Algae and other microscopic organisms can grow in pools due to several factors, including poorly maintained pool water.
Do you want your pool to stay healthy and sparkling all summer long? We’ve shared some steps below for how to prevent pool algae from growing.
Whether you’re a swimmer or just enjoy a cool dip in your backyard, these preventative measures will keep your swimming area pristine blue not only in summer but throughout the year!
What Are Algae?
Algae is a green, slimy, microscopic plant that can grow in pools for many reasons. Anything from algae blooms in the water to pools with poor routine maintenance can be sources of algae.
Algae are always present in pool’s water, even pristine blue pools, typically in small amounts that it’s hard to see. Algaes are eagerly awaiting the right conditions to bloom. And when the chlorine level drops and the pH level increases, or when the pump or filter is not functioning correctly, they explode.
A swimming pool needs to be well maintained so that it doesn’t turn into an algae soup. Algae needs three things: light, carbon dioxide (CO2), and the right pH level. For the most part, they require all three – so if you see green slime on your pool walls or floor, you probably have an algae problem!
Algae need nourishment to live. Swimming pools provide plenty of delicious food for algae to feast on. In fact, algae can eat up your swimming water treatment chemicals in just a few days!
Problems That Algae Can Cause
Algae can cause several problems for pool owners. The most common are the unsightly green slime on the walls and floor, which can hide many other pool problems like clogged filters, low pH, high chlorine levels, and poor contaminated water circulation.
But algae are more than just unsightly; it’s destructive as well! Persistent algae in pools can consume your swimming water treatment chemicals quickly and eat up the surface of your pool, causing uneven wear and tear, leading to costly repairs or even skimmer replacement.
Here are some problems that algae can cause:
Algae can clog the filter. In some cases, this can cause the pool’s filter to break down.
Some people believe that algae are benign and harmless, but it is not so innocent. Algae can plug up the filter in your pool which will reduce the efficiency of your filtration system. It could also consume too much of your chlorine levels, making you sick with respiratory problems such as bronchitis or pneumonia.
A common algae problem is a buildup of algae on the filter. This often cause cloudy water, and it will also make it more difficult for you to maintain your chlorine levels.
Ultimately, algae are destructive and should be avoided so that you can keep your pool as healthy as possible.
What Are the Types of Algae That Can Grow in Your Pool?
Algae can be one of the more challenging types of contamination to deal with in your pool, as it can present itself in multiple forms and colors. Three main types of algae grow profusely in pools: cyanobacteria (blue-green algae), black algae, and green algae.
The type of procedure you undertake will vary depending on which type is growing in your pool water.
Blue-green algae are most commonly found in stagnant, still, nutrient-rich waters. To remove this form of algae, you will need to decrease the concentration of nutrients in your pool water.
You can do this by adding chlorine or bromine and/or removing debris from the pool bottom.
Black algae do not have a defined color and are typically found in cool, clear water. Generally, it is caused by the rise of phosphates in your pool’s water when using shock treatment medications.
To remove black algae, you must lower the pH level of your pool’s water.
Green algae can be found all over your pool floor and walls during the summer months when you have more sunlight streaming into your pool.
It can also appear on the surface as scum or film that turns brownish-green as it continues to grow over time (this film may even protect green algae from chlorine).
Ways on Getting Rid of Pool Algae Fast
Here are some methods to clear these three types of algae.
Vacuum Your Pool Regularly
Picking up the algae by vacuuming it leaves it in the water for only a short time and keeps it from re-appearing. So, vacuuming must be done regularly to keep your pool clean.
There are several reasons why vacuuming is a good way to keep your pool clean. One of the most obvious is that it removes dirt and leaves from the pool. It also prevents insects and parasites from breeding by removing their habitats, such as branches, leaves, and other vegetation.
Scrub Your Pool Walls and Floor With a Brush
The brush will help to remove the algae from your pool surface. It also helps break up the algae’s cells to be easier for the pool’s filter to remove them.
Make sure you’re using a brush that is exclusively designated for your pool and one that is appropriate for your type of pool.
Use Test Trips and Kits to Balance the Water
If the level of chemicals is too low, it can result in an overproduction of algae. Inversely, if the level of chemicals is too high, it can decrease algae production.
