How to Manage Pollen in Pools | Rule Your Pool (Episode 103)
Welcome back, everybody, to the Rule Your Pool podcast. This is episode 103. And today we have a special guest with us. He has been on the podcast once, but we were in Atlantic City.
It wasn't really a full podcast episode. This is our first time, I should say, our third attempt at our first time of having you on the podcast. But I want to introduce you all to our Southeast Regional manager, Shaun Mulhall. Shaun, thank you for being on our podcast. Thank you very much, Eric.
I am looking forward to it and maybe we can get this one correct. Yeah, third time's the charm. If you don't do it a lot. There's a lot of moving pieces to record a podcast. We got to get Zoom right. Garage Band, got to get the microphone connected, but all sorts of stuff have gone wrong.
But I think we're going to be good this time. And if not, I'm just going to have to voice over your part and pretend that you were on the show when I recorded Next Time, So glad you're here for real. That'll work. Thank you. What are we talking about in this episode? Pollen cleaning up.
Pollen in all things pollen. I guess that's because pollen hit early this year. It's 2023 is the first week of March. And I mean, there was pollen in the end of February. I don't think I've seen that before. Have you? Super early? Not not where I'm at.
You know, we see maybe south Florida, middle Florida, Central Florida, but I'm in Atlanta, Georgia. No, super early this year. Yeah, it has been a warm winter for sure.
You did some homework for this episode and that's what I'm really excited about because you know who I'm usually on this podcast with. And he doesn't even read show notes, let alone research before an episode. So I don't even know how we're going to do this, but I'm going to let you take the lead and take us into the intro. Well, I won't say anything bad about the person you were talking about there.
That doesn't mean the show notes, but hey, let's talk about pollen. Welcome to Rule Your Pool, your the podcast by Orenda. That explains and simplifies poor chemistry so that anybody, regardless of experience can understand it.
I'm your host, Eric Knight, bringing clarity to these subjects so that you can bring clarity to your water. If you're ready to roll your pool, then let's go. Yeah.
So, Pollen you did some homework, you did some research. What did you find? Well, I found out I didn't know a lot about pollen or didn't know as much as I thought I might know. And I found out some things that. That really surprised me. Like what?
One of the main ones was, did pollen has some similarities to green algae. What we. What we deal with commonly pools, correct? Yeah. Pollen has a hard shell. And this is the similarity has a hard shell on it. And what makes up most of that hard shell is something called Sapporo pollen and then or I think I put an extra in in there.
But that's normal for the South. So we need some subtitles on this. We may we might need spelling so Sapporo pollen in Sapporo pollen. And there we go. You can say it better than me. Sounds like, you know, it sounds like a Russian oligarch.
So we don't want to, you know, irritate Mr. Sapporo. Pollen and make. It a mad. Yeah. So get a met. All right, So what is Spore? Paul Lennon. It's a hard shell.
So in many cases the pollen itself to protect it. And certain greenhouses have the same thing. Let me back up because we all know what pollen is. We see it. My truck is yellow right now. Pollen gets all over the place.
And then when it rains, it gets really dirty on a car. What is it for? Why does pollen exist? It's what allows plants to reproduce and everything from flowers to trees to grasses. Plants reproduce by shedding pollen and accepting pollen and reproducing. It's not like all plants are touching each other. So how does pollen get around? I mean, we know we have allergies in the spring, so I assume a lot of it just travels through the air with wind. But what other ways as pollen get around.
The birds and the bees help the plants do the birds and the bees. So that's a good way of looking at it. So they're spreading it around just because they're eating the flowers and whatever else, and they're spreading that pollen to other plants.
And that's helping those plants reproduce. Correct. Pollinators. And I love bees. I tell you what, bees, we got a fair here in coming Georgia, where I live, and and I go to it every year.
And one of my favorite things is there's a big beekeeping population of people here. And I love going and talking to those people and seeing how those things do it. And I mean, pollinators are needed not only for agriculture but for plants, flowers, obviously, and everything. So super, super neat.
And let's talk a little bit about where the pollens that in the United States right now are, where it's at, where you live in the south, it's at a medium high level and that's according to pollen account, a website that tracks it. What we're dealing with now maybe up north that they they'll deal with in a month, month and a half. Right.
