Dust storms and heavy rain have caused a very strange environmental problem in all exposed pools and spas - silt!

The silt is formed from very small airborne particles of dust mixing with rain. The resulting silt may be too fine for most filters to remove without the help of a clarifier.

Remove suction or robotic cleaner
Remove any suction or robotic cleaner, as these will only prolong the clean-up and stir up the water. Plus, robotic cleaners will block very quickly and simply stop working.

Floc or clarify
Depending on what method you prefer, you can either floc or clarify. Each has its pros and cons.

The simplest method to quickly achieve clarity would be to use both treatments - floc overnight, then clarify for 48 hours to remove residual cloudiness.

Floc requires stopping the pump for a period of time (approximately 6 hours). Even if you do not see a result you MUST do a blind vacuum after treatment. The sediment may have formed at the bottom of the pool, below a layer of cloudy water, making it seem like the treatment was not effective. This is NOT the case and an overdose of BioGuard Power Floc will actually make the situation worse.

If you run out of stock due to extraordinary demand, you can use BioGuard Water Sparkle as a floc (dose of approximately 1KG per 20,000L).

In an emergency, BioGuard Polysheen Plus may be used as a floc, but it will not be anywhere near as effective as Power Floc.

Available BioGuard Products:
• Power Floc
• Water Sparkle
• Polysheen Plus

Clarifying requires the filter to do most of the work and is ONLY effective with the pump and filter running. It will also require the pool owner’s atention to ensure the filter pressure does not become too high. Daily backwashes may be needed until the sediment is cleared (you only need to backwash till the sight glass is clear).

In an emergency, Power Floc may be used as a clarifier (follow dosage rate on the bottle, but NOT the method).

Available BioGuard Products
• Polysheen Plus
• Super Clear Clarifying Tabs
• Quick Clear
• Pool Tonic
• Pool Complete
• Power Floc

Oxidising after the water is clean (or during) will be critical to the water’s recovery. Lite, Salt Pool Sparkle, Burn Out Extreme and Oxysheen are all excellent products to use, but remember they have different purposes.

Oxysheen is a strong oxidiser, but has no sanitation residual (so if you have a high chlorine residual, use this product).

Burn Out provides a big boost to your sanitation, but is not as strong as an oxidiser (so if you have a low chlorine residual, use this product).

Lite and Salt Pool Sparkle are most suited, as they achieve the best of both worlds and allow the pool owner to manage chlorine levels manually – which is usually best when dealing with this highly unusual silt situation.

Other Considerations

• The water has had a large amount of unknown material dumped in it. Test the water as soon as you are able, to ensure it is properly balanced and prevent it regressing into bigger problems (eg staining and algae).

• Organics – dust may have dumped organic mater into the system as well.

• Metals – there may be an influx of metals added to the water. Test for metals before shocking to ensure there is no staining. If present, treat the metals at the same time as clarifying.

• Filter Brite – no mater which treatment you use, the filter will have worked hard to remove any unwanted particulate. Make sure you chemically clean the filter as a last step.

In order to deal with this unusual silt (and dust) situation, you may have to use all the chemical tools at your disposal and be ready to respond to any changes that appear. The situation can be cleared up with relatively little fuss or long term concerns, as long as you are attentive and proactive.