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In a recent article of Service Industry News, the issue of stain and scale identification was discussed. This TIB is a summary of that article along with expanded information based on observation and research within the company.


The chart included is designed to facilitate identification of staining problems. As stated in the article, the best method for removal of stains in pools and spas is prevention. Metals found in pool water are not in the same form as when they are encountered in everyday life. They come in the form of ions, electrically charged particles. As ions, metals are able to dissolve in water. Metal ions are always positively charged. They are also able to combine chemically with other ions, such as carbonate or chloride, as seen in the table. These ions are negatively charged. The carbonates of the lighter metals found in water, like magnesium and calcium, cause scale. The heavier metals, like iron, copper, and magnesium, cause stains and discoloured water. These are the metals most commonly found in pool water, due to their presence in fill water, equipment, and chemicals.


The most common method for removal of stains is to use a sequestering agent. The term sequestering means to remove or separate. Another term often heard is chelating.


The above information is supplied by Bio-Lab and represents its best interpretation of available technical information at the time of preparation. The sole purpose is to supply factual information to Bio-Lab customers. It is not to be taken out of context nor used as support for any other claim not made herein.