The pool at Malibu High School has increased levels of total dissolved solids (TDS), according to an emailed statement from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. TDS levels rise due to use of liquid chlorine; these solids include salts and sometimes dissolved dust, pollen, swimmer waste and algae remains.
According to the statement, the MHS pool sees increased TDS levels at a much faster rate due to a number of factors: its outdoor location, beach climate, geography, constant use and lack of sewage system. To decrease the levels, the solids must be diluted through purification or adding fresh water. The septic tank at MHS cannot accept water with high TDS levels as the water would kill vegetation.
The statement goes on to say: “While TDS levels are not a health hazard, they can cause a range of irritants to some users of the pool, including eye and skin irritation … High TDS levels also impact the ability to purify the pool requiring more chlorine and impacts pool equipment.”
The high school has enlisted Water Renew, a company that can help filter the pool through a mobile “reverse osmosis” system. The MHS maintenance department will first conduct a two-day trial to study the system’s effectiveness; the process may lead to a pool closure for a day or two.