How important is water clarity? It can mean the difference between life and death.

How important is water clarity? It can mean the difference between life and death.

Water Clarity Saves Lives


While it is always paramount that your child or other swimmer is actively supervised at all times while inside your inground swimming pool, there are other factors that may contribute to your ability to keep them safe.  Even professionally trained lifeguards have a handicap when certain factors come into play, such as distractions, fatigue, etc.  One element that causes a major obstacle to safety and a drowning hazard that is often overlooked is the clarity of the swimming pool water.  If a parent or lifeguard doesn’t have complete visibility to the bottom of the swimming pool, they are not able to identify swimmers in distress that are on the bottom or under the water.  Time is crucial in these situations, and having a crystal clear swimming pool is the best preventive to entering into this dangerous situation.

In this post from Aqua, some basic ways to ensure that this doesn’t happen to your inground swimming pool are discussed, as well as the tragedy that can befall you if you aren’t vigilant in doing so.

Here is an excerpt from the post:

It’s probably one of the most well known “cloudy water” tragedies known to anyone in the recreational water realm. On a hot Sunday in June 2011, Marie Joseph hopped into a Toyota Corolla with a group of friends to go and cool off at the Veterans Vietnam Memorial Pool at Lafayette Park in Fall River, Mass. Two days later, Joseph’s body was found floating in the public pool.

During the outing on Sunday, Joseph and a nine year old were playing on the slide. After sliding down together, the nine year old surfaced and noticed Joseph hadn’t! The nine year old notified a lifeguard that Joseph was underwater and in trouble. Responses of the lifeguards at the facility are questionable, but one of the undisputed results of the investigation afterwards showed that extremely cloudy pool water hid Joseph from lifeguards, friends and police investigators.

A police investigation revealed that visibility in the pool was less than 4 feet below the surface. Although required by state law, the bottom of the pool was not visible at all!

Drowning and near-drowning events in cloudy water have been on the rise. Many of these tragedies occur at supervised venues with lifeguards and adults in and around the pool. But oftentimes, you can’t tell a person is drowning or in trouble on the water’s surface — meaning the ability to see someone beneath the surface can be the difference between life and death. The sooner a victim can be discovered and given CPR, the better their chances of survival are.

Cloudy water is a preventable problem. Some of the main causes of a cloudy pool include poor filtration and circulation, an influx of particulate matter such as dust and dirt or buildup from swimmer waste and suntan lotions. If water balance is incorrect, high calcium hardness, high pH or total dissolved solids can all cause cloudiness. Simply having too many swimmers and a lack of sanitizer to keep up can also cause cloudiness.

Click here for the entire post