I USED TO HATE MY POOL
In 2002, I moved my family from a downtown property in London, Ontario, to a 16-acre estate on the edge of town. Technically, we were within the city limits but realistically we're in farm country. We had a horse farm beside us and grain farms around us. The fields were alive with dust, pollen and phosphates from fertilizers. Half of our property was forest and a creek ran through it.
200 feet west of the main house, down a steep hill, was our pool house and an in-ground 40 x 20-foot gunite pool. The pool deck was finished in flagstone. The heated pool was painted black with a brown tile border.
We took possession of the property in March 2002. This was our first swimming pool. Our family had no experience with pools. I had no idea what the cost was to open or maintain a pool. Friends recommended a pool maintenance company. The company opened the pool and things went well. However, the cost was about $1,000 to open and maintain the pool, but I thought that was normal. The company installed a safety cover and opened the pool the next spring.
There were problems from the outset. The pool company went out of business. I hired another company. They sold me all kinds of chemicals and I did my own cleaning and maintenance. It was a lot more work than I had not anticipated and the cost of the chemicals was very high. I was constantly added chemicals to raise the pH, then lower the pH. I had to adjust the alkalinity and add a clarifier. Adding chlorine drove me crazy because it was a combination of pucks and liquid chlorine. The pool was never really clear because I was always in the middle of adjusting some chemical balance. The pool became more work than fun.
This went on for a few years. Several years later I experienced an outbreak of green algae. Because the pool was painted black (to help raise the water temperature and save on heater fuel), it became the ideal breeding ground for algae. The black bottom and sides of the pool attracted the heat from the sun and the pool soon became a green swamp with algae clinging to the sides. I added more and more chlorine pucks to the chlorinator, but nothing improved. If anything, it became worse. I called in a couple of pool companies, but they could do nothing to help. The water was cloudy and the sides were green.
I bought all kinds of chemicals from the pool experts but to no avail. I worked on my pool weekends, vacuuming and such, and more work and work. I learned to hate my pool. The pool guys suggested I drain my pool and start over. I had 33,000 gallons of water! I considered filling it in. There had to be a better idea right? Well, there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Read my next post to find out what happened next.
END PART 1