Swimming pools are a place to relax. There’s a certain charm about the calm blue water to make you forget your worries. The soothing lukewarm water lets you relax your body, and the soft blue color visually stimulates you. But the water isn’t always blue. Many factors can make your swimming pool water take on a murky appearance.
No matter what type of pool you have, the water will turn cloudy or green over time. Such situations aren’t pleasant and don’t help you relax at all. To make sure you can relax properly, you need to bring back the soft blue hue. But the problem is how to make swimming pool water blue?
It can be a complicated task if you don’t know all the ins and outs of turning your pool blue. If you want to clean your pool easily and de-green the water, look at our article. We’ve elaborately talked about what you need to do. So, you’ll be able to turn your pool blue with some easy methods!
- 1 Why Would You Need to Turn the Water Blue?
- 2 What Gives the Water Its Blue Color?
- 3 What Causes Change in The Blue Color of Water?
- 4 What Do Imbalanced Chemicals Imply?
- 5 How to Make the Water Blue
- 6 Problems You May Face
- 7 Is It Safe to Swim in A Murky Pool?
Why Would You Need to Turn the Water Blue?
When you think about relaxing on a summer day, the image of a beach comes to mind. But going to the beach whenever you want isn’t always possible.
That’s why people prefer swimming pools. Though the pool can’t entirely simulate the feeling of being at a beach, it can still help you soothe and relax. The cool and calm blue water does the trick!
The blue water helps you get a similar soothing visualization as seawater. Such a setup lets you relax in your yard as if you were at the beach.
Other than this, a blue pool also means a clean pool. If the water is green or brown, the pool isn’t safe to swim in.
What Gives the Water Its Blue Color?
Water by itself is colorless. But why does pool water have a blue hue? It has bugged people for a long time and produced quite a few theories.
Color of The Pool
Many believe pool water has a blue color due to the pool walls. In most cases, the swimming pools have colored walls. These walls are usually colored in different shades of blue to simulate the bluishness. According to many people, it’s such blue background that gives the pool water their iconic blue color.
But this isn’t the case. Water as a liquid takes the shape of the container and not the color. So, the concept of pool water being blue due to the pool wall is nothing but a delusion.
Reflects the Sky
Another theory believed by most goes like this – water takes the blue color by reflecting the sky.
The theory may seem true if you look at the ocean or your pool on a cloudless day. So, when the sky gets cloudy, the water is supposed to turn grey or white, right? But in reality, such logic doesn’t work. The pool remains blue.
Though reflecting the sky might be the case for the ocean and sea, it isn’t the case for pools.
Absorption of Light
The most acceptable reason for having a blue hue is that water doesn’t absorb the specific color.
For any object to show a particular color, it has to absorb every color other than what it’s supposed to show. The sun rays are white, and white is the compound of all colors. So, when the water reflects the sun’s rays, it absorbs all the colors except blue. This is the most viable explanation for pool water having a blue color.
What Causes Change in The Blue Color of Water?
Any average pool is out in the open and isn’t usually covered. This makes it a perfect opportunity for the water to get contaminated by various things. And once it gets contaminated, the water’s color changes drastically.
High Algae Level
Algae are minute aquatic organisms. They can’t be seen with naked eyes if their numbers are low. But if their population increases, they have a visual impact on the water body. Algae can grow in almost any environment as long as they get proper sunlight and turn the water green. If you find your pool turned slimy or green, then there’s a strong possibility of the water being enriched with algae.
Water is colorless, but it can be colored with the help of certain chemicals. When it comes to pool water, people don’t usually use any coloring agents.
But they do use cleaning agents like chlorine or bromine. This causes the water to have an imbalanced chemical composition. In such a state, many different microbes can flourish in it. All these foreign chemicals cause the water to take on an unwanted hue.
The best way to keep a swimming pool clean is by draining it. But if the filter used on the refilling line is faulty, murky water can enter the pool. This increases the organic content, which facilitates algae growth. And we all know how the pool water changes due to such development. A faulty filter can also cause poor water circulation making the pool water murky.
Another factor causing your pool water to change can be the color of its surroundings. If plants surround the pool, you’ll most definitely find dry leaves floating on the water. These leaves then soak in water and work as feed for algae. Finding a daily replenishing food source, the algae can grow exponentially. So, when the excess algae die off, they can turn brown and decolor the pool water.
What Do Imbalanced Chemicals Imply?
Compared to the other reasons for water color change, the most significant one is a chemical imbalance. It can not only turn the water cloudy but also affect your skin.
The pH of water is an important property. It determines the acidity or alkalinity of your pool water. However, the pH level doesn’t directly affect the cloudiness of your pool water. There are other consequences.
Lime can’t properly dissolve in water with higher pH. This makes the water cloudy and causes scaling. Again, if the pH is too low, it can cause skin irritation to the swimmer.
Varying Chlorine Levels
To stop microbes from multiplying, pool water is treated with chlorine. This helps to keep the water clear. But if the chlorine content increases, the water becomes harmful.
