Ugh, yes I said it.... poop in the pool. If you have a pool and you have little ones, chances are at some point this may happen. No one likes it at all but you have to know what to do if this happens.
There are two types of "fecal incidents", solid or formed and diarrheal. I think you can tell the difference. Obviously one is far more toxic and dangerous than the other. Most people don't want to drain their pool completely, scrub it and refill it, which not only takes a while but uses a lot of excess water. If you're dealing with non-formed fecal incidents you probably have what's called Crypto to deal with, short for Cryptosporidium Giardia, E.coil and Shigella. Nothing of which you want swimming in your pool. So what can you do about it?
Chlorine kills most of these diseases but they each have different speeds of which they kill, E. coli can be killed in less than a minute, hepatitis A takes up to 16 minutes, Giardia can take 45 minutes and the ever so popular crypto parasite can take nearly 7 days. Of course, depends on the size of the pool in parts per million but when diarrheal fecal incidences happen, it's best to simply close the pool and chlorinated or shock it for a week.
The CDC offer some conflicting information in the aftermath of different types of incidences. If it's a form to stool, the request that you raise the chlorine to two ppm and ensure that the pH is between 7.2 and 7.5. Closure time is approximately 30 minutes.
After a diarrheal incident however you must maintain the chlorine concentration at 2.0 ppm with a pH of 7.2 and 7.5 for at least 25 minutes before reopening the pool however, if it must be closed for a week and then tells you to open it within 30 minutes, there's some discrepancy there.
First off if it is formed simply use your strainer and get it out of there as quickly as possible and up the chlorine. It's best to stay out of the pool for quite some time.
If it's a serious incident and you're pretty sure that the matter contains Crypto, close the pool altogether and make sure that no one is in the pool until the disinfection process is completed. Remove as much of the fecal matter as possible using a net or a bucket and dispose of it in a sanitary matter. Make sure that you clean and disinfect whatever item you use to remove it once it's completed. Raise the free chlorine concentration to 20 ppm and maintain a pH of 7.5 and a temperature of 77°F or higher. The free chlorine and pH should remain at these levels for at least 13 hours to achieve the right disinfection.
You'll need to attend to the water frequently and make sure your filtration system is operational during this disinfection time. Once completed, backwash the filter or replace the cartridge after reaching the CT inactivation value. Do not return the backwash through the filter.
For more information visit www.health.gov for times and levels for different types of infection. For professional pool cleaning in Lake Havasu City, contact our office today.
Don Reinhard has been a Havasu City resident for several years and loves the sun and warmth of this area. He has brought both of these together being in the pool industry. Call him today for quotes on pool and spa maintenance and service.