Pool Poisoning? Why Now Is a Good Time to Check Your Pool

Experts say extreme heat, along with pop-up storms, are affecting the chemical balance of pools & causing issues

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With the heat wave, a lot more families are spending time at the pool.

But along with the fun comes the danger, not just with drowning but pool poisoning.

Local pool operators say it has been so hot lately, that it's actually affecting the chemical balance of pool water.

"The high temperatures evaporate our water at a rapid pace. And during that time, we're losing not only water, but our chemicals as well. So we're struggling with mother nature right now,” said Lisa Ifland, owner and founder of Pinch A Penny Plano.

Her team works on some of the 60,000 pools she says are in just the Plano area alone.

That paints a huge picture of the hot housing market in North Texas. More people are buying homes and becoming first-time owners of the pool that comes with the house or just building one during the pandemic.

In fact, data shows there's been a more than 500% surge in new backyard swimming pools in the U.S.

"There's a pool in almost every backyard. Business is extremely busy this time of year. Our team is working very hard to take care of all these pools," Ifland said.

But not everyone is a chemist and thousands are rushed to the emergency room every year for injuries from mishandling chemicals.

Ifland says she is on an educational mission to make sure people don't get poisoned from misuse, breathing in chemicals and even getting skin burns from adding too much chlorine to water.

"If you get a pool that has not properly balanced and the chlorine level is either high or low, the water can be corrosive, and you can feel burning on your skin. You can feel burning on your eyes, you can have a rash on your skin,” she said. “There's all types of effects you can experience getting out of the pool – you can feel nauseated. The water chemistry balance is very important."

If you're having issues, call a pool expert. They'll come out and do a chemical analysis to help you.

If you're doing it on your own, follow these safety tips:

  • Wear safety equipment like respirators or goggles when handling pool chemicals.
  • Keep them out of reach of children, teens and pets.
  • Store in a temperature-controlled environment.
  • Never mix different pool chemicals with each other. It's especially dangerous to mix chlorine and acid.

Another thing Ifland has noticed people doing is throwing chemicals directly into a pool. She said it’s important to make sure you dilute it in a bucket first and have water flowing at all times so that it evenly mixes.

Click here for more information from the National Capital Poison Center.

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