Featured Milky water - can’t clear up

Dregers

Member
Feb 18, 2021
11
Edmonton
Pool Size
51000
Surface
Vinyl
We have an in-ground pool of about 50,000L in Alberta Canada. This past winter the cover we used failed in several places and the water underneath was horribly dirty.
We added excess liquid chlorine like we do every spring, let it sit a week and found chlorine was basically gone.

We tried again, and followed the instructions from our local pool shop but after 3+ weeks of several super chlorinations, non-chlorine shock, pool perfect etc the water is a milky white and isn’t getting better.

the stuff they told us to add to the pool also reduced the Ph lower than we were comfortable with (while alkinity was high.) and so we decided to drain back to winter levels and fill it up with clean water.
instead of following the pool store’s instructions, and add a bunch of junk into the water again, we bought this app and I’ve been doing some reading on TFP forums.

I’m hoping you might have advice for us to get our pool water cleared up so we can start using it.

it isn’t green algae, but still milky. (Photos are from before the draining was done)

Thank you for your help!

below are my logs. Note that we bought the app part-way through this process so not everything is logged, but I’ve tried to make it as accurate as possible.

==========================================
Cabin Pool
------------------------------------------
Build Type: Vinyl
Volume: 51000 liters
------------------------------------------
Latest Test Result Summary:
FC: 0.1 (12 minutes ago)
CC: 0.4 (12 minutes ago)
pH: 7.2 (12 minutes ago)
TA: 108 (12 minutes ago)
CH: 155 (12 minutes ago)
CYA: 30 (12 minutes ago)
==========================================
------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-06-01 @ 11:55 AM
------------------------------------------
Phosphates = 5 ppb
Copper = 0.4 ppm
Iron = 0 ppm

------------------------------------------
Test Results 2021-06-01 @ 11:54 AM
------------------------------------------
Free Chlorine: 0.1
Combined Chlorine: 0.4
pH: 7.2
Total Alkalinity: 108
Calcium Hardness: 155
CYA: 30

------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-06-01 @ 09:00 AM
------------------------------------------
Emptied the pool to winter levels and refilled with 3,500 (full truck load) of fresh water

------------------------------------------
Test Results 2021-05-30 @ 10:37 AM
------------------------------------------
Free Chlorine: 1.0
Combined Chlorine: 1.0
pH: 6.4
Total Alkalinity: 150
Calcium Hardness: 300

------------------------------------------
Maintenance 2021-05-30 @ 09:30 AM
------------------------------------------


------------------------------------------
Maintenance 2021-05-29 @ 11:20 PM
------------------------------------------


------------------------------------------
Maintenance 2021-05-29 @ 09:30 PM
------------------------------------------
Cleaned Filter
Pressure: 12.5

------------------------------------------
Maintenance 2021-05-29 @ 09:07 PM
------------------------------------------
Vacuumed
Pressure: 14.5

------------------------------------------
Test Results 2021-05-29 @ 06:40 PM
------------------------------------------
Free Chlorine: 5.0
pH: 6.5

------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-05-29 @ 12:04 PM
------------------------------------------
Phos free to skimmer
Pool perfect to pool

------------------------------------------
Maintenance 2021-05-29 @ 12:05 PM
------------------------------------------
Cleaned Filter, Backwashed
Pressure: 11.5

------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-05-29 @ 11:51 AM
------------------------------------------
Opened air to aerate pool

------------------------------------------
Maintenance 2021-05-29 @ 11:04 AM
------------------------------------------

Pressure: 9

------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-05-28 @ 05:03 PM
------------------------------------------
Pool perfect total to pool

------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-05-28 @ 12:05 PM
------------------------------------------
Added 2.5 KG of brite plus (non-chlorinated shock)

------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-05-28 @ 11:58 AM
------------------------------------------
Copper = 0.3 ppm
Iron = 0 ppm
Phosphates = 172 ppb

------------------------------------------
Test Results 2021-05-28 @ 04:06 PM
------------------------------------------
Free Chlorine: 6.9
Combined Chlorine: 3.6
pH: 7.0
Total Alkalinity: 120
Calcium Hardness: 153
CYA: 41

------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-05-26 @ 12:05 PM
------------------------------------------
Added brite plus (non-chlorinated shock)

------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-05-26 @ 12:03 PM
------------------------------------------
Pool perfect total

------------------------------------------
Notes 2021-05-26 @ 11:57 AM
------------------------------------------
Copper = 0.3 ppm
Iron = 0 ppm
Phosphates = 257 ppm

------------------------------------------
Test Results 2021-05-26 @ 10:00 AM
------------------------------------------
Free Chlorine: 13.9
Combined Chlorine: 4.6
pH: 7.1
Total Alkalinity: 125
Calcium Hardness: 154
CYA: 43

------------------------------------------
Chemical Addition 2021-05-25 @ 07:00 PM
------------------------------------------
+ 20 Liters of Bleach
 

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Dregers

Member
Feb 18, 2021
11
Edmonton
Pool Size
51000
Surface
Vinyl
Most of these tests are from the store (Those which include phosphates, copper iron are). But some are my tests.

