Water clarity depends on three factors: proper chemicals balances, adequate daily circulation, and quality filtration. Your pool needs a combination of filtration, circulation, and chlorination to stay clear, blue, and ready for swimming.

Most pool owners understand the importance of chemical treatments in pool water maintenance. What is less understood is the vital role the pump and filter play in keeping the pool water looking its best.

Pool water is ciruclated by a small pump. This pump pulls water from the pool through the skimmers, forces it into the filter, then returns the water to the pool, via jets positioned on the pool walls. In our rainy, humid climate, the pool water is constantly exposed to mold and algae spores, dust and dirt, and other airborne or rainborne contaminants. Daily circulation allows these contaminants to be strained out of the water. During the summer months, the pump should be run at least 8 to 10 hours a day.

The filter is designed to trap small particles suspended in the pool water. These particles, called “colloidals,” are what makes inadequately filtered water look hazy or milky.

A dirty filter can have a dramatic effect on circulation. As water passes through the filter, millions of tiny colloidals cling to the filtration elements. Eventually, these accumualted particles make it difficult for water to pass through the filter. A dirty filter can reduce pump efficiency by up to 80 percent. In other words, circulating your water for 10 hours a day when the filter is dirty is the equivalent of circulating the water for 2 hours a day when the filter is clean. Many times, a homeowner will find his water is cloudy and greenish, even though the chemical levels are fine, and the pump is running for an adequate amount of time each day. A dirty or damaged filter is the source of the problem.