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Matt Gohlke: Pool maintenance important as daytime temps begin to reach 100 degrees

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Matt Gohlke

So far this year, we have had really good weather for enjoying the outdoors. We are just now entering the time of year when it starts getting really hot — like 100-degree temperature hot.

After doing some research (thanks to the National Weather Service), I have discovered the following 100 degree weather facts:

*Average date of first 100-degree day — July 1

*Average date of last 100-degree day — Aug. 26

*Earliest date of 100-degree day — March 9, 1911 (100 degrees)

* Latest date of 100-degree day — Oct 3, 1951 (106)

*Average number of 100-degree days per year — 18

*Most in a calendar year — 71 (2011)

*Fewest in a calendar year — 0 (1973 & 1906)

*Most consecutive 100-degree days — 42 (1980)

*Most 100-degree days in a month — 31 (July 1980)

In 2016, we didn't have a 100-degree day until July 22, and we ended up having 18 of them, with the last one coming on Sept. 20. We had 15 100-degree days in both 2015 and 2014. In the record-breaking year of 2011 when we had 71 days of at least 100 degrees, we had our first 100-degree day on June 13 and our last on Sept. 29 — what a summer to remember!

Following is a breakdown of how many 100-degree days that we average per month:

*May — 0.2

*June — 1.2

*July — 6.0

*August — 9.2

*September — 1.0

As you can imagine, these 100-degree temperatures can create problems for swimming pools even when a routine swimming pool maintenance program is followed. Two of the most common pool problems that pool owners experience this time of year because of the heat are cloudy water and algae.

Cloudy water due to water chemistry imbalance. Low sanitizer (chlorine) levels or high pH levels (above 7.6) can cause cloudy water. Professional pool cleaners know the importance of keeping the pH toward the lower end of the ideal range of 7.2 to 7.6, as chlorine is much more effective as those lower pH levels.

If you have cloudy water and suspect that it is a water-chemistry problem, simply test the water and treat as recommended, or better yet, take a pint of your pool water to a professional pool store. They will gladly analyze your pool water and recommend treatment.

Treating algae in pools. Most algae can be prevented and can usually be blamed on low sanitizer (chlorine) levels. It is much easier and less expensive to prevent algae than it is to treat it. Many pool owners in the Denton area use an algaecide weekly as a preventive measure. This, along with brushing the pool regularly, is very effective in preventing algae.

There are several types of algae that are common in this area. They are as follows:

*Green algae is either free-floating or attaches itself to the pool surface.

*Yellow (or mustard) algae is usually found in low-flow areas of the pool.

*Black (or blue-green) algae forms a root system, which makes it difficult to remove.

Treatment varies with each one of these types of algae, but it usually consists of increasing the sanitizer level, using an algaecide and brushing the pool.

As you enjoy your swimming pool this summer, be sure to be aware of the impact that the heat has on your pool in order to avoid problems such as cloudy water or algae.

Happy swimming!

MATT GOHLKE owns Gohlke Pools, which has earned national awards, certifications and recognition in the pool industry. He can be reached at 940-387-7521 or matt@gohlkepools.com.