All aquatic venues are different. Just like no two pools are the same. They all have one thing in common: They need to be safe. This includes the quality of the water. Testing and balancing your water is crucial to maintaining clean, clear, and, most importantly, safe for the bathers.
One thing that you will run into if you are the operator of a venue such as a water park or other water features that have turbulent or moving water, you will have one thing that you are always battling against …pH and its tendency to be high. Have you ever wondered why that is?
What is pH and Why is it Important in Pools?
pH stands for potens hydrogen or the potential of hydrogen in your body of water. It is basically a measure of how acidic something is. If you have a low pH, your water tends to be on the acidic side. If the pH is high in your pool, your water tends to be more basic. pH neutral is measured at 7.0. For a body of water used for recreation such as a swimming pool, slide, lazy river, wave/surf pool, etc. anywhere between 7.2 and 7.8 is considered in range; However, ideally, you’ll want to try and land between a 7.4 and a 7.6.
The Importance of Balanced pH in Pools & Water Features
Why do we care if our pool pH is balanced? For many reasons. It feels more comfortable to bathers because it is closer to their body’s pH of 7.4. It makes your sanitizer more efficient. The lower your pH, the more effective chlorine is. Balanced pH also prevents any damage to your plumbing, pool surface, and equipment. When the water is acidic it is known as corrosive and can eat away at your surface, swimming pool’s surface, and even destroy a heat exchanger.
If the pool pH is high, it is known as scale forming. This causes calcium to build up in your plumbing, equipment, and around the edges of your body of water.
pH is one of the things your Pool Shark H20 App tests for. You will not only know what your reading is but how to treat the unbalance if present. It will also enter your results automatically into your pool log for you and give you instructions to lower pH in your pool! Make sure all of your staff is trained on how to read the results for not just pH, but for all of the fields. Because of the simplicity of ease with which the Pool Shark H20 app works, this will take very little time out of your day to train your team. Remember, time is money!
Speaking of money, the Pool Shark H20 App lets you know when your water balance is off so you don’t use copious amounts of chemicals to no avail. For example, if you start getting an algae bloom you may start dumping in a ton of chlorine not realizing that the reason you have algae is that your chlorine is not effective due to a high pH!
Aeration and Turbulence in Pool Water
According to Aquatic Training Educator, Rudy Stankowitz, “When water is aerated, it creates turbulence. The turbulence then causes the aqueous CO2 (carbon dioxide) to outgas.” When this outgassing of carbon dioxide occurs, it drives your pH up, up, and away! Well, what is aeration and how does it apply? Anything that creates turbulence such as wave pools, splash pads, slides, etc. A waterpark is just a cornucopia of different ways to create aeration, and thus, the turbulence which causes the high pH.
How to Lower pH in Pools, Water Parks, and Other Water Features
Once you test your water, go to your Pool Shark H20 App on your device and see where the pH is. Then you would dose it with acid to bring it down. The app will tell you what amount. There is also a preventative measure you can take to avoid an upward drift in pH. I have seen it with my own two eyes. That prevention is to use borates.
What Are Borates and Why are They Important in Keeping Pool pH Balanced?
Borates are multi-taskers. They make the water feel smooth on your skin. They also help the pH be more stable. It serves as a buffer against that upward drift in pH we were talking about. This is going to mean longer-lasting surfaces, less algae, less damage to your equipment, less build-up of calcium, and just more and more good news.
As we know, testing our water is imperative to properly maintaining any body of water. The golden rule of chemicals and testing is you should have a way to test ANY chemical you are introducing to the water. So if you are going to utilize borates, you will need a way to test for them. The Pool Shark H20 App will read spin discs that check for the level of borates. We have to know what is, or isn’t in our water to keep it safe. (Check with your local health agency to ensure borates are legal)
Another High pHer
If you have a water wall in your lobby or on your property it is recommended to turn it off at night. This will prevent too crazy of an increase in pH. It also saves energy and therefore money.
Using your Pool Shark H20 App to balance the water will help you have inviting water. It will make your guests happy–and your boss. Most importantly the App helps us stay safe. See you poolside!