Safe and Sound Pool Chemical Storage

Safe and Sound Pool Chemical Storage

by Mark Zalewski

When summer comes, getting the pool ready become a major priority. While family and friends may be looking forward to enjoying the diversion of this backyard feature, those in charge of pool maintenance have quite a task ahead. In preparing the water, there are a variety of pool chemicals which need to be used in getting the water just right, and if a problem occurs with discoloration, algae growth or any other unusual situation, its important to have certain chemicals on hand. There is a correct way to handle and store these pool supplies, some of which, are less toxic than would be thought. Below are listed some of the main pool chemicals used throughout the summer season, and some tips to keep handling and storage safe.

Soda Ash

This chemical is used to restore neutralization of pool water and according to its safety data sheet, this chemical does have unique storage requirements. However there are some tips that pool owners want to consider. Soda ash is considered a hazardous material that causes eye irritation, so storage in areas that are accessible to children, or in areas where this product might easily be disturbed so as to get into eyes, should be avoided. After using the product, store immediately back in a secured space, especially in areas of high winds. Soda ash can sometimes clump up if stored for long periods of time, so agitating the material while safely within its container might make this easier to use over time.

Sodium Bicarbonate

This product is used to increase alkalinity within pools. There is a low level of toxicity in sodium bicarbonate but is can cause slight irritation if gotten on the skin. A slightly altered for baking soda, sodium bicarbonate requires storage within an ambient atmospheric pressure and ambient temperature. However, the product will start to degrade to sodium carbonate and carbon dioxide when temperatures start to rise above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The speed of decomposition will increase so this product should be kept away from direct sunlight and areas which heat quickly. Tin sheds in hot summers are no go for this chemical. If proper storage conditions are met then this product has been found to keep chemical stability for a minimum of 2 years.

Phosphate Remover

While the ingredients in phosphate removers may differ, the overall purpose is to eliminate the conditions which will encourage algae to grow. High levels of phosphates typically create water discoloration. For example, the Orenda 1 gallon phosphate remover PR-10000 is non-toxic and do not require any special handling or storage. It is important to pay attention to the active ingredients within the phosphate remover to judge how toxic this product could be. Phosphate removers that contain the chemical lanthanum chloride are slightly toxic. This chemical is a mineral salt and can cause eye irritation. Store this product out of the reach of children and animals.


This product, among the most well known of products, is a green-yellow oxidizing gas that is used for pool sanitary measures. While chlorine possesses a low level of toxicity when stored on its own, it is highly reactive with other chemicals. This means chlorine must be stored away from other pool supplies. It is best not to take risks and store this oxidative agent next to any chemical product. This isn't just a guideline for pool supplies. This is an incompatible chemical that does not mix well with bases, reducing agents, halogens and metals.

Not every pool product is made alike. It is important to always reference safety data sheets for information on the active ingredients within pool products, which should be listed on the back of any product purchased. These data sheets are usually located on the internet and provide an excellent reference for storage and handling. Knowing if a product contains an active ingredient that is flammable, explosive or degradable in certain conditions is absolutely essential to determining the correct storage options for pool supplies.