The Importance of Proper Pool Filtration and pH Levels

While adding the right amounts of chlorine is essential for sanitizing your pool, two other elements are even more important for keeping the water clean, healthy, and sparkling: the pool’s filtration system and pH levels. If these elements are not properly maintained, the pool water may become cloudy, unsafe for swimming, and even damaging to your pool’s structural components.

How your pool’s filtration system works

At least once each day, all of the water in your pool is sucked in by the pump and passed through the filter. This is not the same as the skimmer basket, which collects larger debris like leaves and sticks. Instead, the filter—which is housed in a tank and is typically composed of sand, cartridge, or diatomaceous earth—is important for collecting finer debris, such as dirt, dust, algae, and microorganisms. After the filter cleans the water by trapping these contaminants, the water is pushed back into the pool through the return plumbing. The filtration process is essential for removing debris that would make the water unhealthy for swimming and create an environment conducive to algae growth.

The importance of proper pH levels

A pool’s pH level is a measure of the water’s acidity. If the pH is below 7.0, the water is acidic, while a pH above 8.0 is considered basic or alkaline. However, the ideal pH for your pool is between 7.4 and 7.6. When the levels fall above or below this range, the water may become hazardous to swimmers, as well as the pool’s structure and equipment.

When pH is low, the water can corrode the pool’s pump, ladders, heaters, and other equipment. The liner may begin to fade or wrinkle, and the plaster in gunite pools may begin to deteriorate. In addition, swimmers will likely experience a variety of irritating or harmful symptoms, such as stinging eyes, dry and itchy skin, irritation in the nasal cavities, brittle hair, or bleached bathing suits. Many of these effects are also seen with high pH, which can cause the water to become cloudy and may render chlorine ineffective—making the pool unsafe for swimming.

Due to the damaging effects that occur when pH is out of range, it’s important to test your pool’s water chemistry on a regular basis. While two to three times per week is often the recommended frequency, your optimal chemical testing schedule may depend on factors like how heavily your pool is being used and the water and air temperatures.

As a pool owner, it can be overwhelming to ensure that your pool’s pH levels, filtration system, and other elements are ideal for safe swimming at all times. The team at Aqua Pool and Patio is here to help! With our maintenance programs, we will regularly check your pool’s chemistry, make any adjustments needed, and verify that all systems are functioning properly. Call us at (860) 623-9886 or visit to learn more!