Winterising a pool in Cyprus ..Yes or No ?

A question that we always get asked at this time every year is…… should we winterise our pool ?

When I teach an NSPF Certified Pool and spa Operators ( CPO ) training course one of the subjects that always causes a stir is winterising a swimming pool. In many countries across the world, winterising a pool is essential providing the process is completed correctly.

In Cyprus I advise never to winterise a pool due to 1 main factor. Temperature! Remember December is always in the early 20’s and we can have 25 degrees in February. With the high temperatures comes a breading ground for bugs and disease.

Now re-phrase the question (which is what everybody is really asking).

I only want my pool maintained once per week or even once per month in the winter, can you do this? This is the question that people are actually asking. Basically to save money. There is nothing wrong with this question providing the answer is correct and the reason we do not winterise a pool clearly stated.

Even though people seldom use their pool in winter it is still open to the elements, just different elements that we face in the summer. Rain, sand from the Coptic storms, debris from wind etc., all contribute to a different issue we face in the summer. The only real difference is less people actually swim in the colder water and for obvious reasons as a pool maintenance operator this should give us a little breathing space and time to resolve any issues we encountered in the summer.

This is the perfect time to reduce Cyanuric acid levels, reduce Calcium levels and TDS. Repair any issues with the pool such as heavy stains or essential repairs.

We use the winter period to reduce the above levels and prepare the water for the summer using our tried and tested winter programme (ask for details). This allows us basically to prepare for the summer season ahead. Remember we look after the water in the winter and the water looks after us in the summer.

You have to understand that between Late June and mid September we are basically performing damage limitation on the pools to keep them clean and clear , if you have not prepared the water correctly and are starting as an e.g. with Cyanuric acid levels in the high 90`s then you are going to have major issues with chemical use and water balance during the heavily used summer period.

So in short, the simple answer is NO.

We do not winterise pools in Cyprus . We look after them differently and prepare the water and the pool for the coming season …

Oil Issues

In a pool, oil can be introduced to the water via suntan lotions and sunscreens. Almost everything people apply to their skin contains oil.
Water can dissolve just about anything—from sugar to cement. One thing it cannot dissolve, however, is oil… thus the old adage, “Water and oil don’t mix.” The electrons of the water molecule are similar to those of sugar or cement; therefore, the substance will become soluble at some point. On the other hand, the electrons in the molecules of hydrocarbons such as oil are not similar to water and, therefore, they repel one another.

For example, if oil is added to a bottle of water and shaken, one will notice the molecules of each substance separate from one another. Oil will float because hydrocarbons are lighter than water. In a pool or hot tub, oil can be introduced in a number of ways—suntan lotions, sunscreens, deodorants, makeup, and hair care products. Almost everything people apply to their skin contains oil. Further, natural body oils from bathers can also be drawn into the water as well.

Oil in pool water can cause numerous problems. It will combine with small particles of dirt and debris to form scum that will stick to the waterline and filter media, requiring additional work and maintenance. Oil in pools and spas/hot tubs have been an ongoing problem for more than 50 years. It becomes more prevalent, however, during the summer months with the increase in use of sunscreens and other sundry products.

In the last 30 years, two naturally based technologies have led the way in fighting and removing oils along with the problems they cause. One is chitosan and the other is enzymes. This article will look at these two technologies and discuss their similarities and differences, as well as how they can work together.

What are enzymes?
displacing-non-living-organ_e
A good broad-spectrum enzyme formula will include many types of enzymes to deal with numerous non-living organics that can lead to common pool maintenance issues.
Biologically speaking, enzymes are catalysts or agents of change. Their purpose, on a cellular level, is to accelerate chemical reactions quickly. Enzymes are actually non-living proteins that speed up the break down process so that reactions, which would normally take much longer to accomplish, can be produced at a faster rate.

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How do they work?
The main job of enzymes in living organisms is to reduce the level of toxins and enable the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the 
prime ingredient for energy and muscle growth in living animals.

Enzymes work in the digestive system to break down foods into absorbable units that can be better assimilated into the body. They have also been used for many years in water treatment systems, including pool and spa/hot tub water. In recreational aquatics, enzymes act like chemical knives cutting up 
and reducing oils, greases, and proteins to their elemental building blocks of carbon dioxide and water. A good broad-spectrum enzyme formula 
will include many types of enzymes to deal with numerous non-living organics that can lead to common pool maintenance issues.

November

As we get into November we are in a transition period of late summer and the start of winter clocks going forward .  You must without exception take the cautious approach when maintaining a pool .

Firstly the temperatures in November are still in the mid 20`s , warm during the day and cooler at night . This is the prime time for any lingering algae to raise its head if you do not maintain your sanitation levels correctly .  Secondly , you need to perform the final tests for Cyanuric acid and Calcium Hardness before the water gets too cold.  Why !  This will give you the exact amount of water you need to reduce the levels over the winter period and how much ” drop and top” you need to perform . Remember the only way you can get rid of Cyanuric acid is via dilution , the benefit of this is you also reduce both the calcium hardness and the TDS ( total dissolved solids ) at the same time .

  • Cyanuric Acid Levels     30-50 ppm              
  • Calcium Hardness       200 – 400 ppm
  • TDS        1500ppm over starting point
  • Chlorine levels               2 – 4 ppm
  • PH level                          7.4 – 7.6 ppm
  • Alkalinity                        80  –  120 ppm

Remember people enjoy swimming anytime

November is also a time you can start to reduce your pool pump running times , but only if it is not in use . If you or family are using the pool keep to the required filtration cycle , just because its cooler it does not mean bacteria does not exist .

If you require further information or how to adopt the ” Drop and Top ” method please call 26 623342 or mail  Hannah@thepoolpeople.eu