In the past few weeks, Texas has been the site of torrential rainstorms and heavy flooding. We often receive calls from customers after a heavy storm asking what steps they should take to bring their pool back to working order. The first thing to understand is what happens to your pool during one of these storms.

What happens to your pool during a storm

Firstly, your water chemistry is likely to be very out of balance after a heavy storm. Rain can be very acidic which can dramatically lower your pH and alkalinity levels. Rain adds water to the pool as well, which can dilute your sanitizer levels. Another issue is run-off. Heavy storms can blow leaves, dirt and debris into the pool. Even the soil from planters and organic matter from trees can deposit all kinds of natural and unnatural substances into your pool. To put it lightly, your pool can be a mess after a heavy storm.


Steps to take after a heavy storm

1. Clean your pool.

The first thing you should do is remove any large debris like branches or leaves, and then put your pool cleaner in to work on cleaning the dirt and debris off the bottom of the pool. Make sure the storm didn’t do any serious damage such as cracking the coping or putting holes in the gunite. Damage like this can cause major leaks, which can lead to expensive structural issues down the road.

2. Adjust the water level.

If necessary, drain some of the extra water from the pool. You can do this a few ways. The simplest way is to turn your filter to the “waste” setting and let excess water drain this way. Some pools also have a spigot plumbed into the line where you can connect a garden hose to drain some water from the pool.

3. Test your water chemistry.

After completing steps one and two, it’s time to take a look at your water chemistry. Test your pH and Alkalinity since those are likely to be the most out of whack. Look to see if your sanitizer levels are low due to dilution. Test for phosphates since rainwater typically deposits organic matter from the atmosphere and trees into the pool. Perhaps even add in some algaecide to head off any potential issues before they begin. If the pool seems very cloudy or already turning green, it’s probably a good idea to shock it as well. Run your pump for 4-8 hours, depending on your pool size, to filter the water and circulate any added chemicals quickly. 

Rain can cause serious maintenance issues for any pool owner – however addressing your pool quickly after a major storm is the best way to ensure the problems caused by rain don’t snowball into a much larger issue.

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