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High CYA In Your Swimming Pool

If you have been following along on our blog we’ve been talking about Cyanuric Acid (CYA) a lot more lately. This is definitely a hot topic in the swimming pool industry and one worth discussing. In a recent blog post, we highlighted 5 things you need to know about it. 

CYA is also known as stabilizer and conditioner for your swimming pool. It is a chemical that is necessary to help retain chlorine in your swimming pool. However, as much as it is important, what happens when the levels get too high? A LOT! Please note, most pool professionals will recommend draining your swimming pool and starting over but at Pure Water Industries we don’t agree with that and want to show you why using The Puripool Process Reverse Osmosis (RO) filtration on your swimming pool water is a much better solution.

When you are concerned about chlorine loss, one of the most common chemicals used is CYA. The conditioner protects the free chlorine from being destroyed by the ultraviolet rays of the sun.  It helps reduce the chlorine loss by protecting the free chlorine in the pool from the sun’s ultraviolet rays, which in turn reduces the amount of chlorine needed to maintain proper sanitizer levels. Think about it as almost a sunblock for your pool. Because of this, Cyanuric Acid can help reduce the cost of maintaining a safe and clean swimming pool. Depending on whether or not you have a salt system, the normal ranges for CYA in your swimming pool is 30 to 50 parts per million (ppm). These levels increase with a salt system and we recommend checking the owner’s manual. But, what happens when those levels are higher than 50 ppm or really what happens above 100 ppm?  The biggest issue would be the effectiveness of the chlorine to act as a disinfectant.  When you have higher levels of CYA it will bind with the chlorine, making it slower acting to kill bacteria and microorganisms, and prevent algae from growing.  Higher levels will also increase cloudiness in the pool water; making it very susceptible to algae growth and challenges with taking care of your swimming pool. It could also increase the amount of chlorine you will need to use to keep it clear and free of algae growth.

At this point, most pool professionals will recommend a full or partial drain of the water in your swimming pool to lower CYA levels. Although they are correct in the need to lower the levels of CYA we don’t recommend a drain and refill or even a partial drain. Our water is hard and it’s best to conserve it. RO filtration will lower Calcium Hardness, Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), CYA, and so much more without draining the swimming pool. Just this past week we filtered a 20,000-gallon swimming pool that was dealing with extremely high levels of CYA.

Initial Chemistry:

Calcium Hardness: 800 ppm

Total Dissolved Solids: 5800 ppm

CYA: 300+ ppm

After filtering this swimming pool with RO filtration we were able to lower the above values to the following:

Ending Chemistry

Calcium Hardness: 140 ppm

Total Dissolved Solids: 762 ppm

CYA: 20 ppm

With the above CYA at 300 ppm, it would take 22.5 ppm residual or free chlorine to prevent algae growth and that is not only a lot but hard to maintain. This is why we recommend changing out your water every two years to prevent this problem. To learn more about free or residual chlorine please contact us today!