Best Ways to Prevent and Avoid the White Water Mold in Your Pool

White water mold is a bacteria that is found in pools. It is a slippery, slimy substance that looks like white paint and can quickly build up in your pool. White water mold can be avoided if certain precautions are taken. Read more here.

White water mold is a terrible problem for swimmers, pool owners, and those who love to be in the pool. If you have white water mold in your swimming pool or hot tub, even chlorine cannot eliminate it.

This means that it will continue to grow and cause damage to your equipment. In addition, not only do you lose out on water clarity but also on its disinfectant properties! 

If you notice some warning signs (mucousy material floating in the water), don’t take a chance! White water mold can make you itchy if touched directly and will leave your skin with an allergic-type rash with intense redness for days, especially for someone with mold allergies.

Whether you’re looking for a little more information or a little more help with your pool, we’ve got you covered! We have the answers to your questions and give you the knowledge and tools you need for tackling this problem.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into how white-water mold works, how to eliminate it, and most importantly, what steps are necessary to prevent white algae in your pool.

What to Know About White Water Mold?

White water mold is a kind of fungus seen on surfaces in pools, hot tubs, and other bodies of water. It thrives in chlorine-rich environments and starts to spread fast when the chlorine levels get too high.

It can be formed in fresh and saltwater pools but is typically more prevalent in saltwater pools because chlorine does not kill it well. 

White Water Mold swimming pool

The white patches are usually no larger than one inch across and will form near the pool equipment or other equipment that has been submerged at some point during the day.

Experts say that many people are exposed to mold every day, and it’s often safe in minimal amounts. However, white water mold can irritate specific individuals if exposed to it frequently or in significant quantities.

For the sake of your family’s safety and health, regular inspection, preventing, and cleaning your pool of whitewater mold is essential. 

What Is the Cause of White Water Mold in a Swimming Pool?

White water mold is often commonly referred to as “swimming pool water mold.” The coloration of the water typically occurs because of its high organic content. This type of ‘water mold’ can be created by several things. However, it is mostly caused by poor plumbing, decaying organic matter, and possibly algae. 

Organic content such as pea gravel, cow manure, human waste can also interfere with proper sanitation procedures and allow for the spread of white water molds.

Also, white water mold (and sometimes pink slime) can be the side effect of water that comes from your garden hose or a faucet.

This type of mold is attracted to plastic surfaces, so when you’re filling your swimming pool with water from the faucet, let the hose run for several minutes to ensure that any possible mold within the hose doesn’t get transported into your pool.

Why Is Pool Water Mold a Problem?

White water mold is the least of your problem, but the pink slime bacteria that comes with it is the real threat.

In any case, pool water mold is a nasty thing to deal with. This is because it will most likely not only be floating in your pool water but will also be present in your pipes and filters. Unfortunately, that means you’ll have to perform a lot of heavy-duty cleaning in your pool to eliminate it completely.

Aside from that, where there is mold, there will ultimately be bacteria. The pink slime that develops on top of white water mold is toxic to humans, and it may cause respiratory tract problems, pneumonia, and urinary tract infections. It may enter your body via your eyes, nose, or other open wounds. Pink slime is something you certainly don’t want in your pool (or home, for that matter).

White water mold is resistant to halogen-based sanitizers such as chlorine and bromine. But don’t worry, there is a solution to get rid of it.

How Do You Remove White Water Mold From Your Swimming Pool?

White water mold is challenging to eradicate. To entirely remove the mold from your swimming pool, you’ll need to adhere to a strict cleaning routine and even repeat it multiple times to guarantee that the mold is entirely taken care of.

Step 1: Ensure That Your Filter Is Clean

Having a white mold problem most of the time means that the mold has already infiltrated your pipes and filtering system. Therefore, cleaning your filter should be your first action because it’s ineffective if white molds already clogged it up.

Connect a hose to your water source, give your cartridge filter a thorough rinse, or backwash your sand or DE filter.

White Water Mold - Ensure That Your Filter Is Clean

Step 2: Balance the pH Level

Adjust the pH level of your pool before you can safely proceed to Step 3. The recommended pH level of a swimming pool should be 7.2 to 7.6, with 7.4 being the optimum value.

It’s advisable to use test strips or a liquid test kit to keep the water ready for step 3.

White Water Mold - Balance the pH Level

Step 3: Shock! Shock! Shock!

Step 3 is to shocking your pool hard with chlorine to eradicate the white mold.

Yes! I know what you’re thinking. We did say sanitizers like chlorine will have a hard time killing white mold. 

The truth is they are still helpful but you will need to use LARGE AMOUNTS of chlorine. 

The rule of thumb when it comes to shocking is usually 1 bag of shock per 10,000 gallons of water.

Now, you’ll need to three – to fourfold the amount of shock used for eradicating white water mold. Most preferably, 3 or 4 lbs. of shock per 10,000 gallons of water can do the trick.

White Water Mold - Shock Pool

Step 4: Brush, Pump, and Brush Some More

Take a scrubber brush and get rid of spot molds sitting around ladders, pool skimmers, return jets, and any other “dead spots.”

Once you’ve completed the process, leave the pump running for the entire day, allowing the filter to have enough time to capture as much mold as possible.

Then go over everything with a stiff bristle brush. If you believe you removed all of the molds on the first try, you have had little experience with mold in general at all. So keep brushing!

White Water Mold - Pool Brush

Step 5: Start Vacuuming

Manually vacuum the mold out of the pool. You can also do so with a garden hose. However, ensure to let it run for a couple of minutes before filling the pool with water. It’s good to make sure that there’s no mold growing inside the hose. 

White Water Mold - Pool Vacuum

Step 6: Retest After Cleaning the Filter

Finally, rinse out the filter once more, retest the water, and rebalance the water.

We would advise you to use a chemical soak for your cartridge or filter cleaner for your DE filter at this point.

Tips to Help Prevent White Water Mold

It goes without saying that prevention of white water mold is better than treatment. 

So here are some essential tips that you should consider when trying to prevent white water mold in your pool:

  • It is recommended to make sure your filter has been cleaned and replaced regularly.
  • You should also maintain the pH levels of the pool and chemical levels at specific concentrations. Maintaining a pre-set pH is also important for the prevention of white water mold.
  • Run the filtration system regularly, brush the surfaces and pool wall regularly, and clean up the areas that sanitizers have a tough time with.
  • Always double check if the pump works properly.
  • Routinely pour oxidizing chemicals into the skimmer to purge and clean the filter lines of any biofilm that has accumulated over time.
  • Pool water should be kept balanced at all times, with regular checks after heavy rain or significant freshwater additions.
  • Adding regular maintenance doses of algaecide every 2-3 weeks is also recommended as a preventative strategy.


While it may surprise you to see your lovely pool in such poor condition, remember that you can always bring it back to its former glory.

By following the methods described above, you can eliminate the white mold in your pool. And by following basic maintenance practices, you can substantially decrease the likelihood that you will ever have this kind of pool issue again.

Looking for more helpful tips and tricks to ensure your family can use your pool safely and healthily? These articles are the answers. Visit our website to see a complete list of our pool articles.

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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