The jade green swamp - need help

AnnaK

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#1
Hello all!

We're back from our 35 day road trip across North America, which was fantastic! Memories to last a life time and impressions of places and people which are, if not life changing, certainly soul broadening.

We returned to a deep jade coloured pool. I can NOT see the bottom. I had raised the FC to 15, added some Poly-60, and put the solar cover on. The pump was off and temps probably were in the low to mid 80s. The pol is an AG 12,000 gal.

Please jog my mind on where to go from here.

So far, I've added 5 large bottles of Clorox and brushed the bottom as best I can. It's challenging since I can't see farther down than maybe 18". The pump is set to high and will run for the duration. I have socks in the skimmer basket and am changing them every 3 hours or so.

I dipped some water out for testing. The water in the pitcher is clear but I'm not able to get any readings with my Taylor drop kit. Even at a 1:3 dilution the FC is off the scale (a very deep fuchsia). pH comes out at above 8.2 (undiluted water). The TA titration isn't working at all. It changes from green to yellow without a stop at grey or red.

Overnight the green has changed from dark jade to something lighter green so the bleach has begun to work. There's a perceptible chlorine smell now.

What all should I do and in which sequence?

Thank you very much for helping me rescue my pool.

Anna
 

AnnaK

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#2
It's 18 hours later.

I have, so far, added 9 gal of Clorox. I've run the filter and I've scrubbed the bottom the best I can, given that I can't SEE the bottom.

A 1:5 dilution produced a FC reading of 3 but would not yield a TC value. The test solution turned yellow which is not a colour I can assign a value to. Hence, I've concluded that the CC value is 'too high'. The colour of the water has changed from the deep green of last evening to a murky turquoise. I can now see the bottom step but not yet the bottom of the pool.

There's no point in vacuuming since I can't see that far down. I believe this is a matter of runing the filter to get rid of the dead bodies. Certainly there's far less green debris collecting in the socks. I've added a cup of HCl in order to begin reducing the very high pH, which can't be good for the liner. I'll add more HCL in a few hours, and more bleach, as well.

In the interim, I'm swishing the brush around as best I can to dislodge algae bodies and bring them into solution so they can be filtered out.

I'm disappointed in the lack of responses and support I've received here, despite the several readings of my initial request for assistance. Schiller was right. "Each man for himself," he said. Or woman, as the case may be.

Anna
 

waste

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Mar 29, 2007
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#3
Hi Anna, sorry you come back from vacation to this mess :( As you realize, this is going to take gallons of bleach. However, I have confidence that you know what and how to correct the problem :-D High pH is not the problem that you'd have if the pH was under 7.0, but the chlorine works more effectively at a lower pH. Keep the cover off the pool with high cl levels, this will also let the cc's get burnt off by the sun.

Just want you to know that we do care and are here for you :wave:
 

SeanB

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#4
Anna, glad you had a good trip and welcome back!

It sounds like you are already on the right track. This thread may help:
http://www.troublefreepool.com/viewtopic.php?t=2271

As far as response time, please be patient and remember that it may take a little longer on the weekend especially now that site traffic is down during the off-season. The people who viewed your thread, may just be people looking for help themselves and not everyone is comfortable dispensing advice. With a little patience, you'll usually get some quality responses. :wink:
 

JasonLion

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#5
Keep in mind that the PH test is going to be off if FC is above 10 and completely meaningless when your FC is above 20. Your PH is probably alright. Wait till you have a lower FC level before worrying about the PH.

The TA test colors are different at high FC levels, blue/yellow instead of green/red. Watch for the color change without worrying to much about what the actual color is.

Do you know your CYA level from before? The correct shock level depends on the CYA level, but you can't test CYA when the water is cloudy or murky.

The chlorine test will be very very impercise at high dilutions. Are you dilutting with distilled water, or some other water known not to contain any chlorine? Chlorine in the dilution water will throw the results off. Generally dilutions beyond four to one are only slightly better than guessing and 3-1 and 4-1 are only so so. If your FC test reads up to 5, and your shock level is 15, all you need is a two to one dillution and keep the FC at the top of the scale or above. It would be a huge help if you got a FAS-DPD chlorine test, which can reliably measure high FC levels.

Seeing significant levels of CC when fighting algae is normal, don't worry about it till later.

Basic algae fighting: Add chlorine to shock level as frequently as possible, brush the pool once a day, keep the pump/filter running 24/7, clean/backwash the filter when needed and at least every other day. You are done shocking when the FC level holds overnight (difficult to know without a FAS-DPD test kit) and CC is 0.5 or lower. It can take the filter up to a week to clear up the water from that point, depending on the size of your pump/filter relative to the size of the pool.
 

AnnaK

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#6
THANK YOU!

