I stared down at the hazy, green pool water in disgust, while answering the Service Rep’s questions on the other end of the line.
“Yes, the pump is working…the filter is brand new…yep, the power light is on for the salt system…water balance is perfect…the phos-WHAT?”
I was fairly green to swimming pool care at that time. I knew enough to be dangerous and my customer was looking to me to provide answers, or else he could become dangerous. He had just trusted me with thousands of dollars to install a new filter and salt generator, yet his swimming pool water looked like the entire neighborhood had used it yesterday. I needed answers and fast.
The Service Rep quickly zeroed in on the problem. The pump, filter, and salt generator were fine. The reason the water was murky green was because it contained a high level of something called phosphates.
Phosphates are essential nutrients in all plant and animal life, including humans. They are in the grass, the trees, the fertilizer for your garden, and in the critters in your backyard that think your swimming pool is their own personal bathtub. Even some pool chemicals you may use in routine maintenance may contain phosphates. Sounds harmless, right?
What’s the Problem?
The presence of phosphates is all well and good in places where you want plants and animals to grow and thrive, which is not the environment we want to create in a swimming pool or spa. The chlorine we put in our pools is there to keep them clear and prevent the growth of disease-causing bacteria and viruses (called pathogens). It also hinders the growth of plants, such as algae. An abundance of phosphates in the water reduces chlorine levels and promotes the growth of pathogens and algae. Doesn’t sound so harmless anymore, huh?
Ok, How Do I Fix It?
Since phosphates can be introduced into your pool or spa by everything from the chemicals you use to clean them to the people who use them, experts recommended that you test the water regularly for phosphates. The addition of a phosphate remover, such as Lo-Phos MAX (made by Lo-Chlor) will remove the phosphates from the water, and helps promote a crystal clear pool or spa that you can enjoy again.
A Happy Customer!
After the Service Rep directed me to test the pool water for phosphates, followed by a treatment with Lo-Phos MAX, Lo-Chlor MiraClear Blue, and Lo-Chlor Pool Algicide (all Lo-Chlor products), my customer’s pool went from green to clean in a matter of days! Learning about phosphates saved his pool, and possibly my job. Now, neither I nor my customers’ pools are green!