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It’s that time of year again. No doubt, you will be gathered around the dinner table enjoying supper together as a family, when your phone goes off. It’s not your usual ringtone, and it’s not a text notification. Instead, you phone sounds a shrill, piercing ALERT.
Within a matter of minutes, the once blue skies turn to a dark murky tan color. Everything you own becomes blanketed in a layer of sand; and that includes your swimming pool.
Before too long, the haboob will pass on by, but you will be left with a mess on your hands. These haboobs can greatly impact your swimming pools, and a clean-up is definitely in order.
Also referred to as a sand storm or dust storm, a haboob is an intense amount of dust carried on an atmospheric gravity current. These haboobs occur in arid areas in the world, and are common in the summer months in Arizona.
Haboobs are actually unique in their formation. They occur when a regular thunderstorm forms, but the wind is blowing in the opposite direction the storm is traveling. This gusting creates a downdraft of cool air that picks up dust, sand, and other sediment when the downdraft hits the ground. The result can be dust walls as big as 62 miles wide, traveling at over 60 miles per hour.
It’s advised that Valley residents stay indoors during a haboob. Unfortunately, your pool doesn’t have that option, and will be battered by sand.
If you’ve lived in Arizona long enough, you know just how significant of an impact a haboob can have on your pool. After a haboob hits, everything will be covered in sand and sediment—your deck, your patio furniture, and the sides of your pool will all be covered in sand. Most of the sediment from the haboob will sink to the bottom of your pool. Depending on the severity of the haboob, your pool water will also likely be murky.
Some of this sand will make its way through your filters, expediting the necessity of having your filters cleaned or changed. The sand and sediment from just one severe haboob is enough to clog your filters if left untreated.
After a haboob, the sand in your pool needs to be removed. Your pool needs to be cleaned, the filters need to be checked, and the pool chemistry needs to be monitored and adjusted if necessary.
Empty skimmer baskets. After any haboob, dust, sand, sediment, and other debris will find its way into your pool. With the gusts of wind, you may even see leaves and branches. Some of this debris will end up in your skimmer baskets. Make sure they are emptied.
Cleaning, brushing & vacuuming. After a haboob, you’ll see all the dirt and dust that has accumulated along your pool walls and even on the bottom. One of the first and most critical steps to take after any haboob will be to clean, brush and vacuum your pool. Skim any debris you see floating on the top. A good brushing loosens up the dust and sand so it can be vacuumed up.
Check, clean & replace filters or grids. After a haboob, your filters will become full of the dirt and dust blown around during the storm. It’s critical to monitor your filters and grids during this time, and have them cleaned or replaced as needed. Failure to do so can lead to the clogging of your filters and eventual burn-out of your pump motor.
Chemical treatment. The particles blown into your pool during a haboob will dirty up your water, throw off the pH balance, and may lead to algae growth in the future. After a haboob, it’s essential to monitor the chemicals and pH balance in your pool; and make any needed adjustments.
Run pump overnight. After your pool has been properly cleaned up and chemically treated the pool water needs to be filtered and circulated. Running your system for an extended period of time allows the remaining bits sand you’ve stirred up in the water to be properly filtered.
There’s no question that a haboob will have an impact on your pool; as to how much of an impact is entirely up to you. It’s important to be diligent and consistent with your pool care efforts after a haboob, but taking some of the above mentioned steps can be a lot of work.
Eliminate the work by making sure you have signed up for services from Down Under Pool Care. We offer pool cleaning services, chemical services, and filter cleanings or replacements. These steps are critical for Arizona pool owners after any haboob strikes. Give us a call today! We’ll keep your pool functioning correctly and looking great before and after one of these sand storms hits!