And the culprits of this pollen in the south right now are trees. And I know a lot of the grasses aren't even coming out of dormancy yet. So it's mostly trees. What kind of trees like, I mean, in the south southern pines, right? We have pine trees all over the place. We have oak trees, we have maples, we've got all sorts of trees, one of the worst offenders. But you know, you've seen it blowing out of those pine trees.
You know, the bright green that comes out of those is tremendous. But I'll tell you what, where I live, we got a lot of oak trees around these pools in these backyards, and they are a huge offender. If you've ever cleaned a pool in the spring or been around one, you've seen wood oak trees drop in them and it's these little stringy brown tassels.
And I actually learned this from my research. They're called Catechins, or they're actually called tassels. They're known as both. Those little caterpillar looking things look. Like a little brown caterpillar right there. Actually, the male portion of the oak tree that generates the pollen.
You've seen them on decks before. You've seen them covering cars. You've seen them on your driveway. Oh, yeah. They used to cover my house. I used to have this really big pin oak tree in my front yard, and it would drop billions of those things, I mean, all over the place.
And then I'd get stains all over my patio and my roof. Which begs the question, I think I know the answer to it, but I want to see if you found it in your research. Does pollen contain tannins? Definitely. Definitely. I think most organic leafy materials are going to have some form of tannin.
And we know that that one, those hints that staining of your neck, that tannin was left behind. Yeah, we covered tannins in a previous episode. I'm trying to remember what episode that was. I think if I go back in time it should have been. Yep.
Episode 53 Episode 53 came out January of 2022. So over a year ago we talked about organic staining and tannins, and I have definitely seen those little caterpillar tassels, as you call it, from oak trees that sit on a deck for a long time and there's just a brown stain around them. But those things get in the pool and you open up the skimmer lid and you can't even see the skipper basket because they're all in there, just hundreds and hundreds.
Packed, full covered blow into the other end of the pool. You know, whichever way the wind's blowing that they get thick. So they're a huge part of the problem. So let's say the stuff gets in pollen, tassels, all this stuff gets into the pool.
What are the steps for the listeners to manage this? Hey, let me back up a second, if we can, real quick, Eric, because. Sure. Because we've mentioned all this spring stuff in the spring pollen, but I have bad fall allergies. Spring doesn't bother me. But the fall, sneezing, coughing usually turn into a sinus infection. And what I found is a lot of these trees, some produce pollen year round, others are more winter spring.
And I'm sure there's certain ones that are more in the fall that are making the way we're getting ready for the winter. So you're telling me you don't have allergies right now? In the first week of March? Does not bother me. Nope. Oh, my gosh. I mean, I'm so congested, you could even hear it. And I've been sneezing every 5 minutes. It's pink eyes and everything.
I'm definitely worse in the spring. In the fall. I'm totally good, man. I can sit in a tree, stand totally fine, no issues whatsoever. But interestingly enough, if I go and visit my grandparents in Oregon, where they have completely different trees like Douglas Firs that do not exist here in the Carolinas, those allergies are terrible in the fall for me. So I guess it's everybody's perception of how they manage those different types of pollen.
Everybody's a little different. Right, right, right. Well, let's bring this to pools now because this is the rule. Your pool podcast, not the rule, your pollen podcast. We're talking about it for a reason. Pollen gets in swimming pools.
Let's talk about how that happens and what we can do about it. Let's talk about what rain does to pollen. Rain. It's going to knock it out of the air, bring it down to the ground. Of course, it's already been the pool just from from that. It maybe got in there from some birds washing off or or anything.
I've seen pictures of some really bad pollen already. So once it's in, pollen has got to be organic. Right. We're talking about plant life. Definitely. When you were looking at how to manage this in your research online, what did you find? What's the advice out there for a pool owner or a pool operator for managing pollen and these tassels getting into the pool from.
The wonderful interweb when we search it and look for something? Most of what I found was saying pollen in pools. We talked about chlorine and oxidizing it and shocking to break it down. Of course, you know, would it work? Yeah.
Is it the best way? And we don't believe so. At Orinda. Does it really work all the way, though? No. It's organic material. It's not going to get all of it out. I mean, if it did, you wouldn't have any of it on your tile line. And we know that yellow tile line from that pollen that floats, if chlorine could completely remove pollen, it would.