A pool full of concentrated chlorinated water paired with low pH is a disaster. At a low pH, the chlorine forms hydrochloric acid. And we all know how bad that is!
TA stands for total alkalinity. Similar to high acidity, alkalinity is also a problem. Individually, it can’t cause the water to become cloudy. But it makes it so that when lime is used to clear up the water, it can’t dissolve.
When such a situation arises, the calcium content of the water increases, making the water even murkier.
When the calcium content in the water increases, the minerals can’t dissolve like they’re supposed to. This increases the hardness level. In such a state, the undissolved calcium settles at the bottom of your pool. If you try to clean the pool, the water may turn cloudy.
One option is to swap the pool water. But while draining the pool, the calcium deposit can end up clogging the filter.
Other than these, there are a few chemicals which may cause a problem.
For instance, using chemical stabilizers and bromine or phosphate to clean the water can directly turn the water cloudy if they’re not used as per the requirement. They also facilitate the growth of bacteria in your pool.
Know the Chemical Content
Once you know the problems you can face due to chemicals, you’d want to avoid them. It’s the natural response. But if you’re already in such a state, you’d need to re-establish the lost chemical balance before that.
To do so, you need to identify which chemical is the culprit. Using a simple, accurate, and fast chemical identification kit is the best way to go. These kits are readily available online. So, get yourself one and counter the imbalance. They can test the free chlorine, pH, TA, total chlorine, calcium hardness, and many more parameters.
After you get the test result, you can counteract the chemical imbalance with proper countermeasures. In most cases, you will have to add more chemicals, though. But the amount of new chemicals you’ll have to use will be based on the kit’s outcome.
How to Make the Water Blue
No matter what you do, you can’t stop your pool water from decoloring. Even if you cover your entire pool to prevent it from getting contaminated, you can’t put a stop to the natural process.
When you use the pool, it’s bound to get contaminated. Later on, this will change the water’s color. To avoid this problem, the only thing you can do is clean it properly on a regular basis.
Now cleaning the pool isn’t a challenging task. You drain the water, scrub the pool floor & walls and finally fill it up with fresh water. It’s so simple!
But you might not have enough time at hand to do the whole thing. If that’s the case, then try the following steps. It’s sure to clear up the water within an hour.
The steps are easy to follow and are self-explanatory. To answer the question “how to make swimming pool water blue?” look at the following steps. You’ll have to follow them strictly for a blue pool all year round. There are no shortcuts to this.
Get Rid of The Algae
- The first thing you need to do is free the pool water of algae. To do so, shock the water needs to be shocked using shocking tablets or solutions.
- You will have to apply the treatment based on the pool’s volume. The amount you need will be written on the packaging.
- Shock treatment itself increases the chlorine level. If your water is already highly chlorinated, you might not need to do this step.
- Chlorinated pool water might cause the shock formula not to work properly. Make sure to get a formula not affected by the chlorine.
- Once you apply the formula, the algae will gradually die off. If you feel like there are still algae remaining, do a second round of this treatment.
Remove the Dead Algae
- Dead algae, similar to the living ones, float on water. So, when they’re dead, you will have to clean them out.
- It can be done by vacuuming the pool water. If you let the water sit for a moment, you will see the dead algae separate. This makes vacuuming them easier.
- If you don’t have the time to let the water sit, use flocculants. These chemicals attach themselves to debris floating on water and sediments them to the bottom.
- But even after using flocculants, the water may seem cloudy. For clearing it up, use clarifiers. They’re much more effective than flocculants.
Keep Algae Away
- Chlorine prevents algae growth by killing them off. It’s the simplest way of getting rid of algae.
- The process needs to be done immediately after removing the dead algae. This will result in a greater success rate.
- Once the dead algae are removed, use chlorinating tablets to increase the water’s chlorine level. This is the simplest method to do the task.
- To add the tablet, pop them in a floater or skimmer. This helps the pool be homogenously chlorinated.
- Before you use the tablets in broad daylight, take note of the tablet type. Not all chlorine tablets are protected from sunlight.
- As chlorine loses its algae killing potential under the sunlight, you might have to do the treatment again. It helps if you do the chlorination routine once per week.
- Most of the algae can be killed by using chlorine. But you’ll need to use algaecides for controlling the algae population properly.
- Half a day after the shock therapy, you will need to introduce algaecide to the pool. The delay helps you clear out the algae which survived and prevent future growth.
- Using a strong algaecide is recommended. This is to prevent the formation of green, yellow and black molds. You can get rid of green algae through shock therapy, but you’ll have to clean the entire pool for the other two types.
- For better algae prevention, we recommend you use algaecide on your pool every week. Please make sure to use them as soon as you see any signs of algae forming. Algaecides aren’t effective against a huge populations of algae.
Balance the Chemicals
Run A Test
- Once all the organic contaminants are dealt with, you’ll have to take care of the inorganic part. This is to make sure the algae don’t grow back.
- Start by testing the chemical content of your pool’s water. Based on the results, you will have to take further steps.
