Swimming Pool Algae

Swimming Pool Algae

If you have not had this problem, the more certain is that you may have it in the future. Sooner or later, as much care a person has with its swimming pool, ends up having problems with algae: a plague which, although not directly harmful to humans, creates conditions for the development of many other bacteria - such this, dangerous. Moreover, they have inevitable aesthetic consequences, which take up all the beauty of the swimming pool, turning it into something uninviting to a dive.

Initially with a microscopic format, reproduce in a frighteningly quick way, and there is no way to prevent that they settle in your pool: they are transported by wind, rain or even the clothing worn by bathers. The aim is to avoid that they reproduce by removing them as soon as they get in your pool. Algae require specific conditions to flourish, passing by the water temperature, by a pH level too high and low chlorine (or another equivalent agent). As such, the best way to prevent them is to often correct the treatment of water, keeping its various components within the optimal levels, regular cleaning of your own pool, vacuuming and brushing regularly, it is also a great way of prevention.

With so many variables that create good conditions for the development of algae, it is natural that something will eventually fail and algae arise. The first step is the identification: usually take spots on the walls of the pool that start small, but that can be spread over large areas from night to day, when you see the first signs that does not mean that you are starting to have a problem with algae. It means that you already have it, because there will be plenty of other pockets already, just not yet visible.

In total there are over 20,000 different types of algae. Regarding the pool algae, they are generally grouped by the color they assume, and therefore there are four main types:

  • Green algae: it is the most common type, which assumes a greenish color, like moss, is easily identified in the water line, stairs and corners. It can be brushed or vacuumed without difficulty, but this solution is only provisional, requiring further treatment. It is also the type that spreads more quickly, can cover the water in 24 hours!
  • Yellow Algae: assuming a dark yellow or brown color, this type of algae is not as quick to develop as green, but is more difficult to remove, being very resistant to brushing, the probability of relapse is high. It develops mainly in the darkest walls of the pool.
  • Black Algae: without wishing to scare you, this maybe your worst nightmare. With a color that is actually something blue, initially appears as small spots, sometimes in the deeper areas of the pool. With an extremely strong layer of protection, its main asset are the deep roots that infiltrate the lining of the pool: if not completely removed, after a while the small spot will be there again. Their proliferation is gradual: the beginning is slow, but then spreads rapidly and may in extreme cases, fully cover the lining of your pool.
  • Pink Algae: despite being known as such, does not really deal with algae, but rather a fungus. Assumes a foamy consistency at the water line and is easily removable.

Knowing what is in your swimming pool, what can be done?

The first step will inevitably be cleaning the pool. Dirt (tree leaves included) will absorb the chlorine, making it unnecessary to adopt any other procedures. Vacuum the pool, and brush your walls (especially the visibly affected areas) and empty the skimmer basket. This is also a good time to clean the filter.

Then adjust the swimming pool pH level: if you have a problem with algae, the more likely it is that is not within the recommended values (between 7.4 and 7.6). Once set, go to the sanitization of water, preferably using a shock treatment (there are specific products for that matter). Allow water to circulate continuously during 2-3 days, making the treatment acting in full strength. During this time, brush the pool once or twice every day, and do not forget to go checking the pH levels and chlorine: the ideal is to always keep it above 6 ppm, strengthening it where necessary. Also check the status of the filter and, if necessary, clean it, the elimination of algae can mess it up quickly.

When chlorine has declined to the levels of around 3 ppm, may return to routine maintenance, taking care to brush every day (at least) one week after treatment. Even without seeing signs of them, the algae will still be there and will come up again - but only if you leave!

Alternatively, you can also use an algaecide, more aggressive but effective. On the other hand, do not think that just apply it and hope that all the algae disappears by itself: the ideal would be to use it in conjunction with the procedure described above.

There are several different types of algaecides, some have a preventive effect, as are the cases of those based on copper or silver.

Comments 3 comments

talfonso profile image

talfonso 6 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

Very useful - I have a swimming pool at home and this is worth a read!


Kenny Montgomery 5 years ago

Knowing what type of algae you are dealing with can help you determine your best plan of action in getting rid of it. Of course, the best treatment is prevention! Keeping your pool properly chlorinated and at the correct chemical levels at all times, you can effectively avoid most algae problems and will not have to worry about bacteria and algae as much. Also, keeping your pool filters and cleaning equipment clean and in working order will help fight algae as well. Very informative hub, thanks!


Above Ground Pools 5 years ago

Algae lack the various structures such as phyllids and rhizoids in nonvascular plants, or leaves, roots and good to grow in swimming pools.

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