Celebrating July 4th
July 4th is a day America pauses to celebrate this great nation. Many families, friends, and neighbors celebrate in backyards across the country around swimming pools. If you are the host of these traditional American celebrations, it is important to plan ahead and remember all of the important details.
Once you have planned for your 4th of July pool party, you need to start preparing. Not only do you need to prepare for the obvious items, food and drinks but also the pool itself. You need to make sure you have covered the following:
1. Comfort... Make sure the pool is chemically balanced. People will be jumping into your swimming pool and you are responsible for making sure the chemicals are balanced correctly to prevent your guests from coming in contact with bacteria. If you have a salt pool or a pool that uses traditional chlorine (tabs, sticks, shock), then you need to make sure your pH is balanced correctly. If you do not have your pool water balanced correctly then the chlorine will not do its job of killing germs and bacteria. As well, the pH needs to stay balanced so your guests are comfortable in the water. If pH is out of balance it will affect how your swimming guest's eyes and skin feel. The pH should not be too acidic or too basic for your guest to feel comfortable swimming.
2. Total alkalinity refers to how much alkaline is in the water. TA and pH go hand-in-hand. High alkaline water leads to high pH. Low alkaline water leads to low pH. Regardless if you have a salt pool or use shock and sticks, you still must balance your other pool chemicals (pH, Alkalinity, Stabilizer, and Total Dissolved Solids). Stabilizer helps retain your chlorine longer just as insulation helps retain heat or air conditioning. Stabilizer can be added to some chlorine compounds to protect them from the breakdown effects of sunlight. When your stabilizer level is low, you'll use a lot more chlorine. When it's high, you may need to dilute your pool water to bring it back into the 40 to 100 ppm ideal range.All water contains dissolved minerals. As pool water evaporates, minerals remain behind and become concentrated. The more concentrated these minerals become, the harder it is for chemical additives to work and stains can form. If you have 3000 ppm or more of total dissolved solids or TDS, you may need to drain some water and add fresh water.
After dealing with the most difficult part of pool ownership, balancing the chemicals, you need to make sure the pool is spotless. You need to make sure you brush the pool surface, vacuum the pool, clean the tile line if you have tile on your pool, remove any stains on the surface or steps, backwash the pool or clean your filter, empty your pump and skimmer baskets, and blow off your surrounding pool deck surface. Once you have cleaned the pool it will be clear and ready for guests to swim.
It is also very important to make sure you have a life ring and shepherd's hook in case of an emergency that someone needs to be rescued while swimming. Those items need to be near your pool at all times. As well, while people are swimming at the pool area, a phone needs to be located near the pool at all times in case of an emergency. In addition, keep a fully stocked first aid kit near the pool area. Finally, make sure you have a pair of scissors in your first aid kit in case hair becomes stuck in a main drain. It is better to be prepared than to go searching for needed items in the event of an emergency.
The only other item for a great 4th of July backyard celebration is to enjoy and be safe. Brown's Pools & Spas would like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July.