- The best way to test the water is by using a testing kit or a test strip. Use the kit or strip as per the instruction on the packaging. If they aren’t appropriately followed, the test result might be incorrect.
- For easier use, get a test strip that comes with a photo book. You can compare your strip and find the chemical content precisely.
Add the Counters
- Based on your test outcome, you’ll have to take the countermeasures. Not everything can be balanced using a miracle chemical as no such thing exists.
- If the pH is too low, add alkaline salts to the water. In most cases, lime is used to increase the pH. The amount you’ll need to use is dependent on the pH level and your pool size.
- For a higher pH, there isn’t much to do. If it’s lower than 12, you don’t need to add anything. But if it’s greater, use chlorine. This reacts with the alkali metal in the water and removes them.
- Using a testing kit also lets you find the metal content in pool water. If the test shows too much metal, change the water of the pool. It’s better to refill with water from a different source.
Maintain the Pool
- After you complete the previous three major steps, your pool water will turn blue and clear. There is no doubt about it.
- There are no secret techniques of keeping the water blue for eternity. You need to take care of your pool weekly.
- Instead of repeating the whole cleaning process, only repeat a few core activities. They’re enough to maintain the pool’s integrity.
- Every week you must test the chemical content of the water.
- Add balancers as per the test results.
- Chlorinating tablets are also to be used as per the instructions.
- Apply shock formula in the evening for a better outcome.
- Mix algaecide half a day after the shock formula.
Make It A Routine
- Pools aren’t something to take care of every day. But if you want to keep your pool blue, you need to do it at least weekly.
- Decide on a day to follow through with the pre-mentioned weekly task. This allows the pool to be clean throughout the week and also turns the cleaning into a habit.
- Once you’re set with the cleaning routine, you can go one extra step by skimming debris from the pool surface. You’ll need to take a long-handled net and fish out leaves from the surface in most cases. This can be done daily or when required.
Problems You May Face
Even after doing all the steps properly, you might face a few problems. For instance, the water might turn blue but is still murky. There are a few reasons for this. In most cases, there’s a valid explanation as to why this may happen. We’ll discussed about the issues and their causes in brief.
Cloudy Even After Cleaning
When you’re done with all the elaborate cleaning steps, you expect to see a blue and clear water-filled pool. But in some cases, such a scene might not come into view.
The reason might be you messing up the cleaning procedure. Not vacuuming the pool properly after using flocculants may be the cause. Or you might have forgotten to use the clarifiers.
If you’re confident about your cleaning, then take a look at the chemicals you used. They might not have been appropriately balanced.
Still Cloudy After Shocking
One of the most common complaints is that the pool remains cloudy even after using shock formulas. This may occur after using algaecide.
For the first case, it’s normal for water to be cloudy after shocking. In fact, if the water remains clear after the treatment, there’s something wrong with the formula.
On the other hand, cloudy water after algaecide is terrible. Especially if the cloudiness persists even after 24 hours. Such happens when the chlorine is flawed.
To rectify this, you will have to do the shocking therapy all over again.
Rain Makes It Cloudy
In most cases, you’ll find your pool turning cloudy after heavy rain. This scenario is more prominent if the pool is somewhere near a fume ejecting industry. The reason for this is the chemicals in the air.
The rain mixes with these chemicals while falling and mixes with the pool. As pool water already has different chemicals, the foreign ones react. This results in a cloudy water-filled pool.
The best way to prevent so is to cover the pool during rain, or you’ll have to change the pool water afterwards.
Chemically Balanced but Cloudy
Another problem you might face is the water remaining murky after the use of chemicals. These chemicals might have been used to balance the water, but they might backfire.
In most cases, the reason for such is the use of impure chemicals. The quality of your chemicals will determine their purity. So, make sure to get better quality chemicals.
The only way to solve this problem is to test the water again and reapply high-quality chemicals.
Is It Safe to Swim in A Murky Pool?
The biggest reason for having a swimming pool is to swim in it. If such is your thought process, then turning pool water blue might seem useless. Though it might seem like you can swim in any colored water, it isn’t wise to do so.
Pool water filled with algae is the breeding ground for many bacteria. When you swim in such a pool, you might get these bacteria into your body. They might not do any severe damage right away but will surely make you sick in the long run. Swimming in such a pool is hazardous for health.
Now, if you’re thinking of swimming in murky waters, think again. In most cases, pool water turns murky due to an imbalance in chemical level. So, when you swim in such water, your skin will come in contact with the chemicals. This is sure to cause skin irritation.
In our opinion, it’s not wise to swim in murky or unclear water. It’s risky for your health by all means.
More on LivingProofMag
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What Happens If You Swim in a Shocked Pool?
How to Clean a Pool That Has Been Sitting
After knowing all these steps of cleaning your pool and turning the water blue, you’re ready. So go out there and follow our steps to clean up your swimming pool. We guarantee that you won’t have to ask anyone about how to make swimming pool water blue ever again. Happy Swimming!