Can I Safely Swim In Cloudy Pool Water?

Think again if you think swimming in gloomy pool water isn't dangerous. According to the CDC, allowing swimmers into your pool when the water is cloudy can be dangerous (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Keeping the water in your pool clean and safe will help you avoid illness and even save a life.


The CDC has defined cloudy pool water as a public health concern for three reasons. Drowning, having a UTI, and catching a stomach bug are all increased by cloudy water.


Risks of Cloudy Pool Water

  • Catching a Stomach Bug or Getting a UTI - A urinary tract infection (UTI) or stomach bug can  be avoided by staying out of a cloudy shower. E. coli is the root of both of these hazards. If a pool has a strong chlorine odor, you can believe it is safe to swim in, even if the water is cloudy. Most of us assume that this indicates that the water contains a high level of chlorine. The reality is that the heavy odor emanating from the pool is caused by chloramine (the chemical compound created when chlorine reacts with a contaminate). This odor indicates that there are so many contaminants in the pool and insufficient active chlorine to combat them. Contaminants can irritate your eyes, causing them to turn red and itchy.

  • Drowning - Cloudy water increases the risk of drowning because it makes it more difficult to see struggling or suspended swimmers. Until entering a pool, check to see if the drain at the deep end of the pool is visible, according to the CDC. It is possible to swim if you can see the drain at the bottom of the pool in the deepest part. Keep out of the water if you can't.

What makes the pool cloudy?

A cloudy swimming pool can be caused by a variety of factors. What are the reasons:

  • Faulty filter - A pool filter should be run on a regular basis, but if the water gets murky and dirty, it may be the filter. It is important to keep your pool filter in good working order. Replace or clean out the filters as needed, and keep it in good working order.

  • Chemical Imbalance - Swimming pools are safe and clean to swim in because of their chemical composition. Your water will become cloudy if there is a chemical imbalance. This may be due to too much or too little chlorine, an incorrect pH level, alkalinity, calcium hardness, or a stabilizer. Many pool equipment stores will test a sample of your pool water for you, enabling you to assess which chemicals or levels need to be changed.

  • Environmental determinants - Environmental conditions may have an effect on pool water. Wind and storm debris will fall into the tub, and runoff rainwater will make it look dirty or gloomy.

Safety First

When it comes to owning a pool, safety must always come first. If your pool is cloudy, you can close it until the water is clear. As previously mentioned, cloudy water can be caused by a chemical imbalance. If your pH levels are out of whack, harmful bacteria such as E. coli will flourish.


More importantly, when the pool water is murky, you can't see the bottom of the pool clearly. In 10% of drownings, cloudy water has been blamed. When people are using a pool, visibility is important.


Depending on the cause of the cloudiness, there are various options for resolving it. To begin, either use an at-home test kit or send a sample to your local pool shop, which will decide why the water is cloudy. To keep your pool water clean, make sure you know the fundamentals of pool treatment.

Do You Need a Pool Cleaning Service You Can Trust?

Cal Pool Care delivers quality pool cleaning services to clients in the Tri-Valley and surrounding areas by providing them with the professional care they deserve. Great service begins and ends with experienced and friendly professionals, which is why we put so much consideration into selecting only the best to join our team. We complete projects efficiently and on schedule, and go above and beyond to form lasting relationships with our clients. Our service formula for success is consistency "same day, same time, same tech.” We offer weekly swimming pool maintenance and cleaning services. Cal Pool Care services pools, spas, and will ensure your fountains, water features and hot tubs are clean alongside regular pool service. Contact us today to schedule your first service!