Opening pool that looks like a swamp

Moniyque

Active member
Mar 14, 2017
35
Charleston, sc
I have an above ground rectangular 12,000 gal pool. The last couple of months of last summer I battled green algae. Before closing I added the max dose of algecide but I can’t remember if I added the extra chlorine. We live in SC and we had a warm winter. Now my pool is dark green, can’t see the bottom, it has inch thick algae all around on the walls where the water meets the walls, and floating leaves and scum/algae all over. Do I drain and refill? (We are on well water so not a big expense, prob cheaper than a ton of chemicals). My concern is that the algae will still be left in whatever water is left on the bottom and on the walls. Should I scrub it before draining? Run the filter for a while to get all the heavy debris and algae out first?
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
480
Columbus, Ohio
I wouldn't put 12,000 gallons through my well pump but that's just me. If you are comfortable doing that go for it. I'd use an inexpensive trash pump and pump the pool down to about 12 inches of water. After that it's knee high muck boots, a five gallon bucket of bleach water and a lot of scrubbing with a pool brush. Add some fresh water to rinse everything down. Empty the pool with your trash pump, rinse and repeat. I'd keep all that Crud out of my pool filter that way. Some of your above ground filters are marginal for the size of the pool. No point in putting all that through it if you are going to dump and refill.
 

Moniyque

Active member
Mar 14, 2017
35
Charleston, sc
Thank you. Just curious, why wouldn’t you put it thru the well pump? Fear of wearing out the pump running that long? And why would you use a trash pump vs the pool pump on waste setting?
 

duraleigh

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Apr 1, 2007
32,747
Sebring, Florida
What is the gpm capacity of your well? Many wells in the South are not capable of the kind of flow you need. If you have 15-20 gpm, you can do it but if you do not, you can exhaust the well and potentially get some contamination.
 

DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
480
Columbus, Ohio
I was assuming that your pool pump would not empty the pool. If it's a real swamp I'd want to get into the pool and really scrub it down, rinse and repeat. If you can drain to waste then go for it. The goal is to get everything out so you start with clean water and a clean liner. No point in doing that kind of work to have algae in the new water.

As noted above that's a lot of water to draw from a well. If it works, it works. I can't argue with success. I have a shallow well and I wouldn't want to work the pump that hard and/or draw that much water from the well. Your mileage may vary. :)
 

Moniyque

Active member
Mar 14, 2017
35
Charleston, sc
Thank you, DorsalSpine. I appreciate your input. Do you think it would be feasible to just treat it? Sounds A LOT easier. I’m having a hard time imagining being able to get every last bit of algae out. The pump will get the water out to about half a foot or so, then I’d have to use a garbage pump like you suggested. Testing it sounds much easier if it’s possible.
 

aeh0603

Well-known member
Apr 6, 2016
237
San Diego, CA
You can absolutely SLAM instead of drain if that is what you prefer, but you will use a lot more chlorine this way. I think everyone is recommending you drain because your OP is basically asking if you can drain and telling us it's inexpensive to refill.

If it's cheap and easy to drain most of the water, I recommend doing that then refill and SLAM to kill the remaining algae. Even if you use your pump to drain leaving a foot of the current water in the bottom then refill you will have significantly reduced the organics in the water that need to be oxidized by chlorine. You will then use less chlorine to get your water the rest of the way cleaned up.
 
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DorsalSpine

Silver Supporter
Jul 8, 2013
480
Columbus, Ohio
You can absolutely SLAM instead of drain if that is what you prefer, but you will use a lot more chlorine this way. I think everyone is recommending you drain because your OP is basically asking if you can drain and telling us it's inexpensive to refill.

If it's cheap and easy to drain most of the water, I recommend doing that then refill and SLAM to kill the remaining algae. Even if you use your pump to drain leaving a foot of the current water in the bottom then refill you will have significantly reduced the organics in the water that need to be oxidized by chlorine. You will then use less chlorine to get your water the rest of the way cleaned up.
What he said.
 
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Moniyque

Active member
Mar 14, 2017
35
Charleston, sc
You can absolutely SLAM instead of drain if that is what you prefer, but you will use a lot more chlorine this way. I think everyone is recommending you drain because your OP is basically asking if you can drain and telling us it's inexpensive to refill.

If it's cheap and easy to drain most of the water, I recommend doing that then refill and SLAM to kill the remaining algae. Even if you use your pump to drain leaving a foot of the current water in the bottom then refill you will have significantly reduced the organics in the water that need to be oxidized by chlorine. You will then use less chlorine to get your water the rest of the way cleaned up.

Thank you for the advice and clarification