But it's not made to do that. Not at all. Before we were using a chemical to take care of what could we do? What would a pool owner or a pool pro do to preemptively try to alleviate it? And in first we're going to say physically removing it from the pool and the surrounding area, especially the surrounding area. If you get those tassels from the deck, let's make sure we blow off the pollen from the deck, you know, backpack blower, sweeping, rinsing pressure, washing of doing the spring cleanup, get it away from the pool, keep it away from it so it doesn't have a chance to get in the water. Or less of a chance. Some are still inevitably going to get in because it's coming from the air.
But if it's on the deck and you have a yellow deck, push it away. Anything you can do to lessen the amount is. Beneficial makes sense. Now, what about the pollen in the water? You want to get stuff out of the water as effectively and as quickly as you can. Anything you get out of it is is less chemicals that are in that water that has to fight that. So listen at the pool.
Let's make sure those skimmer baskets stay clean so that they can do an effective job of skimming the top of the water. Just keep the pool as clean as possible mechanically. Right.
So pollen floats, we know that we've all seen it stay on the surface so it doesn't necessarily get pulled down into the skimmer, into the filter very easily because it stays floating. So what can we do to get pollen filtered out? You know, you see different net things that are made. You see all this. But really, you've got to keep the filtration system running as effectively as possible. And then it's going to be a matter of chemically treating and using the appropriate products to get that pollen out of the water.
And that's going to be a purge dose of CB 600 to start the pool and use an RC clarifier to be able to bind those particles together so that they can get to the filter faster. I think enzymes in general are a good idea because what we're talking about is a complex carbon and that's what enzymes break down. They're not going to physically get rid of the entire particle. But I think that's what you mean by the clarifier, because Titus in Clarifier is going to bind a bunch together into a bigger molecule and send it to the filter.
Then that begs the question, okay, we've got enzymes in there. Were taking care of the surface, oils were breaking down this pollen. Now what do we do with the debris? It gets into the filter.
Here's the question Do we clean the filter at the beginning of the year or do we try to see if we can get through pollen season and then clean to filter? Well, I hope you have a clean filter coming off your winterization, but without getting past any manufacturers recommendations and pressures and stuff, we want to let that filter out and go as long. I think towards the end of spring as we can and hopefully get past pollen season so we don't have to clean it multiple times. It's all going to be determinant on what what the pressures go to in your filter and what your flow rates and how effective that keeps going. But theoretically, if we can get through pollen season or at least the bulk of it and then clean the filter when we absolutely have to, we should be better off into the season.
You are ready to go for your swim season and going forward with that? Definitely. Well, it makes me wonder now because it's organic material. What about phosphates? You know, we talk about opening the spring with a purge. That's what we do for the rent, a program for every pool, regardless of pollen. You always want to get an enzyme residual in at the beginning of the season.
And then you just maintain weekly from there based on your base load. But we also want to remove phosphates at the beginning of the year, and that is what really drives the timing of a filter clean because if you're filtering out all that phosphate dust, you either have to vacuum out or filter it out. That justifies a cleaning. So what would you do in terms of timing? A PR 10,000 treatment. Really depends on how you closed in the fall.
If you have a solid cover. Did you keep a lot of that stuff out of there all winter long? Do you have a mesh cover? You know, the PR 10,000 is definitely part of our opening and treatment program. So I think you really got to watch the pressures then because it's going to depend a lot on how much phosphate in that water and how much filter loading you get. You're adding to it with the PR combined with what you're doing with the clarifier, I think it's even more important there with the enzymes to be able to break down as much as the much of that polymer.
So it doesn't load the filter, you know, because you are going to load it some with the port ten. Thousand while we've been on here, I just pulled up on the interwebs. It does show that pollen does contain phosphate and nitrate and carbon. Isn't that crazy? So it's decaying organics, right? You've got organophosphates getting in, you've got nitrates, which you can't really do much about, and you've got carbon, which the enzymes address. So it's like the perfect storm of wanting to do a purge at the beginning of the year and then cleaning the filter after pollen season.
It sounds like we have the regiment to be able to take care of two of those three. Well, I know you're relatively new to our company, but have you purged pools during pollen season before? I actually did one with a dealer just Monday. It was amazing that pollen on top and we purged it. Before we let, you could see just the the enzymes pushing the pollen together, clumping it up, attacking it, which is what you'll see. And you can see that already happening on the surface of the water within 15 minutes after the purge dose going in. Pretty crazy.
