Algae is a familiar issue faced by swimming pool owners. This common organism is not only unsightly; it can pose a serious health risk. Dangerous bacteria, such as E.coli, flourish in pools contaminated by algae, and its slippery consistency lends itself to slips and falls. Algae can also inflict serious damage on your pool, leading to expensive repairs.
Algae can be various colors and cause your pool water to appear green, teal, yellow, brown, red, or even black. You might also notice a cloudy look to your pool water, which is another tell-tale sign that you have an algae problem. Algae is sometimes free-floating and other times sticks to your pool walls or in cracks and crevices. Though it spreads rapidly, fortunately, it can be treated and prevented fairly easily with swimming pool maintenance.
Whether you're already dealing with an algae-infested pool or want to prevent algae from forming in the first place, there are several methods that can help you keep your pool clean and safe.
- Algae thrives in pools with unbalanced chemical and pH levels. Check your chemical levels at least every few days. Use testing strips to measure the chemical and pH balance of your pool.
- Ensure that your filtration system is working properly. Uncirculated water can be a breeding ground for algae. When treating your pool for algae, run the filter system continuously. Remember to thoroughly clean your filtration system to prevent the buildup of algae-attracting debris.
- Use your pool. Active water is cleaner water. Stirring up the water in your pool will help you to keep it clean and bring any standing dirt and debris to the surface. This is a great way to prevent algae from forming in the first place.
- Cover your pool when it's not in use. Latham Pool Products offers automatic safety covers that keep your pool free of dirt particles, which attract algae and help it spread. Wind and rain also carry contaminants that affect the chemical levels in your pool, making an algae infestation more likely. Regularly clean your pool to keep dirt and debris from gathering at the bottom of your pool.
- The use of algaecides can prevent algae growth. Routine brushing will also kill algae spores. Vacuum your pool to remove any existing algae, which the algaecide has forced to the bottom of your pool.
- If you believe that you already have algae in your pool, identify the type to determine the most effective treatment. Green algae is the most common type, but yellow/mustard, black, and pink are also frequently found in pools.
- Chlorine serves as a great sanitizer for your pool and effectively kills algae. If you are already dealing with tell-tale green water, a concentrated chlorine shock treatment will clean your pool. A chlorine shock treatment works best at night, without the rays of the sun burning it off. The amount of chlorine you need depends on the type and amount of algae present in your pool. Always follow manufacturer’s instructions when using any chemicals to clean your pool.
Pools are a great source for relaxation or family fun, but without proper maintenance algae can quickly take over. Learn more about keeping algae at bay on the Swim University website. Creating a basic plan for algae prevention will keep your pool clean and healthy all year long.