The best way to handle this issue is to ensure that your pool’s water has a correct balance of chemicals by using test strips and kits. You’ll need to know how your pool started out when setting up a chemical balance, so you know what you’re working with and where you need to get it.
Shock Your Swimming Pool
Shocking your pool is another way to prevent algae from growing. A shock will kill any algae that may have grown on the walls or in cracks of your pool. It would be best if you also shocked your pool after using a suntan lotion, as this can contain sunscreen that could attract algae or other contaminants.
When shocking your pool, avoid using stabilized chlorine. You’ll wind up with an excessive amount of cyanuric acid, which inhibits sanitizer and may result in algae growth in your pool or other, more severe issues down the road.
Remember to shock your pool after the sun goes down or at night. The sun will exhaust most of the chlorine if you shock during the day, which will prevent it from having a chance to destroy the algae effectively. Also, while you are shocking your pool, place your cleaning equipment at the shallow end so that it will be disinfected as well.
Retest Your Pool’s Chemistry
If you want, you may use your standard testing procedures or send a water sample to your local pool shop for examination. You want to ensure that your water’s chemistry is balanced and that the chlorine level has returned to normal before allowing anybody back into the pool.
Make Sure Your Pool Filter Is Clean
Clean your filter thoroughly because the last thing you want is to fill your pool back with microscopic algae that could start another bloom. You can deep clean the filter by soaking it in muriatic acid for a few minutes or just buy a new one.
Preventive Measures for Algae Growth
Preventing algae growth is a challenging process, but it doesn’t mean you have to give up. Here are some of the most common techniques for preventing algae from growing in your pool:
The first thing you have to do is to make sure you’re using the proper equipment. Use a brush and a vacuum system regularly on your pool’s surface to reduce algae growth. It is also essential that your filter has been thoroughly cleaned and not filled with debris or other bacteria, leading to an pool algae bloom.
When draining your pool, don’t create an introduction for new contaminants into the water at all times because this can result in a breeding ground for algae and other microbes that could contaminate the water.
Using specialized chemicals or algaecides is also advised to back up the regular sanitation and filtration procedures. Here are some chemicals you can use for proper filtration and prevention of algae growth.
Potassium Tetraborate is a type of algaecide that can be used to kill algae. It also improves the sanitizer’s ability to kill bacteria, just like Calcium Hypochlorite.
It has physical and chemical properties that enable it to target specific types of algae and doesn’t kill other substances in your pool, such as stings or scales.
Chitin is a natural substance that pool owner use to fight off algae for years. It works by binding to the cell wall of the algae and prevents it from reproducing, which in turn will kill it. Chitin is often found in spas and water parks because of this ability.
Phosphate Remover helps prevent algae growth in your pool. It works by preventing phosphates from attaching themselves to the side of the walls, which is where most algae prefer to grow.
Algaecides are chemicals that kill off or inhibit algal growth and help keep your water clean and clear. They’re made for specific types of algae not to affect other organisms such as bacteria or stings in your pool.
Monochloramine Tetraborate (MCBT)
This product contains chlorine, hypochlorite, and monochloramine tetraborate.
Chlorine Enhancers are a type of liquid chlorine that has been modified to be more potent and more effective.
A pool would use Chlorine enhancers when it needs more chlorine in the water but doesn’t want to add any more than what is required. Chlorine enhancers also fights off algae by promoting the production of chloramines.
Filter cleaners are a type of algaecide that can be used to clean the filter and kill algae. They work by killing or inhibiting the algae from thriving.
Some pools have a specialized pH level, which results in it taking a lot longer for the chlorine to sanitize them. This can cause an overgrowth of algae, so adding muriatic acid to the said pool may help prevent this from happening. The increased acidity will kill or inhibit the algae from growing in your pool.
Remember the adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”? This works for your pool. Prevent your pool from becoming ill-algae, and you’ll never have to worry about costly repairs trying to turn it back. Maintaining your pool regularly will keep it in good condition and free of algae. It may be time-consuming, but it will be well worth it in the long run.
Here are some tips on how to keep your pool clean and healthy. Swim in a clean, safe pool with your family for a fun time!