How to clean construction dirt from new pool

riny

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Poughkeepsie, NY
Hi everyone! I'm a new pool owner as of about a week ago, a Fox Ultimate onground pool (10,800 gallons) with a Pentair CC75 cartridge filter. All of my chemicals are in balance but the water is filthy from digging in the yard to install the pool. The area around the pool is just loose dirt which blows freely into the water with the slightest wind. We're planning a patio and we'll get the grass replanted but not until next year.

In the meantime, I've vacuuming daily but it's barely making a dent. My neighbor recommended a clarifier but I know TFP isn't big on those. I've seen recommendations on the forums for Diatomaceous Earth but is that recommended with a cartridge filter?

Thanks for any advice!
 

mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
33,053
Laughlin, NV
Welcome to the forum!
You should not add DE to a cartridge filter. A cartridge filter will already filter down to a micron level that will clear the pool of all visible debris. You just need to get it to the filter.
If you find a clarifier is needed, use a quality one. SeaKlear Chitosan clarifier is acceptable if all other means to clear the fines has been tried. Do realize you must not have any active algae or you will make a mess. And you will need to clean your filters multiple times.
I suggest you read ABC's of Pool Water Chemistry.
 

cowboycasey

Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
TFP Guide
Jul 3, 2013
4,314
Fletcher, OK
Welcome to TFP :)

You may have to run your pump/filter 24/7 to keep it clean and with a 75 sq ft filter you may have to clean it once a week or more...
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,892
Central California
By "onground" did you mean "in-ground" or "above ground?"

Coming at this from another way, you're going to have to address the surrounding dirt before next year. Mulch is relatively cheap. Cover the entire dirt area with 2" or 3" of mulch. It'll look nice, hold the dirt down, and maybe you'll find a use for it in the landscaping next year when you have to move it for your patio/lawn, so it won't be money wasted. Once you stop the dirt from blowing into the pool, the clean up should go much faster.

Do heed Marty's warning about the algae. Keep your FC up, even a little higher than recommended, just so it doesn't drop. The blown-in debris could bring in nasties that could accelerate the development of algae. That plus the debris will turn the cleanup into a real nightmare.

Oh, and welcome to TFP! When you get a chance, please fill in your signature and that'll help us to better help you:

 
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riny

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Poughkeepsie, NY
Thanks all for the advice. @Dirk the Fox Ultimate is an onground, also known as a hybrid or semi-inground pool. It's got a thick steel wall and can be installed as an inground, but is normally used in hilly backyards (like ours) where the pool acts as its own retaining wall. Our pool is basically cut into the side of the hill so it looks like an inground on the uphill side (where the rim of the pool is flush with the ground) and exposed like an aboveground on the downhill side. I'll try and get some pictures tomorrow, and I'll gladly update my signature but it's neither AG nor IG so I'm not sure what to put. :)

It's got a vinyl liner and I think behaves like an inground for most purposes, the main difference being that unlike most ingrounds, it's a constant 48" water depth.

Regarding the DE, I was also under the impression from reading the forums that you don't use DE with a cartridge filter. However, I read the manual that came with the CC75 (go figure!) and I found this little pearl of wisdom on page 3:

NOTE

When the cartridge element filter is used on new pools and after cleaning the elements, introduce into the system .5 pounds
of diatomaceous earth per every 100 square feet of filter area, (a one-pound coffee can equals .5 pounds of diatomaceous
earth). Mix the diatomite with water and pour it into the skimmer after the pump is primed and the system is operating. This
will enhance the filtration of your water.
So... there's that!
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,892
Central California
Thanks all for the advice. @Dirk the Fox Ultimate is an onground, also known as a hybrid or semi-inground pool.
Gotcha. I saw "semi-inground" on their website, but not "onground" so I was checking to see if that was a typo. I hadn't seen that before. I'd put "Semi-IG" in the sig, I think more of us will recognize that (or just me?). Add "vinyl liner" and "48-inch depth" and that will cinch it...
 

riny

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Poughkeepsie, NY
Done, thanks. I'll try the DE like it says in the book and run the pump around the clock for a few days, and then I'll check out the SeaKlear if still needed. I'll also look into some temporary ground cover for the area around the pool. I was thinking of the blowing dust as an inconvenience but you're right that it could also bring contamination into the water. Thanks for your help!
 

Rocket J Squirrel

Silver Supporter
Bronze Supporter
Jun 7, 2018
928
Alamo, CA
Regarding the DE, I was also under the impression from reading the forums that you don't use DE with a cartridge filter. However, I read the manual that came with the CC75 (go figure!) and I found this little pearl of wisdom on page 3:
Pentair cartridge filter manuals dropped that recommendation a few years ago. If you look at newer versions of the manuals, it's no longer there.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
6,892
Central California
You should not add DE to a cartridge filter.
If you're feeling saucy... go 14'x30'x48". With the 48" in parens after Semi-IG, it looks like your pool is buried 48" into the ground. Just being picky. It's fine either way.

Regarding the DE... tough call. Personally, I would trust Marty over even an owner's manual. And RJS just weighed in, too, just as I was typing that sentence! As a general rule I follow, the less I add to my pool the better! That goes for the clarifier, too. Remember, Marty wrote:
if all other means to clear the fines has been tried.
Cover the dirt, ramp up the pump, brush. I'd try those first...
 
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riny

Active member
Aug 20, 2020
27
Poughkeepsie, NY
Quick update for posterity: we put down a bunch of blue tarps to cover the dirt around the pool, weighed down with rocks to stop the loose dirt from blowing around. It's not much to look at but we already had the tarps so it was a quick & easy fix while working out a more permanent plan.

We swam a TON this weekend and I think this got the dirt moving in the water, then kept the pump running overnight. I also set the jets to make a sort of rotating current, so the water circulates around and towards the skimmer. It's already looking much better. The water isn't perfectly clear but I can see the bottom now and I didn't add anything. No DE, clarifier, nothing. We're going to keep swimming and vacuuming every day as long as the weather holds, and keep the pump running, and I think we're on the right track.

Many thanks all for the advice!
 
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