You might remember February 2018, which was the wettest on record—a whopping 11.31 inches of rain measured at DFW airport. Although we did not receive that much this February or thus far in March, it doesn’t seem to take much rain to cause problems as the ground has been saturated for much of the past year. In my 35 years of building pools, this past year seems to have been the wettest that I have seen. It seems that every yard that we work in is muddy.
As can be expected, heavy rain can wreak havoc on swimming pools—by exposing problems such as poor drainage and by creating problems such as debris in the pool and water chemistry issues.
If you have drainage issues, heavy rain can really expose them. The best way to determine if poor drainage exists is to observe the pool area during heavy rain. If poor drainage is an issue which causes rain water draining into the pool, corrections should be made. Many pool elevations are dictated by the elevation of the house, which sometimes are too low to begin with. But oftentimes drainage can be dealt with by the use of drainage systems and/or retaining walls. In addition, installing gutters on the house usually helps with pool-area drainage.
Debris in the pool
This can be very frustrating, as a perfectly clean pool can become filthy in just a few minutes. It is helpful to run the pump and the automatic cleaner during a storm, which helps in dealing with debris that blows into the pool during a storm. After the storm, clean the skimmer baskets, skim debris off of the surface, and vacuum the pool if necessary. It is often necessary to operate the pump and automatic cleaner for an extended period of time after the storm—this helps filter the water and also cleans the debris off of the floor of the pool.
This is typically the biggest issue when dealing with a rainstorm, as the water chemistry is usually adversely affected. It should be no surprise that water chemistry is affected—since anything and everything that is added to the pool affects it—especially rain and debris. Immediately after the rain ends, test the water—and be especially sure that the pH is in the proper range. Then, super chlorinate the pool water.
To summarize, do the following after a heavy rain:
- Determine if drainage problems exist which can be corrected.
- Remove debris from the skimmer baskets.
- Skim debris off of the surface of the pool.
- Vacuum the pool as necessary.
- Check water chemistry and be sure that the pH is in the proper range.
- Super chlorinate according to label directions.
- Consider operating the pump and automatic cleaner for an extended period of time to help clean up the pool. This sometimes creates a dirty filter—therefore clean/backwash the filter as needed.
- Check the water chemistry the day after the storm and adjust as necessary.
- If problems still exist, bring a sample of your water into Gohlke Pools for a complete water analysis.
I hope you have enjoyed the rain, we will likely miss it when July & August arrive.