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Sunday, April 18, 2021

Pool owners warned of risks post floods

Pool specialists are warning pool owners in flood affected areas to be aware of the increased risk of ‘popping pools’, debris, water-borne disease, and mosquitoes this week.

The call comes as torrential rain and widespread flooding across Eastern Australia causes underground water to increase hydrostatic pressure, potentially causing swimming pools to float up or pop up.

 “We understand the main priorities are keeping people safe and homes habitable, however it must be remembered that flooded pools and surrounding properties present a unique set of physical, financial and health hazards,” warns Swimart Executive Officer Rick Graham.  

The shell of a swimming pool and its underground PVC pipework has a tendency to crack float when the surrounding soil is saturated, which Graham says can cause significant damage.

“Even concrete pools weighing over 50 tonnes can float when empty due to the upward pressure of water under the pool floor causing them to pop out of the ground,” he explains.

“Pools built near a lake, river or ocean that are at approximately the same elevation as the body of water are more prone to floating.”

Most underground pools are equipped with a hydrostatic relief valve in the floor, which allows ground water to enter the pool to keep the equilibrium and relieve build-up of pressure.

“However, the valve could be faulty or unable to cope with the amount of pressure caused by the ground water,” continues Graham. 

“That’s why people need to consult an experienced technician before emptying the water.”

Experts are also urging pool owners to monitor water quality to prevent an outbreak of water borne diseases when forecast sunny conditions hit.

“Heavy rain dilutes chemical levels, which quickly can turn pools green with algae breaks,” says Graham.

“This can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.”

Pool owners are advised to check fencing if damaged, remove debris, conduct a backwash, check pump house for any equipment damage, flocculate the pool water, re-balance the Ph of the water, check for mosquitos, algae blooms and consult a licensed electrician if necessary.

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