Cleaning Your Pool After a Wildfire

Cleaning Your Pool After a Wildfire

It’s an unfortunate fact that every year there are major wildfires that destroy life and property and do millions of dollars worth of damage. If you live near an area that has been impacted you know what it can do to your pool water.

It leaves ash, dirt, and other contaminants in your water that can cause staining, cloudy pool water, and damage if not cleaned appropriately. Here is a list of things to consider and to do when cleaning a pool that has been affected.


  • If you have time and know that your pool will be contaminated, consider covering it if possible. Be sure to secure the cover really well.

  • Raise your chlorine to shock level in order to give your water the extra sanitizing power it will need to fight off the contaminants. 

  • Make sure you have enough chemicals and equipment to clean and balance the water after it’s safe to do so.

  • Purchase the appropriate safety gear such as goggles/glasses and masks as you may need to clean ash from your deck and/or house et cetera.

  • Understand what could have been introduced into your water. If buildings, cars or other man made materials were part of the fire then you should consider draining and starting over as man made materials can release harmful byproducts when burned.

    When you want to find out how much water your pool holds, you can use your pool volume calculator.


  • Clean ash and contaminants from your surrounding structures, decking, and furniture to prevent runoff from recontaminating your pool.

  • Check filter pressure to see if the filter needs to be back-washed or cleaned prior to brushing. If filters need to be cleaned then go ahead and do that before proceeding. If the contamination is bad enough (or you had toxic contaminants), you may need to replace them or replace the media if using a sand filter. 

  • Empty skimmer baskets.

  • Skim larger debris from the water with a pool net, you can consider attaching pantyhose or an old shirt to give it more filtration capability.

  • If there is a large amount of sediment on the floor of the pool, vacuum it to waste slowly to prevent stirring it.

  • Brush walls and floor thoroughly.

  • Increase your chlorine level to about 5 and begin to balance your water to prepare it for shocking.

  • Once your water is balanced then Shock your pool and run your filter 24×7 until water is clear and you aren’t losing chlorine overnight.

    Pro Tip – Your pH need to be within 7.2 to 7.4 for chlorine to be most effective
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