Cleaning Up Your Pool After a Hurricane or Storm

Hurricanes can wreak havoc on even the cleanest and most well-maintained swimming pool. Check out this list of tips from Leslie’s Pool Supplies for getting your pool back in shape after a big storm. 

“Floodwaters can bring dirt, debris, sewage, bacteria and other contaminants into swimming pools while washing away chemicals that keep pool water safe,” says Tracy Dick of Leslie’s Pool Supplies. “It’s important to address the situation as quickly as possible so health issues don’t have a chance to develop, while also taking care to protect the pool’s structure and equipment to prevent costly repairs.”

  1. Do not drain the pool. Even if the water is saturated with dirt and debris, draining the swimming pool can lead the pool to “float” or “pop” out of the ground due to an elevated water table – an expensive problem to correct. The best bet is to clean the water currently in the pool, no matter how dirty it may look.
  2. Skim debris from pool and clean pump strainer FIRST. Remove the debris floating on the surface and at the bottom of the pool and clean out the pump strainer and the skimmer baskets BEFORE restoring power and running the filtration system, to avoid clogging or straining the system. 
  3. Next, check electrical equipment. Before turning the power to pool equipment back on, check for signs of water damage to your equipment. If the equipment is dry, turn the power back on and start running the circulation and filtration systems. If there appears to be any signs of water or water damage, consult a professional prior to turning power back on.  
  4. Normalize the water level. During a severe storm, a good amount of water most likely found its way into your pool, so restoring water level is crucial. Use a sump pump or a siphon to remove excess water that can strain the system. 
  5. Shock and Balance Water Chemistry. Microscopic and potentially harmful organic contaminants may be present even if the water appears clean. If left unchecked, this can lead to algae and bacterial growth. Use a powerful pool shock to raise the chlorine level to around 10.0 ppm until it subsides to 3.0 ppm. Then, balance the water chemistry with an alkaline product. Leslie’s Pool Supplies offers free pool water testing and expert advice for specific problems.

After completing these steps, Leslie’s recommends running the pool’s circulation and filtration system for a few days until the water is clear and the pool is safe to use again.

~ Leslie’s Pool Supplies, the nation’s largest pool supply retailer, has 18 locations in Houston.