This is about water balance, as measured by the Langelier Saturation Index (LSI). This index gauges the calcium carbonate (CaCO3) saturation of your water, with 0.00 being perfect. As long as your water is within the -0.30 to +0.30 range, your water is in balance. There are six factors to keep track of, which means more in-depth testing. But if you look at it the other way, if you’re not testing all six factors, you only know half the information you need to balance your water chemistry. The six factors are pH, carbonate alkalinity, calcium hardness, water temperature, total dissolved solids (including salt), and cyanuric acid.
The action step is to keep your water LSI balanced, which is easy to keep track of using the free Orenda app’s LSI and chemical dosing calculator. Doing this action step can prevent carbonate scale, etching, most plaster discolorations and damage, fading vinyl liners, and/or deteriorating fiberglass.
While chlorine is an outstanding disinfectant, it is a comparatively weak oxidizer. Yet more than 90% of the contaminants in pools are non-living oxidants, like bather waste. Many of these oxidants, like sunscreen or cosmetics, are complex molecules that take a lot of chlorine to oxidize out of the water. Failure to manage these organics will lead to a much higher chlorine demand than is necessary, cloudy water, oils and scum lines on tile, and fouled filters. Chlorine is not designed to get these oils and organics out of the pool, but we can complement chlorine with things that are much more capable against these non-living organics.
The action step is to complement chlorine with enzymes and/or secondary systems like Ozone, UV, or hyper-dissolved oxygen (HDO). Enzymes rapidly break down carbon-based organic waste and are a much more efficient way to handle bather oils and sunscreen. Doing this action step of complementing chlorine will yield cleaner, clearer water, improved chlorine efficiency, and a more pleasant look and feel to the water.
Orenda has a philosophy of minimalism, which requires being proactive with pool care. Almost any water chemistry issue we have come across can be prevented by following these four simple action steps. For more information, we have an entire free online educational program called Orenda Academy™ for you. We also have the more advanced Orenda Academy: Four Pillars™ program online, which is also free. In those programs we go more in depth on these concepts, and we hope to help you optimize your pool chemistry and prevent issues.