We have paper test strips, and a 5-way liquid test kit. I can't remember the brand.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Okay, then your first order of business would have to be obtaining one of those test kits I noted above. Test strips are horrible and store testing is a yo-yo with bad advice. If you don't have a way to get the TF-100 south of the border, you'll want the Taylor K-2006C. You can't afford not to have one of those kits or you'll end-up spending twice as much money or chemicals from bad advice and testing. As soon as you get one of those kits, post a full set of results and we can really get specific. For now, all you can do it add about 1 gallon of liquid chlorine to the pool each day to help increase that FC level. But testing will be very important.
 

Dregers

Member
Feb 18, 2021
11
Edmonton
Pool Size
51000
Surface
Vinyl
Unfortunately I don't think either of those kits are available in Canada. (Both are on amazon.ca, but are currently unavailable).

Are you sure that those kits are better than what the store can do? Their test system seems to be pretty fancy. I can upload one of the reports if you like. the name at the top says WaterLink DataMate 10 if that helps.

Will liquid chlorine help get rid of the white/milkyness in the water?

I was hoping that the colour would give a good indication of what's going on.

 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Store testing is not only very unpredictable, but not practical during a SLAM Process when you need to test the chlorine level frequently. Looking again I see the store shows an elevated copper reading, most probably from their own products. Copper doesn't leave the water unless you exchange some. Liquid chlorine is one of the most effective and reliable forms of sanitation for residential pools.
 

Dregers

Member
Feb 18, 2021
11
Edmonton
Pool Size
51000
Surface
Vinyl
What's strange about the high copper reading is that it only showed high on the last reading ie. after we exchanged 1/3 of the water. But I agree, likely came from their products. Unless a low PH could leech copper from the pipes?

I understand about the liquid chlorine and we will continue using that going forward for sanitization.

I'm just concerned that we've added a lot of liquid chlorine without much visible change in the water clarity. I'm wondering if there's something else going on here.
 

Donldson

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
4,828
NW Ohio
What's strange about the high copper reading is that it only showed high on the last reading ie. after we exchanged 1/3 of the water.
Like Pat said, store testing is unpredictable. They put in cool looking testing systems to convince people to continue bringing their samples in so they can make sales, but as you can see the accuracy of these shiny gizmos isn't even worth what you pay for the test.
 

Weasel2017

Bronze Supporter
May 18, 2021
26
Canada
Pool Size
10700
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Jandy Aquapure 1400

Check out this thread for a CDN option on the k2006c some have had luck with
 

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Dregers

Member
Feb 18, 2021
11
Edmonton
Pool Size
51000
Surface
Vinyl
Thanks for the replies.
I'll look at getting a better test kit. I know the paper dip sticks are not very reliable. My liquid test kit I have seems to be generally similar to what the store results are. But I'm not confident in either and will look more into the options recommended by TFP.

In the meantime, it sounds like the general recommendation is still to raise Chlorine to SLAM levels and keep them there. The pool place was telling us to raise Chlorine for a day or two and then bring it back down which I think was a complete waste. (Based on what I've now ready regarding the SLAM procedure).

Maintaining chlorine is hard for us because it seems to be dropping so quickly and the pool is at the cabin, so no one is there to check levels several times a day. the best we can do is every other day or so.

Is there any harm in overshooting the Chlorine levels during a SLAM? (According to the table on TFP I should be lifting chlorine to 12 ppm, if I were to bump it to say 15, or 20 so that it doesn't dip below 12 in between visits,) what would be the side effects of too high of a chlorine level other than wasted money on wasted chlorine?

At what levels will the chlorine eat my liner/cover etc.

Should I be worried about leaving the cover on during a SLAM (Will the high chlorine, or the off-gassing cause damage?)
 

Dregers

Member
Feb 18, 2021
11
Edmonton
Pool Size
51000
Surface
Vinyl
Regarding the pool cover: I have read this post and it suggests to remove the cover during the whole SLAM process.
But I should add that legally where we live the cover is supposed to be on whenever we aren't directly supervising the pool for liability reasons. (our yard has a shared walk-way through it).
 

CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
637
Massachusetts
UV breaks down combined chloramines (CCs) very quickly. That's a major reason for having the cover off. If you legally need to be covered, then you gotta do what you gotta do. Uncover it when you can, cover when required.

Your elevated CC readings may be from the non-chlorine shock you've added. It's a false reading. Nothing to be done about that but wait for the chlorine to destroy the shock. (That's right, you're spending money on chlorine to get rid of the pool store chemicals you spent money on. It's called being pool stored, and that's their business model.)

