Was it algae or did an animal use my pool as a toilet?

sehrmude

Bronze Supporter
Aug 21, 2017
192
Tampa, FL
Something must have liked my crystal clear water last night...there was a large pile of brown gunk (i don't know what) in the corner of the sun shelf this morning. :confused: I don't think it was algae - but this is my first pool and maybe I don't know what algae looks like? I test the water consistently and haven't had an issue with FC or CC.

Spent an hour to clean it up before work, but there is a brown mark where it was (hopefully doesn't stain). I set the pump to run all day and put the SWCG to "Super Chlorinate"...I don't have any liquid chlorine on hand.


Do you experts think I should pick up liquid chlorine and bring up to shock levels as a precaution? Is a full SLAM advised? (I've never had to SLAM before - this is the first sign of anything other than clean water since the pool was completed in Feb) Pool Math says I need to get 4 gallons of liquid chlorine (6 weight??) to bring up to shock level FC: 31. If I need to SLAM, any ideas how many gallons to buy?

Full test results from 48 hours ago and last night (before gunk)...I tested everything two days in a row as I was adding salt & stabilizer. TF-100

7/10/18 ~6:00pm
FC: 8
CC: 0
pH: 7.8 (added ~1cup MA)
CYA: 50 (added just shy of a gallon liquid stabilizer)
TA: 80
Salt: 2800 (added 40lbs)
Water temp 89F

7/11/18 (5:00pm)
FC: 6 (SWCG was off due to salt addition)
CC: 0
pH: 7.5
CYA: 80
TA: 80
Salt: 3200
Water temp 88F

This morning
FC: 6
CC: 0
I didn't test the other things as I noticed the blob of crud just before leaving for work and had to perform a quick clean up to not be more than an hour late.
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
958
San Jose, CA
It appears as though something left you a surprise. I don't think a SLAM is necessary, but to clean that stain (organic), take a chlorine tablet and either hold it against the stain for several minutes or rub in back and forth on it and that should lighten it within minutes and make it go away shortly thereafter. Use a rubber glove on your hand if you are gonna hold the tablet.
 

sehrmude

Bronze Supporter
Aug 21, 2017
192
Tampa, FL
Thanks Dean - will pick up a few chlorine tablets to make sure I always have one on hand for future surprises! Kimkats suggested I always have liquid chlorine on hand too - things I hadn't considered having the SWCG.
 

DeanP66

Well-known member
Mar 26, 2014
958
San Jose, CA
That's the only thing I use tablets for. I used to have a big tree that several crows would use as a hangout and they would leave me nasty surprises all the time. The worst would be when I had just finished vacuuming the pool.:hammer:
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40

ctrav

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 23, 2017
2,400
Northlake TX
Not so sure shock level needs to be obtained but if it were me I would certainly hold the FC up around the 10-12 range for a day or so.
 

sehrmude

Bronze Supporter
Aug 21, 2017
192
Tampa, FL
Good news - there was no stain when I got home last night! I tested the water and FC was ~12, I guess super-chlorinate works pretty good. I added liquid chlorine and brought the FC up a little over shock level (per pool math, 31 is my shock level and 2.5 gallons of pool store chlorine brought me to 36ppm). After the sun went down, I started the OCLT - FC was at 35.5 (71 drops). At 5:00am, FC was at 35 (loss of .5ppm).

Bad news - the pile of ? was back again this morning (slightly less of it and over a few inches). At 5:00am, it appeared as if the pile WAS in standard turd shape and was breaking down to just a blob of mush. I guess I need to rent an animal trap and see what I catch. Problem is - my neighbor feeds the feral cats and I am sure to catch cats before anything else.
 

ctrav

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Apr 23, 2017
2,400
Northlake TX
Would you happen to have cameras? I use ARLO cameras to monitor what goes on in my yard/pool area. It would be interesting to see how some critter keeps depositing not so nice presents in your pool???
 

sehrmude

Bronze Supporter
Aug 21, 2017
192
Tampa, FL
Would you happen to have cameras? I use ARLO cameras to monitor what goes on in my yard/pool area. It would be interesting to see how some critter keeps depositing not so nice presents in your pool???

I have Ring camera - and it picks up human activity in the yard really well and has recorded the feral cats, so I was surprised that there wasn't video already. I had already increased the sensitivity but I still didn't catch the animal on video. This morning I adjusted the angle of the camera to focus on this area of the pool.

My initial thought is that it might be a snake - it wouldn't be picked up by the motion sensor - but two days in a row in almost the same exact spot doesn't seem like normal snake behavior (not that I am any expert)...I know that cats like to go in the same spot - and I read that raccoons do too. I've never seen a raccoon in my yard - but then I don't stay up very late. I see feral cats in my yard every day, and I have seen them carefully leaning in to get a drink from the pool, but it is hard for me to imagine one hanging it's butt over the edge or actually getting into the pool.
 

Enjoying this content?

Support TFP with a donation.

