Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Emerging from the Swamp

Now that the weather has warmed up we would love to have all of you over to swim . . .
. . . except . . .

This past winter my two-year-old threw an entire giant bucket of sidewalk chalk into the pool. One day the chalk lay scattered around the back patio, and the next I found it dissolving in little colored lumps all over the bottom of the pool.

I did not think much of it until six weeks ago when the weather warmed and the algae started to bloom. In the past a couple of chlorine tablets in the floater would clear things up. Not this year! The pool got greener and greener in spite of my efforts. Then, to top it off, my husband vacuumed the pool and found the filter full of wiggly little red worms! Our tropical fish loved eating them, but no one wanted to go swimming with them.

Chlorine tests revealed NO CHLORINE in the pool at all, in spite of multiple shocks and keeping tablets in the floater at all times. My one-time-chemistry-major husband theorizes that the chalk ate the all acid in the pool, including the chlorine stabilizer. Even when we finally managed to raise the chlorine in the pool to detectable levels, the worms and the algae still thrived on.

In desperation, we drained half the water from the pool last night. We rented a pump from the pool store, then waited until after dark so that the heat and the sun would not crack the exposed pool liner. Today the pool looks much better, but it is not quite ready for company yet. My husband is out trying to find some place that sells stabilizer in small enough quantities so that we don't have to store dangerous acid in the garage.

Let this serve as a warning to all! No sidewalk chalk in the pool!


One Sweet Life said...

Oh! That's horrible for you guys! Here's hoping to a fast & easy fix ! :)

Cherilyn said...

So...Maybe you could throw citrus fruit in the pool? Or make lots of acid comments in the pool's vicinity? Or make it into a saltwater pool, add fish, and pretend you're living by the ocean!

Frozen Cacti said...

EEWWWW. I'm totally grossed out by the thought of wriggly red worms. I am, however, missing my fish now (they didn't move with us-frown).

Hope everything clears up soon so you can start cooling off.

Rebecca Mother of A Tribe said...

That made me laugh, Cherilyn. I suggested vinegar but Russel says it has to be the "right kind of acid."

We are actually starting to swim today. Hooray!