Diatomacous Earth Pool Filters - What Is That Stuff Anyway  

by Pool Builders on 03-29-2009 in Articles

Possibly the strangest name in pool filters is the name diatomacous earth. Earth in a pool filter? I thought the whole idea of a pool filter is to keep the earth (dirt) out of my pool! Or maybe it's not really any type of earth and they just named it diatomacous earth for reasons only they know about. Then again who is "they" anyway!?

Remember Back Then?

As a matter of fact, diatomacous earth does come from the earth. It's dug from huge pits and it has untold numbers of commercial uses. It's a chalky white powder and one common use for it that you have been familiar with since you were a child is the manufacturing of common chalk that your teachers used on their blackboards.

It's Used In Pool Filters

It's also used in pool filters, because diatomacous earth won't dissolve in water, so when it is gathered up in a pool filter, it works great for trapping other tiny particles that are suspended in the pools water. Once it has done it's job, it simply flushed down the drain and replaced with new diatomacous earth.

Remember Way Way Back Then!?

Each tiny speck of diatomacous earth is actually the tiny shell of an ancient one celled sea creature called a "diatom". Ancient oceans millions of years ago were filled with them and they floated around in huge clouds suspended in the water.

Oceans Became Dry Land and Stuff For Pool Filters

As they died, these diatoms would sink to the sea floor and accumulate one on top of the other in huge deep deposits and then as the eons slowly passed, these huge deposits of diatom shells became dry land. So now men use excavators and giant dump trucks to mine the stuff for use in things like pool filters.

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