Raising FC significantly above SLAM will damage your equipment, especially your liner. If you can spend a day or two at the cabin, checking and redosing the pool every hour or two, that will go a long way towards jump-starting the process. At the beginning, FC drops quickly and needs to be replenished often. At the end, FC drops very slowly and it's mostly up to your filter.

Speaking of your filter, what is your clean pressure? The filter needs to be cleaned every time pressure rises 25% above clean pressure.
 

Texas Splash

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
The SLAM Process does require fairly consistent attention, and you can't over-shoot the FC level because you might not be there for a day or two. Not only is it not good for the liner, but the higher % of FC (compared to the CYA) will be removed quicker by the sun. Without being there in person, or at least every few hours, to monitor the FC level and increase as required with proper testing, you simply cannot do the SLAM Process.
 

Dregers

Member
Feb 18, 2021
11
Edmonton
Pool Size
51000
Surface
Vinyl
UV breaks down combined chloramines (CCs) very quickly. That's a major reason for having the cover off. If you legally need to be covered, then you gotta do what you gotta do. Uncover it when you can, cover when required.

Your elevated CC readings may be from the non-chlorine shock you've added. It's a false reading. Nothing to be done about that but wait for the chlorine to destroy the shock. (That's right, you're spending money on chlorine to get rid of the pool store chemicals you spent money on. It's called being pool stored, and that's their business model.)

Raising FC significantly above SLAM will damage your equipment, especially your liner. If you can spend a day or two at the cabin, checking and redosing the pool every hour or two, that will go a long way towards jump-starting the process. At the beginning, FC drops quickly and needs to be replenished often. At the end, FC drops very slowly and it's mostly up to your filter.

Speaking of your filter, what is your clean pressure? The filter needs to be cleaned every time pressure rises 25% above clean pressure.
Thank you @CrystalRiver for your great reply.
I was under the impression that the UV from the sun would break down FC and so my thought was that covering it could be beneficial in order to keep the FC levels more consistent, but I understand from your post that the sun is needed to break down the CC.

we’ve been cleaning the filter much more frequently than we ever have.
We have two filters and pressure wash them and swap them out as often as we can ( every day or two while out there)
The biggest pressure difference was after I vacuumed it was 14.5 psi, I cleaned it and it dropped back down to 12.5. So that close to, but within 25%.
But that’s for that, I’ll use that as by max pressure increase going forward.
 

CrystalRiver

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2020
637
Massachusetts
UV does consume FC some. That's why stabilizer (CYA, AKA chlorine sunblock) is so critical to have in the pool. This one one of those things, where the benefits of burning off CCs outweighs the negative of losing some FC to the sun.
 
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Dregers

Member
Feb 18, 2021
11
Edmonton
Pool Size
51000
Surface
Vinyl
Gotcha.

We'll try to keep the chlorine levels up and the cover off when we are there. Hopefully this weekend we can monitor it more closely for a few days and get started on a SLAM.

Thanks everyone for your assistance.

I wasn't quite sure if I could SLAM the white milkyness out, or if SLAM was just for green algae, but it sounds like that's my best solution for either problem.

@Texas Splash, A question about the test kits: what's the difference between the k-2006 and the k-2006c? The 'c' is not available on amazon, but the non 'c' version is. (in canada). Is this linked one good?

 

Dregers

Member
Feb 18, 2021
11
Edmonton
Pool Size
51000
Surface
Vinyl
Gotcha.

We'll try to keep the chlorine levels up and the cover off when we are there. Hopefully this weekend we can monitor it more closely for a few days and get started on a SLAM.

Thanks everyone for your assistance.

I wasn't quite sure if I could SLAM the white milkyness out, or if SLAM was just for green algae, but it sounds like that's my best solution for either problem.

@Texas Splash, A question about the test kits: what's the difference between the k-2006 and the k-2006c? The 'c' is not available on amazon, but the non 'c' version is. (in canada). Is this linked one good?

Nevermind. I found the answer:
"it’s important to look for the K-2006”C” which means “commercial size” reagent bottles. You want those larger bottles."
 
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mknauss

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Bronze Supporter
May 3, 2014
39,006
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
Surface
Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
In the above article are several methods to get a proper test kit shipped to Canada from the US. Many Canadian members this year have used a couple different parcel forwarding companies with great success.
 

anthonypool89

Gold Supporter
Aug 26, 2016
725
Berks County, PA
Are you sure that those kits are better than what the store can do? Their test system seems to be pretty fancy.
I was always very impressed by the computerized printouts, etc. but then once I started doing my own testing I looked back at all my old store printouts (saved them for years...not sure why) and saw that I was many times told to add stuff that really wasn't needed. I just took for granted that I was always being given the best advice. At this point they don't even want to deal with me due to some disagreements we've had in recent years. Problem is, they are so large and almost have a monopoly on the industry for my area.
 
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