Why is PH so important?

Maintaining a pool’s PH (Potential Hydrogen) is critical in providing a safe swimming environment. If the PH is too low the water becomes acidic and if the PH is too high the water becomes alkaline. A balance between acidity and alkalinity needs to be constantly controlled for optimum swimming conditions and sanitiser performance.

Low PH results in;

  • Increased chlorine usage
  • Higher risk of chloramines formation
  • Skin and eye irritations
  • Etching of concrete and grouting
  • Wrinkling on vinyl liners
  • Corrodes equipment and accessories

High PH results in;

  • Pool chlorine efficiency
  • Increased risk of scale formation (the white substance found at the base of pools and on chlorinator cell plates)
  • Skin and eye irritations
  • Potential for cloudy water
  • Shorter filter cycles
  • Excessive back washing

There are a number of causes that influence potential changes for PH in pool water;

  • Fill water (bore water [ground water] is often associated with high PH, whilst exposure to fall-out from some industries such as mining can result in low PH)
  • Pool chemicals
  • Ozonators (the hydroxide by-product of ozone generation raises the PH up)
  • Environmental contamination (dust, bushfire fallout, agricultural sprays and general pollution)
  • Rainfall
  • Swimmer wastes (sunscreen lotions, make up, phlegm, sweat, urine, faecal matter)
  • Algae
  • PH ranges from 0-14 with the Australian standard being 7.2-7.8.
  • Adding Buffer (Sodium Bicarbonate) or Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate) will increase a pool’s PH if the level is low.
  • Adding Hydrochloric Acid or Dry Acid (Sodium Bisulphate) will decrease a pool’s PH if the level is high.
  • Ultimately, regular testing (once a week) of your pool’s PH level is paramount in maintaining a healthy swimming environment and assisting in satisfactory chlorine levels.