March 15, 2020 (As of this date)

ATTN: Swimming Pool Owners and Users.

CONT: COVID-19 & Swimming Pool Water

FRM: Certified Pools LLC- Nashville


When I was a kid growing my mother would simple say go outside and play, be home before dark, and off I would go to play. We played outside all day long and drank from the hose (nothing happened to us) when we were thirsty. Being outside is the key to this epidemic that we are dealing with. Staying indoors, separated from your friends all summer is going to create some terrible situations. You who own pools get the started and ready as soon a possible so that you and your family have a place to relax and enjoy (whether you have friends over or not will be your decision- it is after all your backyard).

2020 has begun by being a year of caution, concern and alarm based from the news we get bombarded from about the COVID-19 virus daily. This is understandable and some precautions should be taken for everyday cleanliness (hand sanitizer, washing hands while saying the alphabet, wiping down the counter, cover your mouth while you cough or sneeze).

We have seen school close, cruises canceled, airlines slow up on flights and the president has even shut down flights from Europe. Its enough to make anyone scared. SO WHAT ABOUT YOUR POOL OR COMMERCIAL POOLS???

Can the COVID-19 virus spread through pools and hot tubs? The CDC says:

There is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans using pools and hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance, and disinfection (e.g., with chlorine and bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.

This year is going to be a record year for STAYCATIONS and the use of personal and community swimming pools. So long as these pools are being properly maintained through good filtration and proper sanitation then yes, they are good place to be (having them be outside and not indoors is also advisable). In fact, they maybe a very safe place to be as chemicals and filtration are keeping the bathers safe from pathogens. Enjoy the great outdoors.

This year Certified Pools LLC will be turning up the production and addition of chlorine on all our pools, just as an added precaution. Pools that are what we call salt pools (these are the safest pools to have as they work to sanitize water 365/24/7) we will also be added a bit more extra in the pools. Keeping the pools at optimal running rates in filtration and chemicals will remove or kill any virus that one would worry about.

We will be:

  • Adding more chemicals to all our pools this year. Mostly in the form of backwashing filters, cleaning out cartridge filters and toping off chlorine levels). Their maybe some slight up charges for some of these additions.
  • Filtering your water better with the addition of extra media placed in your filters (from time to time) this makes your normal filter even more powerful.
  • Have you the customer when we are not their clean out the skimmers and pump baskets. This is very important as it can slow down our filtration rate.

It takes two measures to make your pool safe Chemicals (Sanitizers- they kill stuff) & Filters they clean up the dead stuff after the chemicals kill them.

Your filter is your last line of defense in trapping debris on a constant basis and keeping it out of your pool. That’s why it is so important to use the right type and keep it operating as cleanly as possible. Each filter type has its advantages and disadvantages. The clarity you desire, the environment and your willingness to maintain the filter and its equipment will determine which type is best for you.

What is a micron?

A micron is 1 millionth of a meter. In comparison, a human hair is about 70 microns across.

There are many factors that determine how effectively each filter can do its job, including filter area, water pressure and the size of the particles that it can trap. This ability is based on micron size.  A filter that traps particles about 5 microns wide will collect more material than one that traps particles between 25-30 microns.

1.     Clear Water:

What is a Sand Filter?

A sand filter is basically a large canister of sand that traps dirt and debris as water is forced through it. There are two types of sand filters used for swimming pools. The most common is the high-rate sand filter, which uses sand as the filter medium. The other is a rapid-rate sand filter and uses layers of rock and gravel for support on top of the layer of sand. As water passes through the sand bed, dirt and debris are trapped by the sand grains.

Sand Pool Filters

Sand filters use 20-grade silica sand capable of trapping particles as small as 20 microns.

Maintenance: Sand filters are considered to be the easiest to maintain. Sand filters are backwashed when the pressure reads 10 psi over the normal operating level. With proper water chemistry, you can expect your filter media to last 5-10 years.

2.     Clearer Water:

What is a Cartridge Filter?

Cartridge filters use replaceable paper or fabric-like pleated cartridges as their filter medium. Cartridges have a large surface volume to catch whatever the water pushes through them.  A cartridge filter generally has one cartridge inside. However, for a larger cleaning area, some models may have multiple cartridges inside the tank. These are sometimes called quad filters. In Texas, where large pools are common, these types of filters are used frequently.

Cartridge Pool Filters

Cartridge filters can trap particles as small as 10microns.

Maintenance: How long a filter element lasts will depend on many variables, including how it is cared for and its environment. The more dirt, vegetation, hours of operation, body oils, scale, and dogs a pool is exposed to, the more wear is placed on the filter element.

Individual cartridges must be removed, sprayed and soaked when the pressure gauge reads 10 psi over the normal level. Use a good cleaning agent Rinse pool filter cleaner or Cleaner Tablet to remove the scale and oils that impede filtration.

 3.     Clearest Water:

What is a Diatomaceous Earth Filter?

Often called DE, diatomaceous earth is composed of the skeletons of microscopic sea creatures. This filter type is the most complex, but also the most effective. Because they can remove such small particles, they say DE filters “polish” the water as it passes through the medium.

DE filters work by forcing water through the diatomaceous earth, which traps the debris and algae. These upright cylinder tanks have long, half-moon, rectangular shaped grids or fingers. A spreader, which is connected to a collector or manifold, separates these grids and holds them in place. Water flows through the tank then passes through the diatomaceous earth. It then passes through the filter grids and finally into the manifold before returning to the swimming pool.

Diatomaceous Earth Pool Filters

DE Filters remove the smallest particles of any filter, from 1-5 microns.

Maintenance: Must be backwashed as with a sand filter when the pressure is 10 psi over the normal level. New DE powder must be added to the filter as well. DE filter media may last 10 years or longer depending on water chemistry and maintenance.

Every pool we service has a few things in common with one another:

  1. They are all outside (difficult for airborne pathogens to spread)
  2. 95% off all our pools are “Salt Pools” this means they have built in Chlorine Generators on them and they produce chlorine all by them selves (the safest system out their).
  3. They all run off Chlorine (one of 7 different forms of chlorine, we utilize the 4 main kinds).
  4. Many of them have back up systems on them like chlorine feeders, hand feeding chlorine through skimmers, or floating tablet feeders.
  5. Some have UV light while others have Ozonates attached to help with sanitation.
  6. Every pool we have uses at least 2 forms of sanitation many have more than two.
  7. All pools have filters, that are monitored by us regularly. They maybe be Sand, Cartridge or DE (DE municipalities have some issues with from time to time).

I feel very confident in the equipment at our customers locations including my commercial accounts. This year we will be adding a few extra safety steps to help our pools with added sanitation and additives that make our filters work even better than normal. Your backyard swimming pool is going to be a very safe place for you and your family to hang out in this year. In fact, it may be the safest place to be.

As always please see any notes we send utilizing our automated Pool Tracs System. It is here that we will communicate anything we want to you to do differently than normal. Or we may mark something down that we did out of the ordinary. Nevertheless, this is where we communicate with you on a weekly basis.

by: Ken Witton, CPO

About the author: Sam Villa

Blogger and founder of SV Analytix, International Business Consultants. Servicing small business all throughout the Americas.