Cloudy water - pollen?

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
So over the last day or two I’ve noticed that my water has been a bit cloudy and I don’t know why, but I suspect that it may be pollen. It’s definitely pollen season here and everything around the pool has a bit of a yellow tinge to it, so it’s logical to assume that there’s a good amount making it into the pool as well.

I’m also seeing a layer of yellow dust on the stairs, where the auto cleaner can’t reach. It easily blows away if the water around it is disturbed.

is this anything I need to be concerned about? Is there anything I can do about it?

FC - 5.8
CC - 0
PH - 7.4
TA - 160
CH - 170
CYA - 80

This is a new pool that’s only been set up for a few weeks. It’s always had a SWG and I started adding liquid chlorine as I was filling it. The pool has literally never had a FC level of less than 5, so I have a hard time believing that algae or something could have managed to take hold.

Thanks much
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
Thanks for the replies. I did the OCLT last night. I lost .4ppm overnight, so it would seem that doesn’t call for a slam. Should I just try to wait out the cloudiness or is there anything else I can do?

thanks again
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,701
Laughlin, NV
Maintain an elevated FC (~15% of CYA) for a few days and see if that clears it.

When you test FC and it is 10 ppm or below, test your pH. Your high TA will drive your pH higher.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
Maintain an elevated FC (~15% of CYA) for a few days and see if that clears it.

When you test FC and it is 10 ppm or below, test your pH. Your high TA will drive your pH higher.
OK, thanks I’ll bump up the FC a bit and see how that goes.

As far as the high TA, that was where it was when the pool was filled a few weeks ago. Initially after filling and adding the CYA the pH was 7.2 so I didn’t want to use any acid to try to bring down the TA since I didn’t want the pH to drop any more.

Since the water has been warming up and I’ve been using the pool more (and as such, had the solar cover off more) I’ve been seeing the pH start to rise. I was thinking that once it hit 7.8 (which will probably happen in the next couple of days) I’d add some acid to bring it down, and hopefully start bringing the TA down as well.

However 15% of my current CYA level would be 12, so if I’m going to be unable to test my pH for a few days then maybe it’s prudent to add the acid now to bring the pH down to 7.2 before I raise the FC level. Does that make sense?
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
23,701
Laughlin, NV
Sure. Lower the pH to 7.2 now. Then raise the FC to 12. When you check FC and it is 10 or just below, test pH, repeat.

If the cloudiness does not clear in a few days, let us know.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
So yesterday I went ahead and lowered the pH to 7.2 and raised the FC level. I checked on the pool this morning and it definitely looks better than it did yesterday. There’s still some cloudiness, but it’s noticeably improved.

However, the timer started the pump while I was out there and when the pump started I noticed a blast of gross dirty yellow/greenish water coming out of the returns for a few seconds.

I’m thinking that the pollen or whatever else is in the water is too small for the sand filter to trap effectively and that might be adding to my issues. Would it make sense to backflush the filter and then add some DE to help it trap the smaller particles?
 
Last edited:

revitup

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2019
81
Pawleys Island, SC
Wouldn't vacuuming through the skimmer with a skimmer sock accomplish the same thing without the hassle of adding DE to a perfectly adequate (other than the pollen issue) sand filter?
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
Wouldn't vacuuming through the skimmer with a skimmer sock accomplish the same thing without the hassle of adding DE to a perfectly adequate (other than the pollen issue) sand filter?
Someone correct me if I’m wrong, because I’m still pretty new to this, but I don’t think that vacuuming through a skimmer sock or vacuuming to waste would be helpful here because I’m dealing with stuff that’s suspended in the water and not stuff that’s just sitting on the pool floor. Trying to vacuum the entire water column wouldn't really be very effective.

Additionally I don’t think that there’s a really big hassle or downside to adding DE to the sand filter. I already have the DE and the worst case would be that I would just need to backwash it a little sooner since it would start filtering more efficiently.
 