Big sigh of relief. You're out there after all :)

Yes, I'm diluting with distilled water and a pipette. My CYA was at 50 when I left. I'm planning on getting the FAS-DPD kit for next season. As it is, I'll be closing within the next 2 weeks anyway and I'm pretty confident I'll have the water back to sparkling by then. I promised the dogs they'd be swimming in it by Tuesday.

At this time - 24 hours into the cleanup, the water is turquoise and still murky. The skimmer sock is barely green. Progress is definitely being made. I didn't know that the pH is meaningless at shock levels, nor about the different titration colours for the TA. Great info, thanks!!!! Pump pressure is holding steady so it's not (yet) clogged with debris. I had planned a backwash for tomorrow as well as an addition of clean water to top it off.

Meantime, I'll keep doing what I'm doing and thanks again for stepping up. I was feeling a little lost there for a while.

Anna
 

Butterfly

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May 31, 2007
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#7
Hi Anna and Welcome Home!

I read your first post and did not think that you needed help, having read your posts before you left! If I hadn't been so stressed myself, I would have given a 'welcome home' salute! I just thought that you needed a good long nap before you started your clean up! You already know all this stuff!...but sometimes we all forget about the stress factors that make us crazy about our pools sometimes.


Anyhow, after a THIRTY FIVE day trip (jealousy) that I would like to hear about (probably at the coffee bar) just figured you needed some 'rest'! So go figure! Anyhoo, during your absence, I did give your website to TWO members looking for info on solar covers and I told them that you welcomed any questions! As a matter of fact, I have it saved to favorites because our grands will be here early next season from Hawaii and will be expecting WARM water :shock: :shock: :!: We may be calling on you in the spring!

Welcome home, and it sounds like you had a wonderful adventure!

So, how's that green water stuff doing now? Don't worry, it will be all gone really soon!

Take care, and again, welcome home. :) Joyce
 

AnnaK

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#8
Hi Joyce,

Yep! I should have taken a nap instead of snarking at the very people here who could and did help me. I'll go in my crate now :)

I am delighted that our solar cover Website is of use to people. I know it's weird and scary to cut the cover into sections but it sure has worked for us.

There's much progress in my pool today. The water is BLUE again!!!! Still opaque but I can now see vague outlines of leaves on the bottom. My husband suggested dumping some flocculant in. I'm more conservative that way. The filter will eventually clear the water and I'm going to give it time to do that. The pressure is holding steady, the skimmer socks caught the large debris. They are no longer green and are now just picking up bits of tree blossoms, leaves, and spiders.

Thanks again for holding my hand!

Anna
 

The Mermaid Queen

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#9
Welcome back! I was wondering what happened to you! I must have missed the post (or forgot :oops:) that said you would be traveling the USA.

I was away from home all day yesterday, and only now saw this post, but on my computer it only shows about 4 hours between your first two posts... maybe a glitch in the forum software?

Sounds like things are getting under control... keep up the good work... I know the dogs will thank you!! ;)
 

AnnaK

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#10
Not a software glitch. Rather, a glitch in my manners.

I came out of my crate just long enough to say I can see the bottom of my pool. Sometimes. When the sun shines on it just right and I'm wearing polarized sun glasses. Or maybe it's just a memory of the liner pattern playing tricks on my mind :)

Anna
 

AnnaK

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#11
Jade green pool - Update

We are now on Day 3 of the cleanup.

The water is blue again. While I can see the liner pattern on the bottom it's still a little fuzzy as are the leaves which had sunk. There are no visible green spots of active algae growth though they're more than likely still dwelling inside the step caverns. I left the pump off over night because I wanted to see if anything vacuum-able would fall out of solution. It may have, but it's not yet visible.

Would this be an appropriate time to use a flocculant? If so, is there one product that's better than others?

The pump pressure hasn't changed. I think most of the algae were caught in the skimmer sock. I expect that their break-down products (the dead algae parts) will go through the sock and into the filter and I'll have to clean it by maybe the end of the week.

I'm very happy with this progress which went much better and faster than I had anticipated.

Anna (whose TF Test kit is on its way!)
 

duraleigh

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#12
Hi, Anna,

I'm not a great fan of flocculants....especially in your case.

Since you currently have little pressure rise in the filter and have cleaned your pool so quickly and in a manner that makes it clear you understand the process, I believe a floc simply is not needed.

That final, crystal clarity is frequently obtained by keeping your chlorine up high....even tho it looks like it's work is done. Keep running your pump 24/7 (keep cleaning) and bring your cl right back up to shock levels (that'll be much easier with the kit) and I'm pretty sure you'll have crystal clear water.
 

AnnaK

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#15
Yes, of course, and I've been doing that ever since the water cleared up enough for them to become visible. At this point though, the Cl concentration is so high that algae probably have little chance to survive. My best guess is that I'm running somewhere between 10 and 15 ppm.

