Wednesday, August 10, 2016



The whole world is in a tizzy this morning about what happened to the Olympic pool in Rio and we cannot help but chuckle because it took us all but a minute to figure out the problem.  Why, because we see it constantly and the call goes something like this:

 I woke up this morning and my pool is mint green.

Further inquiry and we soon learn that water was added then the pool was shocked.  So, why do we ask those two questions?  It's all in the chemistry.

See when minerals, such as copper or iron, mix with Chlorinated water, the effect is that the water turns green.  It is almost instant.  Don't believe us?  Check out this YouTube video of the reaction - click here.   So we can tell you exactly what happened.  The pool likely is being shocked with high dosages of liquid chlorine overnight so that it is sanitary for the swimmers come morning.  Water is also probably being added as well, but here is where someone dropped the ball.  No one added the a mineral bonding agent, such as our Pool Magnet, before shocking the pool.  Ergo.... Green Water.   If you are a blonde, I bet you are now shaking your head in understanding because you have likely had green hair at some point in your life.  

Still don't believe us?   We had a client who called us in a panic due to an impending pool party at his home.  He had added water and shocked the pool and woke up to find this! 

Looks pretty familiar, doesn't it?  So, how fixable is this and how quickly can it be done?  It is really all in the filtration.  For a normal size pool, it can take about 48 to 36 hours of non-stop filtration after treating the pool with Pool Magnet.  For an Olympic size swimming pool, our bet would be about a week.  Now, is it dangerous to the swimmers?  No, other than the danger of not being able to see the bottom, there is no health risk to water turned green by minerals in the water.  


While we would definitely bet minerals have something to do with the green, there is an alternative theory.  It could be algae.  We have all heard the news saying it happened "so fast."  Well, here is the thing, if it IS algae (and we still don't think it is), it really didn't happen so fast.  Algae hides in cells and is generally present before it is ever visible.  Phosphates, like such may be found in skin products, and nitrates, which tend to build up when water is in constant use and not always balanced as well as it should be, can both exacerbate algae growth in a pool.  So even when water chemistry "appears" to be fine, it may not prevent algae growth.  Algae will cause water to turn dark green and cloudy, think of a pond.  You cannot test for algae, so it is a culprit that often is there without anyone knowing until one day POW you wake up to a green swamp instead of your blue sparkling pool.  Why do we think it is still metals?  It is all in the color.  Based on the photos shown of the pool, the green doesn't have that deep, dark swamp look to it.  It has more of the minty green color we see in mineral laden pools.  Also, it wouldn't take much to confirm that it is algae verses something else.  All one would have to do is brush the side of the pool and see what looks almost like a "puff of smoke" coming off the wall.

Other alternatives, there is always that possibility that there is something weird in the water, perhaps not something that we see here in the states, but to us, it looks like your everyday copper problem.  

So here at Aquaknot Pools, we will continue to watch the saga unfold and maybe send an anonymous suggestion that they get a few cases of Pool Magnet Plus sent to Rio.  


No comments:

Post a Comment