revitup

Well-known member
Nov 30, 2019
81
Pawleys Island, SC
We experience the yellow/green pollen storm yearly here in SC. Some of the pollen can be seen floating on the surface but 99% of it sinks to the pool floor. The only suspended pollen that I see is when I disturb it with the pool brush. I have to believe that any pollen, is that's what it is, will eventually sink to the pool floor.
My info (not first hand) says not to add DE to a sand filter which is not designed to use it. It will go through the sand to some extent and will be ejected into the pool though the returns causing an entirely different problem. I could be wrong
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
We experience the yellow/green pollen storm yearly here in SC. Some of the pollen can be seen floating on the surface but 99% of it sinks to the pool floor. The only suspended pollen that I see is when I disturb it with the pool brush. I have to believe that any pollen, is that's what it is, will eventually sink to the pool floor.
My info (not first hand) says not to add DE to a sand filter which is not designed to use it. It will go through the sand to some extent and will be ejected into the pool though the returns causing an entirely different problem. I could be wrong
I think at this point I’m pretty well convinced that my cloudy water issue isn’t from the pollen. It started at the same time as the pollen and there’s definitely a lot of pollen in the water, but I think the cloudy water is from something else.

As far as using DE in a sand filter, it seems to be a pretty well accepted practice here and there is even a guide for using it here... Add DE to a Sand Filter - Trouble Free Pool
 

Randrx2

Bronze Supporter
Dec 13, 2018
74
Orlando, FL
Hypothesis: That CYA test is hard to read and your CYA may be higher than you realize. This would require higher FC level. You may me just on the verge of algae.

I am in Orlando also. We also have those controlled burns and construction clearing burns going on all around us. We have a screen and still had ash in our pool.

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that if my water starts getting cloudy, I closely monitor the chlorine. But most likely, I need to SLAM. Then my water is that TFP CLEAR!

I don’t worry about the pH too much when I SLAM, because I had tested pH so much I know typically how much I need to add every few days. So when I SLAM, I just add my typically ration of acid. Others say not to worry about the pH at this time.

I’m not an expert, just enough knowledge to be dangerous!
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
Honestly, if anything I think my CYA is low. Again, this is a new pool, so I know exactly how much CYA I added when I initially filled it a few weeks ago. I’ve only used bleach and my SWG, so I know there was no extra CYA added from pucks or anything. And based on the number of gallons in the pool and the amount of CYA I added pool math says I should only be at like 60. I suppose intex may have overestimated the number of gallons in the pool, but still 60 to 80 seems like a pretty big range. I’ve done the test a number of times, in bright sunlight, with my back to the sun and the test held at waist level and I’m pretty confident in the 80 number.

What I think may have happened was that I wound up with some dead spots in the pool. initially I had been sending all my return water through my intex pressure side auto cleaner, but I was having issues where the cleaner would get stuck under the stairs. This would cause all the new chlorinated water to enter the pool on the stairs until I noticed that the cleaner was stuck and freed it. I suspect that the other end of the pool, 30 feet away, just wasn’t getting enough circulation or chlorine.

I have fixed the problem with the stairs so the cleaner no longer gets stuck under there and I’ve also increased my pump run time considerably so the cleaner should be able to get to most of the pool area each time it runs. I also split off the return and added a little water fall feature in the middle of the pool, so hopefully these steps should increase the circulation and help prevent the same problem from happening in the future. I may also increase my normal FC level a bit since I was keeping it a bit on the low side.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
Well, the DE seems to be helping, but maybe a little too much. I went ahead and backflushed and added about 2.5 cups of DE, which raised the filter pressure by 1 PSI. About 30 minutes later the filter was so full that the low flow alarm on my SWG was triggered.

So I backflushed again and this time I only added about 1.5 cups of DE, which only raised the filter pressure by .5 PSI, but still, about 45 or 50 minutes later my SWG shut down again due to low flow.

I backflushed a third time and only added 3/4 of a cup of DE, which barely raised the pressure at all. Hopefully the pump will be able to go for a little longer without needing a backflush this time.

But the good news is that it’s definitely making a visible difference in the pool. It’s much less cloudy now than it was even 2 hours ago.
 
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Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
Well, that time I got a little more than an hour out of it. I backflushed again and this time I didn’t add any DE because I really don’t want to be flushing this filter every hour or two this evening. I’ll see how that goes overnight and maybe try to add some DE again tomorrow to help speed the clarifying process if it’s still cloudy.
 

Brett S

Well-known member
Mar 15, 2019
258
Orlando
The pool is looking much better this morning. Still a bit cloudy, but much less so. The water has lost it‘s yellow/green tinge and is looking very blue. I backflushed the filter again this morning and added some DE again in the hopes of filtering out the last bit of whatever is left in there. Hopefully the filter won’t fill up as fast as it was yesterday evening, but I’ll be able to keep an eye on it all day.
 
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