Anna
 

dawndenise

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Jun 30, 2007
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#16
AnnaK said:
My CYA was at 50 when I left.
Glad to hear your pool is blue again and clearing up. But just a gentle reminder that if your CYA is 50 and your pool turns green again, your shock level is closer to 20 than 10-15. I know all will be easier when you can generate some solid numbers with your new testing kit. :)

Bet you've had some great experiences this last month! On your trip, that is.....
 

AnnaK

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#17
Day 5 - Update

The water is almost sparkling! In fact, it sparkles through the faint remaining haze. Now that I can see the entire liner surface I found four small green spots which my blind brushing had heretofore missed, predictably on the shadow side of the pool and in front of the steps. They are now gone.

I am very, very pleased with how quickly and relatively painlessly the clean-up progress and process has been. No glitches, other than my lapse in manners early on and for that, I am sorry!

The test kit is on the UPS truck 'out for delivery'. I know the driver and I KNOW he'll drive up the hill and leave it by the door, even if I'm not home. So, I should have some numbers by this evening.

And the dogs will go swimming this afternoon just as soon as I've mowed the knee-high grass.

Yes, Sandy, we did have some great experiences, on our trip AND otherwise. Heheheheh . . .

Anna
 

AnnaK

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#18
Test Results

Dave's test kit arrived a little while ago. Great kit! It even came with extra box dividers in case I want to convert it to a tackle box :)

I thought I'd post the results here instead of starting a new thread.

K-100 test:
FC (orange) - out of range
pH 7.2

FAS-DPD:
FC 32
CC 0.5
TA 80
CH 60
CYA 60

The reason the pH is down and the CYA is up from ~50 to ~60 is that I've been running the chlorinator with trichlor tabs. I expected that.

I am now shutting it off. There's enough Cl in the water. I'm adding 1.5 cups of soda to bring the pH up. This should not appreciably change the TA but even if it goes to 100, it's not a problem.

There still is no debris on the bottom that could be vacuumed. I've scooped out the occasional leaf and a nightcrawler. The rest is fine dust which puffs up when I brush.

I feel pretty confident that this pool is now controlled again. by me, not the green algae. :)

Thanks for a very nice test kit, Dave!

Anna
 

DLSDO

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#19
AnnaK said:
Test Results

Dave's test kit arrived a little while ago. Great kit! It even came with extra box dividers in case I want to convert it to a tackle box :)

I thought I'd post the results here instead of starting a new thread.

K-100 test:
FC (orange) - out of range
pH 7.2

FAS-DPD:
FC 32
CC 0.5
TA 80
CH 60
CYA 60

The reason the pH is down and the CYA is up from ~50 to ~60 is that I've been running the chlorinator with trichlor tabs. I expected that.

I am now shutting it off. There's enough Cl in the water. I'm adding 1.5 cups of soda to bring the pH up. This should not appreciably change the TA but even if it goes to 100, it's not a problem.

There still is no debris on the bottom that could be vacuumed. I've scooped out the occasional leaf and a nightcrawler. The rest is fine dust which puffs up when I brush.

I feel pretty confident that this pool is now controlled again. by me, not the green algae. :)

Thanks for a very nice test kit, Dave!

Anna
I have been following the thread. I am glad to hear you cleared the pool. You sure turned that mess around. From what I have been reading here on this site...."your methods worked like they should". I have been learning so much. I am in the middle of a pool build and want to be ready. I am alittle nervous. Never had a pool.

Yes this leading somewhere... I will have an auto chlorine feeder and plan to use BBB so as to keep my CYA under control. You mentioned you have been using your chlorinator. Why? Did you turn it on for the long trip out of town or do you use it in conjunction with BBB day to day?

Also. Why do you suppose you had the algae problem? Did the FC drop too low while you were on vaca despite the auto chlorinator? Or is it that adequate FC is not enough without the day to day maintenance? Could you crank up the chlorinator next time your out of town to prevent this from happening again?

Thanks
 

duraleigh

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#20
Hi, Anna,

Thanks for your nice words on the kit. Most people use a couple of those dividers when they take the K-1000 (blue) kit out of the big box and then use that space to divide your other chemistry a little more neatly. The K-1000 is not quite as sensitive (or expensive) as the other chemistry so I recommend taking it out of the box and keeping it near the pool for quick pH and Cl checks.

I am very interested in your response to "dlsdo"'s post above this one. I think he's asking some really interesting questions and your responses might be helpful to everyone. (Although, I must admit, that username gives me pause from time to time! :roll: :roll: )

BTW, very nice work on your pool. You have an obvious grasp of the things needed to keep a pool as it should be.