Hoovering is a standard maintenance procedure for any swimming pool.
Our equestrian swimming lane pool needs hoovering at least once a week due to debris accumulating on the bottom from horses defecating in the pool as well as from horses utilising the treadmill, since the treadmill water is drained into the pool and replaced with clean filtered water after each use.
The hoovering process can be quite labour intensive hence one of the reasons we try to ensure horses are as clean as possible before they use the aqua-treadmill and why we try to catch all droppings that the horse does during a session. Ideally horses would not defecate whilst they are swimming but that is impossible to control!
The pool water is constantly pumped under pressure through the skimmers and sumps to sand filters in the plant room. The three skimmers remove dirt and debris that is floating on the surface of the water such as hair and bedding before circulating the surface water to the filters in the plant room. Horse excrement, mud and dirt particles from the horses are heavier than the water so ultimately sink to the bottom of the pool. The sumps are located at the bottom of the pool and draw in any debris that sinks close to them and sends this debris along with a constant supply of pool water to the sand filters in the plant room for cleaning. Debris that does not sink close enough to the suction of a sump will be deposited on the bottom of the pool. We add a flocculent to the pool water which aids in sticking these small particles together to make them into larger particles which are then easier for the sand filters to catch and filter out, and also make it easier to see piles of debris that has accumulated on the bottom of the pool.
To carry out the cleaning process, the hoover hose is connected to one of the skimmer inlets; the remaining two skimmers and the sumps are turned off so that all the suction is coming through just the one skimmer and therefore water is drawn into the hoover. The hoover head is then manually rolled along the bottom of the pool and up the ramps via a very long pole, so luckily for us there is no need for scuba diving equipment! Hoovering takes approximately an hour and a half but may take longer depending on just how much debris has settled on the bottom.
After hoovering, the strainer basket in the plant room may contain a lot of debris and become full which will then need emptying. No matter how clean the horses are that use the equipment we will often find stones and bedding in this strainer basket. The filters will also gain pressure as the smaller particles become trapped in the filters, therefore a backwash cycle will need to be completed to ensure all debris has been evacuated from the filter and the filters can efficiently continue to clean the water.
There is nothing more satisfying than a freshly hoovered pool when the ramps and pool floor all look clean and sparkling!