That about sums it up. Tomorrow we’re putting the winter cover on the pool and officially sticking a fork in the 2006 swimming season. For all intents and purposes, it was really over before the Labor Day holiday, although we did sneak one post-Labor Day swim in, during a warm spell where I was able to briefly nurse the water temperature back up to 80. But it was all downhill from there. Although 2006 certainly ranks as our shortest swim season to date, it was also one of the best. In the peak months of July and August, the pool saw almost daily use, and there were no serious maintenance hassles — in particular, no yellow algae this year. I did have my annual 6-week cloud-up (where the water starts clouding up approximately 6 weeks into swim season), but I believe I narrowed that problem down to inadequate filtration. Increasing the pump run time seemed to clear the water up. Next year will be the real test.
Regarding the yellow algae, or lack thereof, I credit that to more frequent superchlorination combined with additional pump run time (probably more the former than the latter). The past couple seasons, I just don’t think I was superchlorinating enough. Once a week during really hot periods (water pushing 90), and once every 2-3 weeks otherwise, seemed to do the trick this year. Since everyone seems to have a different definition of what constitutes “superchlorination”, here’s mine: start with a residual of 2-3ppm free chlorine. If the pH is 7.6 or above, first throw in a couple pounds of bisulfate. Then add 2-1/2 gallons of 12.5% sodium hypochlorite.
Next spring, I get the joy of draining the pool for repairs. Really, I can’t wait.