If you’re a pool owner, it makes sense to do as much as you can to keep your pool water as clean as possible so you won’t have to buy and use chemicals quite as often (see Part 1). The only way to accomplish this goal is to be proactive about keeping contaminants from entering your pool in the first place. One of the main ways those contaminants hitch a ride into your pool is on your own body or those of your guests. That’s why having everyone take a quick shower before getting into the water is such a smart, simple piece of advice that every pool owner should consider adopting.
Always Require Guests to Shower Before They Get Into the Pool
If you ever go to a municipal pool, you’ll notice signs posted advising visitors to take a shower before entering the pool. If public pools require showers, it stands to reason that a private pool owner should as well. After all, your backyard pool can get just as contaminated by sweat, dirt, and bacteria as a public pool can.
If pool owners were honest, very few would probably be able to say that they shower themselves before getting into the pool, let alone ask their guests to do so. After all, it’s a little inconvenient. But if you do decide to start instilling this habit in your family members and guests, you’ll likely see a difference in the quality of your pool water over time.
Rather than trying to have everyone shower in your house, you could ask them to do so right before they come over. Or, you could put in an outdoor shower stall on your patio. Some pool owners also install foot showers so that those who get out of the pool for a while and walk around the yard won’t track mud and grass back into the pool. Whatever you can do to keep extra contaminants from making their way into your pool water, the better. Fewer contaminants mean fewer chemicals you’ll need to buy as well as less wear and tear on your pool filter.
Showering Can Reduce the Presence of Oils and Phosphates in the Pool
So what kinds of problems can your pool potentially avoid if you and your guests shower regularly before swimming? First of all, you’ll reduce the presence of oils in the water. The reason oils are such a problem is that they take a toll on the pool filter and they cut down on the amount of free chlorine in your pool water. These pesky oils are found in suntan lotion, hand creams, hair gel, hair spray, styling mousse, cosmetics, and human perspiration. Requiring a shower before guests get in the water can greatly reduce the amount of these oils that will end up in your pool.
Another common contaminant that causes problems in your pool is phosphates. They can feed on any organic matter in your pool as well as deplete your water’s free chlorine level. Pools often end up getting exposed to the phosphates that are found in laundry detergent. If you rinse off your body and your bathing suit before entering the water, fewer phosphates will get into the pool.
Keeping phosphates, oils, and other contaminants out of your pool will cut out some of the work you’ll have to do adding extra chemicals or maintaining your pool’s filtration system. In our next article, we’ll look at the importance of pool skimming and vacuuming.
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