It is important to check the water chemistry levels regularly. The most important chemical levels include the free chlorine or bromine levels and pH levels.
Free chlorine and free bromine levels are generally measured using “DPD 1” reagents, whilst pH levels are generally measured using Phenol Red reagents. Both of these reagents are available in a convenient tablet form.
If you use stabiliser (isocyanuric acid) in your pool or spa you should also check the level of this chemical regularly.
During swimming season, test the water in swimming pools before the first swim in the morning and at least once again during the day. When the weather is hot and sunny or the pool is used by a lot of people, it is necessary to test the heated water more frequently.
Hated spa pools should be tested at least three times a day whenever they are in use.
If the test results show the chemical levels are too high or too low, corrective action should be taken. You should not add chemicals whilst people are in the water.
Contact your local pool shop for advice on the types of test kits available and how to use them.
Manual Dosing vs Automatic Dosing
Chemicals may be added to the water either manually or via an automatic dosing system. Automatic systems test the water chemistry and add the required amount of chemicals. Generally these systems produce more consistent water chemistry levels then manual dosing.
IMPORTANT : During swimming season, test the water in swimming pools at least twice a day. Test more frequently if the weather is hot and sunny or the pool is used a lot. Heated spa pools should be tested at least three times a day. Make sure the chemical levels are correct.
Water balance is a measure of the concentration of calcium salts in relation to other chemicals in the water. It involves measuring the calcium hardness, total alkalinity and pH of the water. Whilst not related to health and safety, balancing the water will ensure you achieve the maximum life from your pool or spa, and prevent premature erosion or scaling of the surface, pipes, filters and other equipment. Your local pool shop can assist you to ensure the water in your facility is “in balance”.
Can I Use Bore Water to Fill My Pool or Spa?
It is preferable to use mains (scheme) water to fill swimming pools and spas, as it is treated and a safe supply. Bore water may be used, although it will increase the quantity and cost of chemicals needed to treat the water. Bore water may also cause staining.
IMPORTANT : All top up water should be added via the skimmer box with the filtration system running.
Expert Advice on Water Treatment
Advice on water treatment is available from your local pool shop, the Environmental Health Section of your local government, the Environmental Health Directorate, of the Department of Health, pool chemical suppliers, and pool maintenance and service companies.