So let me see if I can recap what you're telling me. Pollen is the reproduction mechanism for plants, and it's spread around by birds and bees helping plants do the birds and the bees. And then there's wind and then rain takes it out of the air, puts it on the ground or in a pool and maybe even washes into the pool. So what we do about this is we try to get it away from the pool if it's on the deck so that it doesn't wash in the pool. And then what's in the pool, whether it's these oak tassels or pine needles or leaves and pollen itself, physically remove as much as possible, clean out the skimmer baskets, and then go as long as you can before you have to clean the filter. But the way you do that is by addressing the pollen itself with enzymes and clarifier.
Is that what I'm hearing? That sounds like a great explanation of what we just went over. Yes. Well, we hope that the listeners out there give it a shot, see if it can clean up the pollen in your pool. Anything you want to add before we go here, Shawn? Hey, just take a look at everything we have, you know, and take a look at our education that we have, whether it's our podcast website, and learn not only how to rule your pool, but the other stuff that we offer. If you have any suggestions of situations you've run into in the field and you haven't heard a podcast on it, think it's podcast it or in the TED.com. Podcast at Orinda Tech dot com. That's the.
Email list. We don't. Hold on, hold on. Are you telling me you actually listen to our podcast? I haven't listened to all of them. I'm not going to say that. But you're never without. Any of them.
Well, no. I started episode one and started listening. But I don't have a radio voice, unlike you, Eric. And I have to be careful because your voice is very relaxing when I'm driving. So. So I just put you to sleep. You put me to sleep. So. Hey, you know.
Well, I'll take that as a compliment, but at the same time. Ouch. No, it's not going to keep it content. No, content is just the the voice. So, you know, maybe I could lay back on a couch and you could walk me through some of my issues of. I don't know how to take that, but okay, actually, now that now I'm thinking about it.
For those of you who don't know Shawn, Shawn is a borderline professional bass fisher. A You were pro for a while or semi-pro and you're involved in the competition bass fishing world. That's all relative.
I've won some money of. Still not on the poor side, probably, but yes, I enjoy the game. So what does pollen season mean for bass fishing? I get excited when I see this. Paul Wind start falling because you know that it's spring and the lakes are warming up and the fish are moving out of their winter coats and and getting shallow because just like the trees and everything they want to do, the birds and the bees as well and they get up here shallow. Unfortunately, there's a lot of pollen on that water too, and it gets thick in. Sometimes you can't see through it and it hinders the way you fish those tassels and everything.
So it's something we deal with on the lakes as well, not only just in the bull's, I bet. I bet. Well, if you're anything as good at fishing as I am at backing up a fishing boat into a loading dock, then I'm sure you'll do all right. There's sometimes you wish you had stuff on video and that's it. So if you can't make fun of yourself, you don't deserve to make fun of anyone else. Anyway, This has been episode 103 of the Rule Your Pool podcast.
I hope you found it valuable. Shawn. Thank you so much for doing homework. It took a big burden off of my desk. Normally I'm the one doing research and here you are open with all these ten different tabs on your browser reading all about pollen. So it saves me a lot of time. And consider, you know, like I said at the beginning, consider who I'm used to being on here with. He's never done homework.
You never even read the show notes. The fact is, you didn't just do the homework, you wrote the show notes. It's incredible. You took the driver's seat. This episode. I'm very grateful that you did.
Thank you for being on. Thank you, Eric. And thank you to all our listeners and and hopefully you get something out. Of it if you have any questions for us. You can visit our help center Ask.Orendatech.com or email a question Podcast@orendatech.com.
I'm your host Eric Knight. Thank you so much. And in the next episode I think we're going to be talking about something called calcium sulfate. So stay tuned. Take care, everyone. Thank you for listening to Rule Your Pool, a podcast by Orenda Technologies. For more information on what we discussed in this week's episode, check the links in the description or visit www.orendatech.com
I hope you find this show valuable enough that you tap that subscribe button and share it with your friends. You can also like us on Facebook and social media. With our help, you'll be able to rule your pool without over treating it with chemicals and wasting money. I'll see you next episode.