Pool Care After a Haboob
In July 2011, a massive dust storm made its way through metro Phoenix, wreaking havoc on everything in its path, especially swimming pools. The storm popularized the use of the word "haboob," which is an Arabic term to describe dust storms of significant magnitude.
The storms — and use of the term haboob — have been more common than in the decades preceding 2011, so pool owners have had to deal with them with some regularity.
So what is the best way to take care of your pool after a haboob? We're here to offer a few steps that, if followed, will help make caring for your pool after a dust storm easier.
- Ensure your filter is working properly. The debris entering your pool needs to come out somehow. By making sure your filter is working effectively, whatever enters your pool can be removed. Once your pool is clean, make sure to check the filter pressure. If your filter pressure is approximately 8-10 psi higher than the clean starting pressure, it is time to clean the filter.
- Brush and skim your pool — and check your filter baskets. Your system can’t handle all types and sizes of debris. By skimming to remove bigger leaves and other outside materials, you can prevent any issues with the system caused by a blockage or clog. By brushing, you can speed up the cleaning process by moving dirt and other finer materials toward the main drain in your pool. Using a manual vacuum is also a good option to help remove dirt. This also prevents anything from getting stuck on your pool surface that could cause a stain. Any debris that then makes it through the system will be caught in your filter basket, which needs to be cleaned regularly for optimal system performance.
- Shock your pool. Algae spores and other material can enter your pool because of a storm. By adding the recommended amount of shock, you can make sure your pool stays sanitized. If you have a chlorine generator (salt system), you can typically find a “boost” feature to increase the amount of chlorine produced by the cell for a short period of time.
- Run your system overnight. Brushing and shocking won’t be effective at cleaning your pool if the water isn’t being filtered and circulated. Running your system for an extended period of time allows the debris you’ve stirred up in the water — and the material that has been killed by the shock — to be removed by your filter.
- Test your water. Rain and other debris can interfere with your pool’s water balance. Testing your water shows you what you need to do to make sure your pool is chemically balanced and ready for use.
DIY TIP: You can test your water at home with a test kit or test strips, or you can bring in a sample to your local Leslie's and have it tested for free.
Obviously, each storm is different, but by following these general guidelines, recovering from a haboob can be handled properly so you can get back to swimming in no time.