What Alkalinity Level in Pools Is Safe to Swim in?

During summertime, owning a pool is the ultimate luxury. On hot days, having the opportunity to cool off in your personal oasis is invaluable. A pool is not only effective if you want to relax after a long day, it can rejuvenate your muscles, improve blood circulation, and improve your sleep. However, taking care of an outdoor pool is no easy task. It takes dedication and responsibility, and failing to maintain it can have serious consequences. 

This is why you need a maintenance routine. Checking your water’s pH levels, cleaning the surface of leaves and dirt, and investing in a robotic pool cleaner are some of the ways in which you can ensure that your pool remains as good as new. If you check your alkalinity levels and they appear unbalanced, you might be wondering how to lower total alkalinity in the pool. Continue reading to learn how to correct these levels.

Compounds Found in Pool Water

Keeping your swimming pool in top condition is key to having a safe and enjoyable experience. One of the most important things to consider when it comes to pool maintenance is alkalinity. 

In elementary terms, alkalinity prevents pH levels from changing. It measures the quantity of alkaline substances, like bicarbonates and hydroxides, which act as buffers that control pH levels. However, pools contain a wide range of compounds and elements that are key to water health. These include:

  • Calcium is essential for maintaining water balance. If the level of calcium is too high, the water will appear cloudy and can cause scales in the pool’s walls. Calcium helps prevent corrosion of the pool’s pumps, heaters, and filters.
  • Sodium is mostly found in chlorine, which is added to kill germs. If added in the right amount, it can prevent water-related illnesses like diarrhea and skin infections.
  • Magnesium affects water balance and clarity. It is usually used with chlorine to kill microorganisms and prevent algae growth. Some suggest that bathing in magnesium rich waters has health benefits. 
  • Metals, such as copper and iron, can sometimes be present in water in small quantities. This is due to corrosion of metal parts of the pool or from the water source itself. It may cause some discoloration.

Taking care of your pool is essential to ensuring that these elements are properly balanced. If you are wondering if it is okay to swim with low alkalinity, the answer is yes. However, you need to keep in mind that it will be harmful for your pool’s filtration and circulation system, which can present a health risk for swimmers.

What Is Alkalinity? 

Alkalinity is a measure of how much dissolved material your pool water contains. It’s important because it helps maintain pH balance and prevents pools from becoming too acidic or basic. Generally, ideal alkaline levels range from eighty to 120 PPM (parts per million). 

Anything above or below that range can cause problems with your pool’s functioning system. If alkalinity is too high, it will cause calcium levels to rise. So, what happens if you swim in water with high alkalinity? The water will appear cloudy, filters might clog, and scale will build up in the pool’s walls.

The best way to correct low alkaline levels is to add an appropriate amount of sodium bicarbonate into the water. However, it’s important to note that adding too much could lead to high alkaline levels. Another way of correcting the alkaline levels without chemicals is by installing a distilled water pump. Alternatively, you could use a chemical stabilizer such as cyanuric acid, but these chemicals tend to be expensive. 

Jumping In

Maintaining a pool is a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a chore. Familiarize yourself with which pH and alkalinity levels are healthy, and it will be easy to make sure your pool stays safe for everyone!

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