Public Pool Test

arisal2k

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Apr 1, 2021
50
Seattle, WA
Pool Size
25000
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Hi All

My kids do swim team at a public indoor pool. Been hearing horror stories of kids picking up chlorine pucks, cloudy water, bandaids, etc. Decided to test the water with the TF-100 kit:

FC 3 ppm
CC 1.5 ppm
CYA 100
CH 725
TA 90

What is the collective wisdom? Safe to swim?

My understanding of the TFP philosophy applied here:
1. Shut the pool down.
2. Drain the pool. At least 75% water should be replaced. Get CYA to 25.
3. Stop using pucks and powder shock. They are likely causing stratospheric CH and CYA levels
4. Liquid chlorine, SLAM the pool. Don't re-open until SLAM is complete.
 
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mknauss

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May 3, 2014
44,307
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
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Fiberglass
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Indoor pool with high CC needs its water exchanged. CH is not a health issue. Low FC to CYA levels is.
 
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mknauss

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May 3, 2014
44,307
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Thanks for confirming. What's the appropriate level of concern or urgency here in your opinion?
Was the CYA exactly 100 or over 100? At that level of FC, you are on the precipice of person to person viral / bacteria transmission. I am surprised that the local health codes allow that much or in fact, any, CYA to be used. The CC will just be presented as itchy red eyes, stinky water, etc.
 
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arisal2k

Gold Supporter
Apr 1, 2021
50
Seattle, WA
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Was the CYA exactly 100 or over 100? At that level of FC, you are on the precipice of person to person viral / bacteria transmission. I am surprised that the local health codes allow that much or in fact, any, CYA to be used. The CC will just be presented as itchy red eyes, stinky water, etc.
It was just about 100. The cya test is a little bit subjective.
 

mknauss

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May 3, 2014
44,307
Laughlin, NV
Pool Size
6000
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Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
It was just about 100. The cya test is a little bit subjective.
True. Use a 1:1 solution of pool water and tap water when the CYA is high. Then double the results.
 

Leebo

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Jul 21, 2011
11,017
Eastern Ohio
Pool Size
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Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine

arisal2k

Gold Supporter
Apr 1, 2021
50
Seattle, WA
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl

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arisal2k

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Apr 1, 2021
50
Seattle, WA
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Thanks for posting the Washington state standards. I've attached the relevant chemical levels with apparent violations highlighted in red. Time to escalate?
 
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Mdragger88

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Jun 1, 2018
3,131
Hernando, Ms
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Intex Krystal Clear
I am surprised that they even have cya being as its an indoor pool. Many don’t.
Also surprised they don’t have a liquid chlorine dispensing system. Maybe it broke & they switched to pucks 🤷‍♀️
Sounds like ear infection central - among other things….
 

Leebo

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It’s clear the venue doesn’t care about the quality of the water just by looking at your results, forget the rumors…..just looking at facts I’d be worried. If it were I a strong hint to those who run the place should be given and there’s zero percent chance I’d let my children in that water. If the individual who maintains the water isn’t willing to listen I’d save my breath and just walk away taking my kids with me.
 
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Leebo

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I also lied the more I thought about it…….
Instead of a discussion with the individual who maintains the water I’d have a discussion with the coach. It’s highly likely that you’ll have a better/closer relationship with the child’s coach than you will the maintenance guy, and the coach will likely have a better relationship with the maintenance guy. Explain to the coach your concerns and show them the violations, I suspect they’ll be upset too. If however they don’t wish to address things, then I’d put my child’s safety first and take a walk.
 
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arisal2k

Gold Supporter
Apr 1, 2021
50
Seattle, WA
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
I also lied the more I thought about it…….
Instead of a discussion with the individual who maintains the water I’d have a discussion with the coach. It’s highly likely that you’ll have a better/closer relationship with the child’s coach than you will the maintenance guy, and the coach will likely have a better relationship with the maintenance guy. Explain to the coach your concerns and show them the violations, I suspect they’ll be upset too. If however they don’t wish to address things, then I’d put my child’s safety first and take a walk.
Update:

Numerous emails have been exchanged. Lots of excuses from the owner, who seemed to be offended that someone tested his pool water. Says they are gonna exchange the water on schedule in December. However, I fail to see how the CYA situation magically goes away between now and then. Coaches are appalled. Owner kinda blowing it off like no big deal, not addressing the problem, passing it off on the pool maintenance guy.

Will be contacting the health inspector ASAP. That was great advice and in hindsight should have done that straightaway.
 

TampaKathy

Gold Supporter
Oct 2, 2020
463
Tampa, FL
I think you did the right thing. You gave him a chance to fix it, he declined, now he'll have no choice. What made you test the pool water? Did you think something was wrong or were you just curious? I wish I had thought to do that on the 2 public pools I was swimming at...one I bet was fine, the other...questionable.
 

Leebo

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The huge majority of states require public pools to keep records of all testing for a certain number of years. They require testing to be done daily on certain parameters and the venues are required to record all results. These records are required to be shown to the health inspector if they request.

Drain/refills are nothing to public pools. Many use drains as a way to reset their chemistry to cover up their poor habits, just like this venue seems to be doing. Contacting the health department will likely result in some short term fixes, I doubt much will be done long term.

Since you’ve been able to get the coaches attention and I’d assume the coaches have a healthy relationship with the venue, I’d next suggest the coaches ask for a copy of the venues test results. They may not comply, but they may. If they do you’ll be able to see the long term trend and encourage the coach to take certain actions. If the quality of water mirrors the results you’re seeing now, encourage the coach to look for another venue. It sounds like they’d maybe listen to you. 👍
 

reggiehammond

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Oct 4, 2020
373
Fort Worth, Texas
Pool Size
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Update:

Numerous emails have been exchanged. Lots of excuses from the owner, who seemed to be offended that someone tested his pool water. Says they are gonna exchange the water on schedule in December. However, I fail to see how the CYA situation magically goes away between now and then. Coaches are appalled. Owner kinda blowing it off like no big deal, not addressing the problem, passing it off on the pool maintenance guy.

Will be contacting the health inspector ASAP. That was great advice and in hindsight should have done that straightaway.
Not surprising - no one wants to admit they're asleep at the wheel. Especially in regards to potential health issues...
Good luck with your county/city health department, they should take it seriously and get the owners' attention.
 

arisal2k

Gold Supporter
Apr 1, 2021
50
Seattle, WA
Pool Size
25000
Surface
Vinyl
Not surprising - no one wants to admit they're asleep at the wheel. Especially in regards to potential health issues...
Good luck with your county/city health department, they should take it seriously and get the owners' attention.
Thanks. No tolerance for an owner getting defensive about pool chemistry facts and making up excuses to justify why they are putting the unaware community at risk. The assertions of "not a big deal" and "not a safety issue" will now be in the hands of the health inspector to determine.

In the meanwhile, the swim team coaches have canceled practices for the week while they try to convince the owner to exchange the water. Otherwise, unless the owner shuts the pool down for maintenance it's still open for other community use.

I have since come to understand that
  • the main drain cover is broken and not securable (requires complete drain to fix)
  • the automatic chlorinator for the hot tub / spa has been broken for months. Someone comes every evening to shock it and they let levels fall during the day.
  • the ventilation system is broken, they literally have kickboards plugging up overhead ductwork
  • there is an external door that doesnt auto close and is not lockable
Maybe I should have named this thread Swimming Pool Nightmares and asked for help from Gordon Ramsay :sick::eek:

74972287.jpg
 

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