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Assessing your Pool Chemical Inventory

With the end of the winter season approaching, now is as good a time as ever to go through and assess that ever-growing stock of pool chemicals accumulating in the corner of your tool shed or garage. Before you do so, it is very important to gain a strong understanding of the shelf life and proper storage methods for pool chemicals as many of them can cause serious harm when mishandled. Here are a few easy tips to help get you on your way:

Check the Shelf Life

While many pool chemicals and other supplies can last for years in storage, there are a few that you want to be aware of or rotate on a schedule. The rule of thumb is that most dry chemicals as well as liquid acid can last for multiple years, while liquid chlorines and algaecides tend to have much shorter lives. Testing reagents and strips are another item that can easily expire or go bad when not stored in cool and dry places and will end up giving you bad test results when you need them the most.

Storage Basics

Pool chemical storage is easy, just follow these simple guidelines:

  • Always keep liquid chemicals away from solids.
  • Always keep acids away from everything.
  • Try to store chemicals off of the ground to mitigate the potential for them to come in contact with water.
  • Always store chemicals in cool environments as heat has the tendency to reduce their abilities to work.
  • Never store chemicals in spaces without proper ventilation. While garages are great for golf clubs and bicycles, they can tend to be stuffy spaces with poor circulation that are not ideal for chemical storage.

Proper Disposal

Once you have identified chemicals that are past due and ready to be purged from your supply, contact your local municipality and ask for the nearest Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off. What you never want to do is dump pool chemicals in drains or waterways as they can contaminate your groundwater, a resource that will end up back in your faucets and into your bodies at some point in the future.