Combating Algae in Your Swimming Pool

With summer on its way, you’re ready to dive into your pool once more. But after removing the cover, you find an unpleasant sight: algae has taken over your pool! Never fear: algae are easily combatable and its growth is even more easily preventable if you follow the simple tips we’ve provided below.

The presence of algae is often disturbing to pool owners, especially when it’s spread throughout the pool. Left unchecked, algae usually clogs a pool’s drainage pipes leading to further problems. To avoid the growth of algae in your swimming pool, it is important to maintain a proper chemical balance in the water.  But if you already have algae in your swimming pool, you’ll need to get rid of it and pronto!  Let’s look at the each category of algae and the main methods of removing algae growing in your swimming pool.

algae in water

Types of Algae

Yellow Algae

Yellow algae is also referred to as mustard algae or “the wall clinger”, which is a cool title for a not-so-cool problem. This algae tends to form on the shadier parts of the pool and can be difficult to kill. If not properly dealt with, yellow algae can easily grow back, so you’ll want to get on top of the problem ASAP.

Green Algae

This is one of the most common floating algae found in swimming pools. As the name implies, green algae colours the water green, which results in a cloudy water surface. Some species appear in scattered spots while others resemble sheets covering the surface of the pool. If you notice a green slime in the pool, you should act immediately before it spreads.

Black Algae

The ninja of all algae, black algae can be the hardest to remove. It forms several protective layers over it that actually inhibits algaecides from reaching it. Plus black alga forms roots that may penetrate into the walls of your swimming pool. That means the algae will return to the exact same place it was before if not completely removed. You’ll want a thorough pool cleaning to completely eradicate black algae.

Pink Algae

Despite its name, pink algae is actually bacteria. It manifests in streaks or spots in the crevices of a swimming pool, on plastic toys, pool covers, and even on your pool floor. It spreads slowly and rarely blooms across the entire length of the pool due to its sensitivity to sunlight.

Combating Algae

The best way to eliminate algae from your pool is to destroy the spores before they grow into blooms. Some methods you can use to keep algae at bay include maintaining proper pool circulation, shocking the pool weekly, sanitizing the pool regularly, and brushing pool walls often. But if these methods fail to work, you may also use more extreme measures to ensure the health of your pool water.

Using Algaecides

Of all algaecides available, copper-based algaecides are the most effective and show the fastest results. Before using any algaecide on the pool, we advise you to first shock the pool with chlorine and then run water in the pool. Next, add your preferred algaecide before running the filter for some 24 hours.  You should then repeat the procedure until all the algae in your pool turns grey, which shows that it’s died.

Next, add a flocculent to the pool water. This will help push dead algae to the bottom of the pool for easy cleaning. All you need do next is vacuum the dirt and dead algae out of the pool. Lastly, be sure to filter the water to remove any vestiges of the dead algae.

You can use these methods to fight all types of algae we’ve mentioned.

Without Algaecides

If you’re wary of using algaecides in your swimming pool, an alternative method is to increase your pool’s chlorine levels.  To find the ideal amount of chlorine to use, you must determine the exact level of cyanuric acid in your pool.  As a rule of thumb, the higher the level of cyanuric acid the more chlorine will be needed.

Your pool’s cyanuric acid level should never exceed 50 ppm and most pool experts recommend levels lower than 30 ppm.  After you’ve found the right level, you can begin to shock the pool with the proper doses of chlorine, preferably liquid chlorine.

While adding chlorine, scrub the walls of the pool to detach clinging algae. Next, clean and run the filter appropriately while chlorinating the pool. After adding chlorine, wait for the algae to die and turn gray. The level of chlorine should be kept high until all the algae dies.

If you don’t feel comfortable removing algae yourself, or if you want to make sure a thorough job is done to prevent its return, you may want to contact a pool professional. At AOL Pool Shop, we offer all manner of professional pool services, including eliminating algae. Contact us today to arrange the service you need.

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