Vandalized Pool

by Cindy

We had our pool vandalized! They put a bottle of concentrated insecticide, the mower gas can, gas can with oil mixture and just about anything they could get their hands on into our pool.

We have young children and want to be sure the water is safe.

What do we do?

Thanks for the question Cindy

It's unfortunate that some people have nothing better to do than ruin someone else's property.

The question says a gas can and oil/gas can mix so I will assume the containers were open and all the fluid got into the pool.

More than likely you're going to need to drain, clean, and refill the pool.

The questions doesn't say the kind of filter, but change the sand, replace the cartridge filters, or buy new DE grids and recharge with DE.

This is the only way to be sure most of the contaminants are out of the pool. I say most for a reason. If it's an inground pool, you're going to have several feel of underground plumbing.

To clear the lines you'll probably need to flush them out with clean water and chemical solution that will strip away any residue left on the pipes.

With an above ground pool, most, if not all of the plumbing, is above ground so the process can be a bit easier.

I don't think simple filtering will take out oil and gas.

Once you've done your drain and refill, cleaned the filter, and cleaned the lines, there's something else you can do.

A good product is Natural Chemistry's Pool First Aid. It can remove oil residue from a pool. Also check into SpaPurge as well. This is a similar product for spas but may double as a product for pools.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


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Arm and Hammer Detergent Accidentally Put In Pool

by Doug

I accidentally put in detergent rather than Baking Soda. Stupid, but I did it. I have a spill over spa and it now causes foam and bubbles.

What can I use to get rid of this.



Thanks for the question Doug

Believe me you're not the only one who has done this. Next time be sure it's the powdered baking soda. That's the safest bet.

This is a pretty minor issue, all things being equal. The problem is the suds are annoying. Now, if you put in a few gallons I would recommend draining the pool, but if it was only 1/4 - 1/2 gallon I wouldn't worry too much. You shouldn't have any residual problems from the mistake.

The best thing to do is to remove the suds and foam layers with a leaf rake.

Shocking the pool will speed up the breakdown of the residual soap. With the warmer temperature coming soon, the heat will help break down the soap. Chemical reactions speed up higher temperatures). I'd concentrate on the scooping of the suds for now.

The detergent is annoying because of the foam, but they shouldn't hurt the pool. It will take some time and energy to remove the suds and foam, but your pool will be clear once again.

If you need immediate assistance (within 24 hrs) or for emergency personal assistance, you can make a donation of your choice and I'll answer your questions by phone.

Contact Me


Hope this helps and have a great Summer.


Comment By Doug:

Thanks for the quick response. I put about 12 lbs of that stuff in a 20K galllons of water. I will take your advice because I am wasting money trying to fix it.

Thought I would put hose at the deep end bottom surface of pull, turn off filter and at same time drain water from the steps on the other end.

Without getting rid of all the pool water-wouldn't know what to do with all of it. By diluting big time may fix it.

Thanks again.


Comment By Robert:

Diluting is certainly one way to go. I had to do that a few times when the lifeguards at the Y put too much salt in the pool. I'd close off the skimmers and open the bottom drain all the way, then I'd attach the fill pipe and drain about 6 - 8" of water.

With 12lbs. of soap, you'll probably need to look at it in a few days. I had to drain a couple of pools in Arizona because of a massive amount of soap, but this was because of vandals, kids with nothing better to do than mess up somebody's pool.

Again, try scooping the suds out, but as a last resort, you may need to drain and refill. The pool is not the issue, it's the filter. Soap can get trapped in there so lots of backwashing will be needed.

Let me know how it turns out for you.


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Pool Water Damaged By Fireworks

by Keith

I was told that the phosphorous in fireworks can alter my water chemistry, and cause algae to grow? I have fresh(new)water in pool 3months old. I check water weekly, and maintain it, but someone said that fireworks,(what's in them) can cause inbalances in water to make algae grow.

Is this possible and what do I do about it? It was just neighborhood fireworks, not close to any big show,could this have caused any water damage?

Thank You Keith

Thanks for the question Keith

I have never heard that the phosphorus in fireworks can damage a pool's chemistry. It is true that one of the main ingredients in fireworks is phosphorus and it glows in the dark. The three main allotropes in phosphorus are white (or yellow), red, and black; white (or yellow) being the most reactive. Phosphorus is used to make baking soda, dishes, and fine china dishes.

I think that you may have heard that it can increase the amount of phosphates in the pool. While this is true is you live near a golf course or a field that gets heavily sprayed with pesticides, I'm sure the fireworks didn't have an effect on your pool's chemistry.

Here's a post about phosphates:

High Phosphates Over 1000 & Cloudy Water

If you're unsure about your pool chemistry, I'd like to have your complete chemical readings: Chlorine, CYA (cyanuric acid/stabilizer), pH, Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness, and Metals (iron and copper). This will tell if anything is wrong.

I hope this puts any concerns to rest and hope to hear from you soon.


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