Rain and Your Pool

A very full swimming pool, almost overflowing, with rain falling

It's raining again, what should I do with my pool?

Seasonal changes and winter rain in Perth are guaranteed, so what actions can you take as a pool owner to care for your pool before, during and after a heavy downpour?

Preparing for heavy rainfall

It's wise to regularly check the weather forecast so you can plan and prepare for the chance of a pool fill, but sometimes downpours do happen with little warning or unseasonally. If you are able to act before a big rain arrives you can lower the pool level to still allow water though the skimmer without running the pump dry. This will give you a few hundred litres to play with and could be the catalyst to avoiding a pool overfill.

If you are operating a sand filter or even a DE, the most effective way of reducing the pool volume is to use the filter's multiport valve and select the waste position. This operation may require a backwash hose attachment or your setup may go to sewerage – you should have been made aware of how this is set-up when you purchased your pool or a home with a pool or spa.

Other options for reducing your pool's water level include:

  • Backwash the pool
  • Use a sump pump

Preparing for a storm

There are several measures you can take before a storm arrives to protect your pool and home.

  • Store all equipment such as pool cleaning gear, toys and furniture in your pool enclosure as these may become projectiles in high winds.
  • Remove your pool blanket as the wind could cause it to become damaged.
  • Check the pool chemical levels and add sanitiser (algaecide or chlorine) if needed. 
  • At all times secure your pool fence and gate to prevent children from accessing the pool unsupervised.

After a storm

It may seem like rain is pure water falling from the sky, but in reality it picks up pollutants including dust, pollen and even algae spores as it falls and can be quite acidic. If your pool has trees nearby any dust or debris on the leaves will be washed off by the rain straight into your pool water which can add phosphates and contaminants to your pool.

Rain can also destroy your pool’s water balance by diluting cyanuric acid (stabiliser) levels, softening the water, lowering calcium hardness, and also affecting pH and alkalinity levels. This can cause damage to your pool surface and filtration equipment.

After a storm has passed you should clean the pool of any debris that has blown into it, lower the water level and check the water chemistry again. If necessary super-chlorinate the pool and run the filter overnight.

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