Thursday, September 28, 2006

Filling the pool and shocking information!

At last the day has arrived when we fill the pool.

We are planning to use the cenote style well water (free), the other options are to use city water or to bring in a tanker load of fresh water. My builder tells me many choose the tanker option as they hope to end up with a clean pool straight away. This is not the case – even the freshest of water sources will take on a cloudy or tainted look at first until it has been “shocked”.

Shocking is the name given to the process of cleaning and clarifying new or tainted water and is only done when the pool is first opened or when there is a severe problem. A well-kept pool should not need regular shocking.

The shocking process involves treating the pool to a large dose of a chemical mix. There are many types of chemicals available to shock and treat various pool cleanups on the market, we will be using chloro (chlorine) and clarificador (clarifyer) for our maintenance. Simply put, the chlorine keeps the pool fresh and kills the nasties and the clarificador makes fine particles of debris clump so they are easily removed by vacuum or the sand filter. We will also use acid or alkali to keep the ph level correct.

The chemical treatment of a pool is a fine art. One needs to become familiar with ones own individual pool to look after it properly. For example, many people assume a strong chlorine smell is an indication of too much chlorine in the pool (myself for a start) but this is not the case. It is an indication of not enough "free" chlorine. Its quite an interesting topic
if one cares to read up on it all.
Fortunately I can take a miss here as I intend to have my builder maintain my pool. He carries quite a reputation around Cozumel for being an expert pool maintainace guy.

Once again I sit in my favourite area on the wall just above the pool to watch the event. I make a mental note that this seating location is really too good to loose to a regular wood balcony and I will have to work on a method to keep it for seating.

We start around mid-day and by nightfall the bottom section of the pool is filled. The next morning we continue the task. Once the water level reaches a good height the pump is primed and the well pump sends the water through our plumbing system.

For the first time the pool jets spring into action, it is a great sight to see. We also add a second hose to fill faster from our submersible pump in the well. Both pumps run all day and thoroughly test the limits of our now sparkling clean well… will it run dry? By noon the pool is still filling and by 7 it is totally full without even a pause for the well to refill.

My builder declares it a super well!

Once we get the water to a fairly deep level, we start the processes of testing the cortina de agua. The filters spring into action, there are a few gurgles and splutters while the main tube fills then a stream of water emerges from the fountain. At first it is only a trickle but then we turn the pump volume up a notch and the cortina is there.

My builder takes little time to sit back. He tests the water and adds the required dosage of chemicals for the shock, he then mixes it by swirling buckets of water around the pool.

His wife who often calls round at the end of the day is there and I persuade them to have a photo taken by the fountain. They happily oblige but within a short time he is back to work, observing swirling water and checking all is well.

At the end of the day I reminisce. When we first came upon this house we wanted a pool. We looked at the large concrete area with its huge royal palm in the centre and never imagined it would ever be possible to have this pool there.

The concrete circle looked impenetrable and the grand old plam was larger than the ones at the neighbouring Corpus Christi Church …way too big for the area. But all this can be dealt with easily in Mexico, they have been doing it for years. The royal palm was eventually removed mid hurricanes Emily and Wilma by the marvelous bomberos and the concrete patio was removed almost as easily by my builders hard working team.

While we take time to ponder it all, I remind my builder of when we first met. Our evening spent discussing and measuring the details and chalking out the plan on our concrete path … now that it has all come together, I find it quite an emotional moment.

Eventually with the nostalgia done, we part for the day. The pool is still muggy but my builder says it will be clear tomorrow. I shut off the pump and the pool rests still and quiet in the darkness …I put the pool light on and gaze at it.

I still can’t take it in that it is finally all real!