Many people don’t like to go in pools because of a bad experience from skin or eye irritation. This kind of pool irritation isn’t actually normal. A perfectly balanced pool is actually, well, neutral and it shouldn’t really cause any irritation at all unless someone has a particular sensitivity to any of the chemicals used in swimming pools. If that’s the case then there’s really nothing that can be done except maybe switch to a naked pool system. But for the rest of us, a perfectly balanced pool is the answer to skin and eye irritation!
Step One: Test Pool Water
The first step to preventing skin and eye irritation from pool water is well, to test the pool water! Get a good testing kit or some testing strips for ease of testing. For more information on how to test your pool water, check out Mr Pool Man's Ultimate pool testing guide.
Step Two: Adjust Alkalinity
After testing your pool water, the first chemical level that you have to adjust is your alkalinity. Make sure that your alkalinity level is around 80-100pm to prevent wild swings in your chemical levels. If your alkalinity levels are already fine then great work! Simply skip this step and move on to the next step.
Step Three: Adjust pH
Once your alkalinity levels are up on point, it’s time to adjust your pH levels. If your pH is too low, that will mean that your pool water is acidic, and that will be the number one culprit of skin and eye irritation. pH levels that are too high on the other hand can cause rashes and cloudy pool water, which in turn can cause eye irritation as well.
Step Four: Adjust chlorine levels
Now, if your chlorine levels are below 1 ppm then you’re in dangerous levels. This means that your water isn’t being sanitised properly and any form of irritation may come from bacteria and other disease causing organism. To fix this, simply add some chlorine (stabilised if your cyanuric acid levels are low, unstabilised if your cyanuric acid levels are on point) and raise your chlorine to somewhere in between 1ppm and 3ppm.
If your chlorine levels are above 5ppm then that can cause skin and eye irritation in itself. You can either just wait it out since chlorine will naturally dissipate and will get burned off by sunlight. If you’re expecting guests or if you need to use the pool ASAP then you can opt to use some chlorine remover to bring down your chlorine levels to the desired levels in hours instead of days.
With properly balanced pool water, skin and eye irritation should be a problem. By keeping your water properly balanced and sanitised then everyone should have a very pleasurable swimming experience, free from any irritation.
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Happy swimming :)