Stock Tank Pool Cleaning (How-To)
Cleaning Galvanized Stock Tank Pools and Stock Tank Hot Tubs with Slightly Organic
As with any pool, you need to be able to keep the water clean. Leaves and bugs might get into the pool and make it dirty. Even if you keep it perfectly clean from leaves, every time you get into the tub you are getting oil and bacteria in it from your skin. Let it sit for a little while and you are going to be swimming in a toxic sludge full of bacteria. If sunlight ever hits your stock tank pool, you will also have algae to contend with. But using toxic chemicals is contrary to the very idea of using a soaking tub for your health. So what can you do to keep your stock tank pool clean?
Many people choose to drain their stock tank pool after every use. This is especially practical for people who have very low volume stock tanks that they are using for hot tubs. But this can become a cumbersome task, not to mention expensive on the water bill. Fortunately, there are easy, inexpensive things you can do to keep your water clean in the mean time, between the times when you choose to drain the pool.
Hydrogen peroxide is an amazing, totally safe solution that can be used to kill bacteria easily and effectively. You can pour hydrogen peroxide straight into the pool, and it will go to work killing bacteria and clarifying the water.
Here’s how it works: hydrogen peroxide is an unstable solution with an extra oxygen atom. When you pour hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into water (H2O), it immediately separates out into H2O and an extra oxygen ion. This extra oxygen will attach to any bacteria in the water and kill it immediately.
Do not use the super diluted 3% hydrogen peroxide you can get at the store in the brown bottles. This isn’t strong enough to put into the pool – or if you did put it in the pool, you would have to use so much that it would not be worth the price. Instead, get a 27% concentration. You can get this in the pool section, often labeled as a shock treatment.
Warning: concentrated hydrogen peroxide is a strong oxidizer. It will cause a chemical burn if it comes into contact with your skin. It will make your skin turn white, and it will continue to hurt after you flush it with water. Furthermore, exposing your skin to concentrated hydrogen peroxide can cause it to become sensitive to it in the future, so that even using the diluted stuff may cause the same reaction in that spot. In other words, be smart and protect your skin while you are using this treatment. Your body makes hydrogen peroxide as a way to protect itself from contaminants, and it is absolutely non-toxic to use as a pool treatment, but that does not mean that it is safe to pour a super concentrated solution of the stuff straight on your skin.
To use hydrogen peroxide to clean your pool, mix concentrated hydrogen peroxide into the pool a few hours before swimming, at a concentration of ¼ to ½ cup per 100 gallons. You can also add 1/8 cup of concentrated hydrogen peroxide to the pool immediately before swimming to prevent your skin oils, bacteria, and dead skin cells from contaminating the pool and causing bacteria growth afterwards.
You can also install an iozonator in your tub. This releases unattached oxygen atoms into the pool in the form of ozone. Like hydrogen peroxide, ozone sterilizes the water in the pool by causing oxygen ions to come in contact with bacteria. Unlike hydrogen peroxide, ozone does not do a very good job of sticking to the walls of the tub. Therefore if you are going to be keeping the water in the tub for any substantial amount of time, you will need to do a shock treatment with hydrogen peroxide regularly.