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
OK -- good to know.
I would add the bleach in the deep end as close to where the hose end is on the bottom.
 

tdkorson

Active member
May 26, 2013
28
Ooltewah, TN
After 3 days the water continues to improve, but it will still be days before I can see the bottom of the deep end. As helpful as the "exchange" is, there is still obviously some mixing and I worried that while my problem is diluted it will not be totally solved by this "water exchange. It there any possibility that letting the exchange run long enough will allow me to have totally clear water, or will at some point I still have to use some additional solution?
 

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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
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May 3, 2014
44,354
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Once you get the solids load down filtering should clean it up the rest of the way.
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
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Laughlin, NV
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SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
If iron. Not copper. Hopefully the dilution has lowered the copper content. Poly fill filter will clear iron pretty quickly.
 

Snoobug

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Jun 2, 2020
800
Iowa
Pool Size
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Also for help capturing iron... I thought our skimmer sock was amazing... The white nylon next to it is a brand new one.

091FB700-10F0-45C2-9835-4B6A84FB9925.jpeg
 

tdkorson

Active member
May 26, 2013
28
Ooltewah, TN
Pool continues to improve - I can actually see some of the bottom. I can see patched of debris that need vacuuming. I'm tempted to vacuum them but I think that would mix/disturb the exchange process so I'll wait till the exchange has run its course before I vacuum.
 
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Snoobug

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Skimmer sock without polyfill got the iron? What brand?
I had the polyfill in there but I think the skimmer sock did quite some work. These are the ones I bought.

Impresa Products 20-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks - Perfect Savers for Filters, Baskets, and Skimmers - The Ideal Sock/Net/Saver to Protect Your Inground Amazon.com : Impresa Products 20-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks - Excellent Savers for Pool Filters, Baskets, and Skimmers - The Ideal Sock/Net/Saver to Protect Your Inground or Above Ground Pool : Garden & Outdoor
 

Snoobug

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Can you post a pic? When the iron came out of the water my water was clear but green. I wish I would have taken a good pic.
 

zea3

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Jul 10, 2009
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Houston, Texas
You probably still have some iron in solution and that tends to give the water a yellow tint. Combined with blue liner you get clear green pool. If the water is cloudy green you may need to slam the pool.
 

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