Need Advice - Copper in Fill Water, Need to Fully Fill Pool

jobondur

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2009
182
Virginia Beach, VA
I'm getting a new liner installed Saturday and will need to fully fill the pool. Problem is with my last liner I noticed staining due to metals. I had my well water (water used to fill pool in the past) tested and it came back 0.6ppm copper which I understand to be high. I have city water as well but don't really want to use it if I don't have to because it will cost a lot more. Is the copper in my well water truly too high? Any recommendations on how to get rid of the copper if that is too high?
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,712
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
You can’t get rid of copper and if you fill with that water you could very likely get stains as soon as you add chlorine. Copper can be sequestered but all that does is hold the copper in solution and then you have to constantly replenish the sequestrant (which can get expensive).

I suggest you bite the bullet and fill with the city water (it can’t be nearly as expensive as my water!). The copper-laden water is just bad news.

(And I hope you’re not drinking that water or using it to cook with...your well is above the EPA limit for copper where municipal suppliers would be fined if they did not enact a remediation and control plan).
 

jobondur

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2009
182
Virginia Beach, VA
Per EPA's website, the limit is 1.3 ppm for drinking water. Just trying to understand what level of copper is ok to put in the pool. Obviously none is what I want but does anybody know at what level I'll start having issues?
 

domct203

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Jun 3, 2015
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CT
I also advise against using the well to fill the pool. As mentioned, at 0.6ppm you will develop staining and will need to always use a sequestering agent to try to prevent staining. You will also run the risk of turning blond/light colored hair green.

While it might seem costly up front, you’ll save in the long run if you fill with metal free water.
 

domct203

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Jun 3, 2015
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Got it. You think there's any need to test my city water?

That depends on the source of the city water.

You could most likely find a water quality report online at your local municipality.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,712
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Apologies. I read that as 1.6ppm for some reason (probably shouldn’t post on TFP while driving :mrgreen: ). Even at 0.6ppm you are in danger of staining. There’s no easy way to predict it because it depends on the oxidation potential of your water (from the chlorine concentration) and pH. Thecstaining can occur very slowly at first and be barely noticeable but then you’ll start seeing black/brown stains that will be impossible to remove except with an expensive chemical regimen.

Exactly how much does your municipal water cost? Your pool is about double the volume of mine and even here in the desert my pool wouldn’t cost more than $200 to fill.
 

jobondur

Well-known member
Dec 13, 2009
182
Virginia Beach, VA
Nice tip on the water quality report. It says 90% of samples tested < 0.08 ppm. Guess I'll be using city water from here on out.

- - - Updated - - -

Just ran the numbers, looks like it will cost around $120 for the water and another $200 for the sanitary charges, $320 total. Unfortunately they don't allow exceptions for filling the pool.
 

JoyfulNoise

TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
May 23, 2015
17,712
Tucson, AZ
Pool Size
16000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Nice tip on the water quality report. It says 90% of samples tested < 0.08 ppm. Guess I'll be using city water from here on out.

- - - Updated - - -

Just ran the numbers, looks like it will cost around $120 for the water and another $200 for the sanitary charges, $320 total. Unfortunately they don't allow exceptions for filling the pool.

That’s cheaper than my water by half. Think of it this way - good quality sequestrant can run nearly $15-$20 per quart and a pool your size would likely need a startup dose of 2-3 quarts and then a weekly maintenance dose of around 1/2 to 1 quart. So, in very short order, you could be spending hundreds of dollars on sequestering agents and, should you get staining, the chemicals needed to remove copper can easily cost another $100 or so and your test results would get skewed by them (causes false positive CC levels).

The muni water will cost you a pretty penny up front but it will be less costly over the life of the pool water.
 
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