So what the heck is Adjusted Total Alkalinity?
Hopefully by now we understand the importance of maintaining a proper level of alkalinity in pool water. Maintaining a proper Total Alkalinity level is important for everything in your swimming pool or spa.
Total Alkalinity has been likened to the "ham" in hamburger. We all know that there isn't any ham in hamburger, but maybe in a meatloaf mix! Knowing what your pool's Total Alkalinity (TA) is just as important as knowing and maintaining pH. TA is a measure of all of the alkaline products in the pool water - essentially the total of carbonate, bicarbonates and hydroxides in the water. TA is defined as the "water's capacity to resist changes in pH..." In fact, maintaining TA is critical to more easily maintaining a good and proper pH level. Maintaining proper (TA) helps prevent 'pH bounce" when in a range of 80 - 125 ppm.
But now we want and need to be more specific. With continuing pool water technology and real science comes a better understanding of what will affect the TA. It has come to light over the past several years that Cyanuric Acid can and does directly affect the TA level. An UN-adjusted TA is not the correct TA. You have to adjust it to be correct.
The Cyanuric Acid (CYA) level directly affects the Total Alkalinity (TA) level & therefore an adjustment is required in order to obtain the correct TA level. An adjusted TA is the measured TA minus 1/3 of the measured CYA. For example if the CYA measures 60 ppm, 20 ppm (1/3 of 60) is subtracted from the TA level; measured TA is 100 ppm, minus 20 ppm equals a correct adjusted TA of 80 ppm. Adjusted TA is the most widely accepted and correct measure of TA used by laboratories and all commercial water care.
It is important to know the correct CYA level! High CYA levels are primarily due to past use of isocyanurates in pool water treatment. Isocyanurates include all stabilized slow dissolving chlorine tablets, sticks (Trichlor), and quick dissolving chlorine granules (Dichlor). High CYA may cause or lead to a condition known as “Copper Cyanurate” which results in a purple stain at the water line. This condition is completely treatable and preventable by following these instructions. For more information, please see our other materials.
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