Give Support

zea3

Mod Squad
TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jul 10, 2009
13,118
Houston, Texas
If you get another one tonight, bag it up and take it to animal control and they can test it for Baylisascaris eggs
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
Not to keep hounding you, but my two and zea's one makes three links to that CDC article, which you've yet to acknowledge. And you mentioned you sucked that stuff up into your filter. While the CDC warning is worst case, and perhaps a bit unlikely, I think you have to treat this stuff as infectious raccoon poop until you know it is not. Chlorine is not the fix, if it turns out to be bad stuff. Your pool, of course. But if it were mine I'd get a sample and get it tested, and I'd figure out a way to get it out of the water without involving the filter. And I'd be doing what I had to do to make sure it doesn't happen again, and that the animal never came back. As in, never, ever, if ya know what I mean.

You can't rely on comparing photos to determine raccoon or not. It would be completely dependent on what the critter ate prior.
 

sehrmude

Bronze Supporter
Aug 21, 2017
192
Tampa, FL
Dirk - my apologies for not acknowledging the CDC article. Both the wife and I read the article and are treating the pool as 'infected' until we know better. It is a no swim zone and I am keeping the chlorine level at/above shock level until I have an idea of what I am dealing with. I don't want to do anything else until I know what it is and it STOPS. I have a catridge filter and have a spare cartridge ready to go in if I need to remove/double bag this one to the trash.

I tried to get some of the stuff into a bottle this morning, but it disintegrates when I try to collect it. Kimkats recommended a turkey baster, which I will pick up a cheap throw away one today on the way home from work. I have also adjusted the Ring camera to (hopefully) get whatever it is on video so I KNOW what I am dealing with.

Other precautions I am prepared to take:

1. Use hardware cloth to prevent animals from crawling UNDER the vinyl/PVC fence (there's a 3-4" gap in some places)
2. Get plywood and cover the entire sun-shelf (there isn't anything quite long enough (that I can easily get home) for the first step - but maybe fashion up some hardware cloth stapled to wood on both ends to discourage anything from stepping in.
3. I have already called the county/city animal control (who said I would need to call a trapper service) and am ready to rent a trap and deal with whatever gets snagged. My hesitation to do this right away is the amount of stray/feral cats roaming around and my wife's fondness of them - I have been researching what to bait a trap with that will catch raccoon and not cats.
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
OK, whew. Didn't mean to assume you weren't doing everything you could/should, sounds like your are. Just wanted to make sure you saw the info.

Turkey baster should work.

It won't be Baylisascaris.
It won't be Baylisascaris.
It won't be Baylisascaris.

There, three times should do it.

I have been researching what to bait a trap with that will catch raccoon and not cats.

Bullets. (Oh, no he di-ant!)
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I solved a very nasty raccoon infestation with an electric wire. There are kits that go up easily. On at night. Off during the day. It'll solve your cat problem, too. You don't even have to run it much after they find it. They won't come near it after the first jolt or two. Not the greatest thing to have around a pool though. You'd have to maintain a decent distance from the water, and you might not have the room.
 

sehrmude

Bronze Supporter
Aug 21, 2017
192
Tampa, FL
OK, whew. Didn't mean to assume you weren't doing everything you could/should, sounds like your are. Just wanted to make sure you saw the info.

Turkey baster should work.

It won't be Baylisascaris.
It won't be Baylisascaris.
It won't be Baylisascaris.

There, three times should do it.

THANKS DIRK! I believe in your magic!

Bullets. (Oh, no he di-ant!)

The thought has crossed my mind but, while I am a decent shot, a moving animal at night in an urban setting and the costs of missing (or even a pass through) made me think of other alternatives. The .45 is a bit loud and overkill - talk about a mess to clean up in addition to trying to tell the neighbor it was only a firecracker. The .32 isn't very accurate and only good at close range - SHOW ME YOUR TEETH YOU LITTLE RASCAL! The pellet gun could still do some major damage to my pool if I miss...and hitting a raccoon with that might just make it angry if not in the right spot.

Yes sir, I have taken this seriously. ;)

- - - Updated - - -

Bullets. (Oh, no he di-ant!)

Actually - I hear marshmallow - and even a marshmallow covered in PB with some vanilla extract (raccoons apparently like it sweet)
 

Dirk

Gold Supporter
TFP Guide
Nov 12, 2017
8,624
Central California
Pool Size
12300
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Pentair Intellichlor IC-40
I want to think I could/would defend my pool and yard and family with a single, clean shot... but pulling the trigger on his cute little face would be another matter! Now if that face were all scrunched up while he was squatting over my top step, that might make it a little easier!

The real reason I resorted to the wire, was because I had read raccoons are territorial, and maintain their territory free from other raccoons not of their family. So wiping out an entire family, or relocating them, only removes the guard, so to speak, that is warding off surrounding tribes. The wire kept my defending army in the neighborhood, just off my deck.

Killing, trapping, relocating can sometimes be only a temporary fix, depending on your area's population of raccoons.

Certainly ridding yourself of the current pest needs to be done. He's established his pattern now. But I think deterring them from your yard, as you've already started to plan, is going to be the ultimate solution.
 
Thread Status
Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.