Rain, rain, stay in play.
If you live in southern Arizona, the recent rain storm is a rare and good news event. For your pool, fresh rain water is great. It saves money on water usage. It is free of calcium (big-time trouble-maker in our neck of the desert).
Think about it. Water is such a basic element in pool operations. Water impacts every aspect of a swimming pool. Your pump, your filter, your heater if you have one and the way your pool looks.
Calcium Deposits: A Roadblock for Tucson Pool Owners
Here in Pima County as elsewhere, our water sources are subject to heavy calcium deposits in our aquafers, spigots and wells. Don’t go blaming the local water companies. The caliche soils, mostly formed by ancient icebergs during the Ice Age of Planet Earth, is the origination point.
So here we are, millions of years later. What do we do about it?
One of the most important steps is to test the water weekly to check the calcium levels in your pool. At my shop, we use the Taylor drop test involving tests for chlorine, pH and calcium. Chlorine is a strong disinfectant. pH tells us about the alkalinity and acidity in the water. We use the Taylor drop test because it is the standard of the Pima County Department of Health. There are several other tests available.
The simplest test for calcium levels measures the calcium density in pool water. When calcium gets too high, the particles crowd out chlorine, water clarifiers and other beneficial chemicals for clear, algae-free and sanitary water.
Our goal is to keep the calcium levels to 500-700 parts per million (PPM). When calcium beings to overwhelm the pools, strange, detrimental things occur.
Filter cartridges laden with calcium in the grids, begin to plug your filter cartridges, so your pool water isn’t fully cleaned. Water circulation pressures are affected too, particularly around pump motors, heaters and water features. You spot white calcium deposits around equipment. And yikes! You see a heavy concentration of calcium around the water line. It collects on the tile and water features due to evaporation.
Professional Pool Maintenance Can Manage Calcium Deposits
The goal of any pool service company is to track the amount of calcium in your pool. It’s part of the reason we recommend weekly or at least, every other week service to our community of customers. There is no chemical antidote for calcium. Sometimes we will perform a water exchange, pumping out imbalanced pool water with fresh H2O.
The best test may be the old-fashioned eye test. Managing calcium deposits is the key to good pool maintenance. If you see cloudy water, or algae you can’t seem to remove, or white stains near your pump, you know who to call. Shameless plug: Cabana Boy Pool Works aka the calcium-busters!