How to Keep Your Pool Safe, Secure and Bacteria-Free

How to Keep Your Pool Safe, Secure and Bacteria-Free

Being able to dive in and swim in your own backyard is amazing, but not when the water turns green.

If bacteria aren’t kept out of your pool, you can develop dangerous stomach and intestinal problems, and even die from a brain infection. (It sounds incredible but it can happen. In 2016, a teen from Ohio died when contaminated water got up her nose on a church trip to North Carolina).

How can you know your pool is safe? There’s a very general bench mark: if the water is clear, and you can see the bottom, it’s a good sign. But this isn’t a fail-safe test.

Here are some tips: always monitor your pH and chlorine levels to ensure your pool is being properly sanitized. Keep your chemicals at the level they should be. Experts advise keeping your chlorine above 1 ppm to eliminate contaminants. Algae can take hold in your pool in just one night, and it can take days to clear it before it’s safe to swim.

Related: Are Brain-Eating Amoebas in Your Swimming Water? They’re Fatal. Here’s How to Stay Safe

In addition, brush the walls and floor of your pool weekly and add a small dose of algaecide, just to be safe.

Make sure the water is flowing properly, and circulating in all areas. Even if you have your chemicals right, improper flow can cause build up and contamination. Check your flow meter for proper circulation rate.

And resist the temptation to add chemicals through your pool skimmer, as easy as this may seem. Doing this can damage your skimmer over time which also affects the water flow, says Mark Cukro of the National Swimming Pool Foundation and president of Plus One Consulting.

Finally, make sure you’re always adding the correct chemicals for your type of filter. The wrong ones can spell bad news. And get those kiddies to the bathroom in time- no peeing in the pool! Have fun and stay safe.

Photo credits: Kateryna Mostova/

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