Total alkalinity is a very important element in swimming pool water chemistry. As the measure of the buffering capacity in the water, alkalinity is like a shock absorber for pH. Having high or low alkalinity can adversely affect water conditions and make pH difficult to balance.
Low alkalinity makes water acidic causing corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment. On the other hand, high alkalinity makes water to be alkaline causing cloudy water and scale buildup. High/low alkalinity also causes your pH to bounce around; having alkalinity outside the recommended values will make it very difficult to control your pH.
Proper Alkalinity Levels
The proper alkalinity levels that should be maintained vary a little based on what type of pool you have, gunite and concrete pools should have alkalinity levels of 80-120 ppm (parts per million), while vinyl, painted, and fiberglass pools should maintain alkalinity levels of 125-170ppm.
The best way to make sure proper total alkalinity levels are maintained is through regular water testing with a swimming pool test kit and then making adjustments to correct any problems as promptly as possible. Good water chemistry is the key to a clean and healthy swimming environment!