by April Reinhardt
(last updated March 20, 2017)
Our parents were motel managers, affording my siblings and me the summertime advantage of a large swimming pool for our use. Our tanned bodies and chlorine-bleached hair evidenced the hours we spent at the pool from the day it opened to the day it closed each season. The four of us found ourselves poolside and alone one hot summer afternoon, and the oldest of us—my brother—produced a watermelon and threw it into the deep end of the pool. Seconds later, the melon buoyed to the top. We all exclaimed with amazement that something so heavy could float, and he repeatedly threw the melon into the pool, always with the same result. I think it was my sister who ran to fetch Dad so that he, too, could be astonished at the watermelon trick. Instead, he was horrified to see the melon explode the very next instance it hit the water, spraying seeds and melon throughout the entire pool.
Over the next several weeks we all learned how to keep pool water sparkling clean. It was relatively simple for Dad to arrange to have the pool drained of water and then refilled. The subsequent green slime and algae that bred in the water was a more difficult problem to solve. I remember Dad adding numerous boxes of baking soda to the pool water as well as pool chemicals. I also remember him showing my brother how to take water samples and how to add the chemicals over those few weeks, finally returning the water to crystal clarity.
It doesn't take a watermelon incident to provide you the know-how to keep your pool water sparkling clean. Instead, follow these simple guidelines:
Run your pool filter while adding chemicals, and then daily for at least three hours. Clean the filter twice a week. Keep your pool physically clean by netting leaves, bugs, and twigs away, and vacuuming the bottom as needed. Remove pool toys after each use, as bacteria can grow on them. All of these tips can help to keep your pool water sparkling clean.
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