How to care for my swimming pool when it rains
In a country where dam levels have dropped to critical lows in recent years, when the skies open and the rain comes pouring down, it’s certainly cause for celebration. But, it’s not all gumboots and dancing in the rain. If you’re a pool owner, you need to know how to protect your swimming pool, both before and after heavy rains and storms.
How should I prepare my pool before it rains?
While storms can come out of nowhere, we are fortunate to live in an age where the weather forecast is often more reliable than not. If you are able to prepare your pool for heavy rains, you most certainly should. In terms of furniture and pool accessories, be sure to pack these carefully away, so that nothing can blow into your pool or around outside. Don’t forget about pot plants beside your pool. No one wants soil and smashed ceramic at the bottom of the pool. Everyone knows that electricity and water are sworn enemies. If there is heavy rain and lightning forecast, turn off all electrical and gas lines connected to your swimming pool. You should also make sure that your pool pump and any other electrical equipment are covered. When it comes to stormy weather, it is always best to err on the side of caution.
As another precaution, you should test your water chemistry. Top up your pool with algaecide to prevent algae taking a grip as a result of the organic matter which will end up in your pool during a storm. Of course, a whole lot more water is going to get dumped into your pool during heavy rainfalls. You could lower your water level slightly in anticipation, although your pool should have overflow features which help alleviate additional water. But, be wary about draining your pool, as a swimming pool without water, or at least a pool without enough water, is asking for trouble in a storm. In fact, your pool could pop right out of its spot in the ground, due to increased groundwater pressure during a storm. What about using a solid pool cover instead? These are great for preventing excessive amounts of rainwater in the pool, but be careful with covers that are not sturdy enough to withstand windy conditions, falling matter such as branches, or water collection during heavy rains. If you’re unsure, it is best to remove your pool cover altogether, even though it’ll mean debris in your pool.
Lastly, it should go without saying, but don’t swim during a storm. Lightning is extremely dangerous and swimming when there is even a chance of lightning is very risky indeed.
What should I do to maintain my pool after it rains?
After the storm has passed, you are going to want to get cleaning. Use your pool skimmer net for clearing debris out of the water and empty your skimmer basket. You should also scrub surfaces with a pool brush. Once larger matter is removed, get your pool cleaner started again and turn on your pool pump and filter. You can also go ahead and drain the excess water in your pool until it is back to its normal level. Because of pollution, rainwater is actually slightly acidic. A light drizzle will likely keep your pH unchanged, but heavy rains may well affect your swimming pool pH. When pool pH is low, meaning your water becomes acidic, corrosion takes place and swimmers will complain of having itchy eyes. However, it’s your total alkalinity which will really suffer, as the rain tries to change the pH of your pool. Test your pool water, making sure to adjust the water chemistry as needed. Heavy rain takes a hit on chlorine levels too, which leaves room for algae to creep in, which is why a swimming pool becomes green after rain. If you want to be extra cautious, you can shock your swimming pool just in case, especially after very heavy rains. For any additional information, or if you need help after a particularly big storm, contact the pool professionals who know best how to weather the storms.