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Another way you'll know if the swimming pool water is off is right at the moment you dive in. If you surface with stingy eyes and itchy skin you could have a chlorine problem.
If you own a pool or occasionaly swim in one, you still should learn about swimming pool chemicals. Chlorine is essential in the pool cleaning process. Add this pool chemical to kiss algae goodbye (as well as those lovely disease-filled microorganisms you can't even see). Probably the easiest way to add chlorine to your pool is by buying chlorine tablets. Though, keep in mind that chlorine isn't the most human-friendly chemical on the planet.
*Add chlorine to your pool as quickly as possible so you won't inhale any fumes or sting your hands. Your best bet is to consult a pool expert before handling.