Having a pool is wonderful fun for those who enjoy swimming and water play in the hot weather. Automatic pool cleaners really help make the hard work of keeping that pool clean much easier, especially those that can be set and forgotten while they chug away clearing out debris and even scrubbing walls.
However, if your pool is outdoors and gets flooded, it will take more than a cleaner to get rid of all that brown water and the mud that is in it – and all the mud that will accumulate on the bottom of the pool. So what is the best way to clean out a pool that is full of floodwater?
Check the surrounding area for safety
If you’ve been inundated by a raging river it is likely that the safety fence around the pool has been washed away or compromised in some way. Once the water has receded, check the area for safety before allowing anyone near it. You may have to remove flood debris from around the area, make sure there are no hidden holes and see what condition the fence is in, if it is still there. If it’s not, put a barrier in place to keep children out.
What else is in the pool?
Check to see if any larger debris like tree branches, rocks or someone’s garden furniture got washed into your pool. If so, you’ll need help to get it out. The first thing to do is drain the water out – but only partially – so you can see what else is in there. This may also be a job for the experts. If you have to wait any length of time to have it drained, you’ll need to pour around 30 litres of chlorine into the pool to prevent mosquitoes breeding.
Don’t drain it yet
When there’s a flood, the underground water table in the area increases. If you drain all the pool out too soon there is the risk it will lift up out of the hole due to underground water pressure and this can crack the foundations. It may also void pool warranties, so get the advice of a licensed pool professional before having anything done to your pool.
Saving the pool water
It may be possible to save the pool water if the contamination is not too bad, for instance, if only some of the flood water ran into the pool. You’ll need to add water clarifiers or flocculent as well as additional chlorine to the water to decontaminate it and help solids settle to the bottom so they can be removed.
It will very likely take a lot of repeat cleaning and testing of the pH to ensure it is fit for use. Before using, have a sample tested for phosphates, which are food for algae. Don’t use the pool until you are 100% sure it is safe.