The kids are back in school and autumn is only a month away! We’re sad to see the end of another summer, but we won’t mind a few cooler days ahead. But along with cooler, shorter days, we’ll soon start seeing that tell-tell sign of autumn, especially in the Lowcountry—leaves EVERYWHERE.

 Those leaves may just seem like an annoyance, they can actually cause issues eventually. Occasionally leaves left sitting in a pool, especially an unbalanced pool, can cause organic staining. Organic staining can be reversed but the chemicals to do so can be pricey, so it’s definitely easier and cheaper to prevent the staining than to treat it.

Even worse than staining is clogging. If leaves begin to accumulate at the bottom of the pool along with other organic matter (sticks, acorns, pine straw) they can easily get sucked up into your pool’s main drain, skimmer, or even lodged in your pool pump! Service calls to remove clogs can also be pricey, so again, prevention is the best method.

But exactly how do you keep leaves out of your pool? Well, unfortunately, you can’t keep all the leaves from your pool. But there are ways to prevent massive amounts of leaves from falling in and ways to safely remove leaves without clogging your pool’s plumbing.

To prevent leaves in the off season from making their way into your pool, you can easily cover your pool. Traditional covers are available for both inground and above ground pools. Safety covers, which allow foot traffic over the pool cover (great for kids, the elderly, and fur babies!) are available for inground pools. Mesh covers are available in both options and allow water to pass through while still catching leaves, sticks, and more.

And if covering isn’t an option, or you prefer to look at that beautiful pool year-round, there are many ways to pick up those stray leaves. Regular vacuuming with either your manual pool vacuum or your robotic cleaner is recommended, along with use a skimmer net or leaf rake to skim floating leaves out of the pool. Another handy device is a Leaf Eater. The Leaf Eater is a device that attaches directly to your garden hose and vacuum pole and collects leaves and other debris from the bottom of the pool easily and quickly without having to fiddle with your vacuum at all!

And don’t forget that whether you cover this autumn/winter or not, get your pool water checked every four weeks to ensure a healthy pool AND long-lasting pool equipment. These easy steps can make sure you have a crystal clear pool in the off season, not to mention you’re prepared for the next pool season.