How to Test Your Pool Water

14th November 2015

Owning your own private backyard swimming pool is a dream. Crystal-clear water, refreshing temps, and a whole lot of fun. But how do you ensure your pool water continues to sparkle? Pools require maintenance and attention. If you do it regularly and properly, you can keep your pool fresh and clean with minimal work. The best way to be certain your pool is at its healthiest is to test your pool water. Today, we take a quick look at how to do this the right way.

The Basics

Pools require regular maintenance in order to prevent buildup of debris and growth of bacteria. The first step to keeping a pool in tip top shape is cleaning your pool on a frequent basis. This will go a long way toward preventing issues.
But a variety of factors will affect your pool, including heavy rain, the number of swimmers in the pool, and the presence of chemicals.

The second step toward good pool maintenance is testing your pool water and treating it with the right products. A simple, easy-to-use pool testing kit can be picked up at any pool supplier.

Test the pH

You should test your pH level daily, preferably before the first swim of the day. The pH level in your swimming pool indicates how acidic or alkaline the water is. The ideal pH level should hover between 7 and 7.6. A pH level below 7 points to acidity in the water. This can result in stinging eyes for pool users. A pH level over 7 means that the water is alkaline. If pH rises above level 8, the alkalinity can be irritating, causing rashes to swimmers’ skin.

Total Alkalinity (TA)

Most basic pool testing kits will also allow you to measure the water’s total alkalinity. This level is important to keep up to prevent damage to equipment and pool surfaces. The Australian Standard recommendation for a swimming pool’s TA level is 60 to 200 parts per million. If your TA level is testing too low, you can add sodium bicarbonate (known as buffer).


Most pools are kept clean and sanitary through chlorination, whether manually or through a salt chlorinator. If you opt for manual chlorination, you will need to test your pool’s water, ideally every second day. When testing your pool’s chlorine level, you should look for a ‘free residual chlorine’ concentration around 1.0 to 3.0 mg/L. The ideal level is 2 mg/L.
When your pool is not in use, you should consider implementing a method such as a floating immersion dispenser, which can continually disinfect the pool water during the off season.

Riviera Pools

Proper maintenance and balance of pool chemicals results in an enjoyable swimming experience. Not only is this healthy and safe, but it helps the pool and equipment last longer and remain looking their best. If you are looking for more information on pool maintenance or if you are ready to take the plunge and invest in your own dream swimming pool, don’t hesitate to get in contact with our team at Riviera Pools today.

How to Test Your Pool Water