Pool owners everywhere know the kind of problems that a rainstorm can cause for your normally pristine swimming pool. Severe weather with heavy rain and high winds can wash dirt, leaves, branches, and other debris into your pool, bringing a range of nasty bacteria and contaminants along with it. Additionally, excess water in the pool can throw off the water chemistry and dilute vital pool chemicals. To get your pool water back into shape after a severe weather event, check out our handy guide to cleaning your pool after a storm.

Remove Debris From the Pool Surface

The first step in post-storm clean up is to use a leaf net or skimmer with a telescoping pole to remove debris from the surface of the water. Also, try to get any larger debris that has settled to the bottom of the pool and is too big to remove by vacuuming.  

Empty Skimmer Baskets and Pump Strainer

There is likely a lot of dirt and debris that has collected in the skimmer baskets and pump strainer, so be sure to clean them out to prevent clogs in your filtration system.

Check Pool Equipment for Damage

With the power off, thoroughly check your equipment for signs of water damage. If there are any signs of water damage to the electrical equipment, be sure to call a licensed electrician before you attempt to restore power. If you don’t see any damage, it should be safe to turn the power on. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and call an electrician.

Clean or Backwash the Pool Filter

Now it is a good idea to backwash or clean your pool filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions because it is probably full of excess dirt and debris from the storm runoff. If you have a sand or D.E. filter, you might need to replace the filter media. For cartridge filters, remove and clean or replace the cartridges.

Remove Excess Water

If the water level in your pool is too high, use a sump pump or siphon to remove the excess water. The recommended water level is usually about halfway up the skimmer opening.

Clean the Pool Walls and Floor

Use your pool vacuum or automatic pool cleaner to remove the small particles of dirt and dust that still remain in the pool. If you can, vacuum directly to waste so that you don’t have to risk clogging your pool filter by running too much dirt through it. If you cannot vacuum to waste, you may need to backwash the filter again if its pressure gauge rises above normal. After vacuuming, brush the pool walls thoroughly. Continue to vacuum, brush, and repeat as necessary.

Balance the Water Chemistry

Even though you have cleaned out all of the visible dirt in the pool water, there are still tiny contaminants lurking there that are invisible to the naked eye. To prevent algae growth and other nasty problems, shock the water with a powerful pool shock to raise the chlorine level to about 10 ppm. We recommend Doheny’s Super Pool Shock to quickly kill algae and bacteria.

When the chlorine level has gone down to around 3 ppm, test your water using a test kit or test strips. Balance the pH levels, total alkalinity, cyanuric acid, and calcium hardness. 

Keep Your Pool Pump Running

Leave your pool pump running to circulate and filter the water until it is clear. You may need to run the filter system for a few days straight in order to get the water really clean. 

Severe storms require you to spend extra time on pool maintenance, and it is better to follow this process immediately after a storm than to wait for problems to arise. A pool that is full of storm water and debris is not safe for swimming and will soon become an algae-ridden mess. If you have any questions about pool care or supplies, don’t hesitate to contact Doheny’s at 800-574-7665. Our friendly experts are standing by to help. You can also visit our website at doheny.com for loads of quality pool supplies as well as expert tips and tricks for maintaining a clean, clear swimming pool.