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How to Identify, Treat, and Remove Algae in Your Swimming Pool

  
  
  
 

How to Identify, Treat, and Remove Algae in Your Swimming Pool

By Marcus Sheridan, http://www.poolschool.us/

 

During the months of July and August, algae can be a very big problem for swimming  pool owners. With the higher temperatures during these months, as well as inconsistency in a pool's sanitizer levels, algae can rear its ugly heard. This article will discuss the different types of algae and how to deal with each.

 Algae is a single-celled plant form. It utilizes the process of photosynthesis to manufacture its own food and comes in very wide variety of colors and forms making it adaptable to almost any condition.

Due to algae's microscopic size, it takes literally millions of these plants to accumulate to be noticed by the naked eye!  By that time it may be too late and very costly to correct. As we tell all our customers: This best way to eliminate algae is through prevention! (This is also why we are such proponents of salt water chlorine systems.)

Green Algae

The most common form of algae in swimming pools is "green" algae.  Green algae (varies in color from blue-green to yellow-green to dark-green) can be free floating in the water (turning the water a hazy-green) or can be wall-clinging (patches of green). Green algae can be treated fairly simply with the right amount of brushing, shocking, and algaecide.

Treatment:  Have water properly analyzed to ensure PH is at proper levels and balance the pool water. Pools treated with chlorine should be brushed thoroughly, then shocked, raising the chlorine levels above 30,000 ppm.  Also, add a strong dose of Algaecide 60 to the water. Continue to check the pool's filtration throughout this process to ensure proper water flow. You may have to repeat this process a few times in order to eradicate entirely the algae.

Black Algae

"Black Algae" (actually blue-green algae) forms in cracks and crevices on pool surfaces, especially plaster finishes. We normally find black algae growing in, but not limited to, shady areas of the pool. Black algae is more typically found in concrete or plaster finished pools because of their rough surfaces. It is known for a heavy slime layer and "skeletal growths" that make it impervious to normal chlorine levels.  Black algae usually doesn't have any effect on water clarity, it just makes your pool appear to have black spots on the surface.

Treatment:  Have water properly analyzed and balanced. Prior to and during treatment, the algae MUST be thoroughly brushed in order to "break open" the slime layer.  Failure to do this critical step will prevent the treatment from working.  Shock the pool very aggressively and continue to brush the black algae. Add substantial amounts of algaecide 60.

Mustard Algae

Mustard algae is a chlorine-resistant form of green algae (yellow-green to brown in color). It often resembles dirt or sand on the bottom or sides of a pool.

Treatment:  Same as black algae.

In certain cases, when a pool is full of algae, the algae must be vacuumed directly out of the pool. This can be accomplished by brushing the algae off the walls, then adding a ‘floc' to the water, which coagulates the algae and causes it to settle. Once it settles, it should vacuumed directly out of the pool. When attempting to floc a pool, follow the directions on the bottle very carefully.

Well hopefully you will not be burdened with algae in your swimming pool this year. As I mentioned earlier in the article, salt chlorine generators are the best way to prevent algae in your pool. This is because they produce a consistent feed of natural chlorine going into your pool all the time, which will also allow you as a pool owner to be gone for a few days without being too vigilant of your pool, but still coming back to a crystal clear, algae free body of water. I'm always amazed at how many pool owners think that algae a standard part of swimming pool ownership. This clearly does not have to be the case, as we have many customers at River Pools who have never even seen algae in their swimming pool. Of course, this is also why just about every one of our customers uses a salt chlorinator.

Good luck and happy swimming!

 

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Comments

Hi guys, thanks for the post. I just wanted to add a quick tip to preventing algae in the first place: invest in a good robotic pool cleaner! Of course not all of the cleaners on the market can actually do this-- we used to have one that only seemed to clean the floor and the walls and we got an outbreak of algae after a bad storm! 
After this was cleared up, we invested in a good robotic pool cleaner called the Dolphin Premier. Not only have we not had an algae issue since, but it also helped clear up some of the residual algae on the tile line. Can't recommend it more! 
Check them out atwww.premierrobotic.com. And let me know what you think! 
 
Mike
Posted @ Tuesday, February 05, 2013 1:41 PM by Mike
Thanks for the post! 
One quick thing to add though: invest in a good robotic pool cleaner! 
A good robotic pool cleaner will prevent dirt and algae buildup, and it will attack what is already there.  
The Dolphin Premier is a really good product-- I have one myself and I recommend it to other pool owners constantly. It has tons of features that I haven't seen in other models, including multiple options for filters, smart nav technology, a 360 degree swivel so it won't get tangled in its own cord (as many tend to do!). Anyway, for a complete list of features, check them out here: http://www.premierrobotic.com/dolphin-pool-cleaner).  
 
Thanks again for the post! 
 
NG 
www.premierrobotic.com 
Posted @ Friday, March 22, 2013 5:11 PM by Premier Robotic
Hi guys, thanks for the post. I just wanted to add a quick tip to preventing algae in the first place: invest in a good robotic pool cleaner! Of course not all of the cleaners on the market can actually do this-- we used to have one that only seemed to clean the floor and the walls and we got an outbreak of algae after a bad storm! 
After this was cleared up, we invested in a good robotic pool cleaner called the Dolphin Premier. Not only have we not had an algae issue since, but it also helped clear up some of the residual algae on the tile line. Can't recommend it more! 
Check them out atwww.premierrobotic.com. And let me know what you think! 
 
Mike 
Posted @ Friday, May 31, 2013 5:13 PM by Premier Robotic
I'm having a horrible time with my pool. It's been going for three years now. I live in Ky & cover my pool I'm the winter months once the pool is opened up we begin getting black spots only in the bottom of the pool. You can swept those spots & poof they are gone! Give it 10 minutes and every single spot is back & normally more. We continually vacuum to waste, add burn out/shock, I've put every kind if algaecide out there in the pool. Bottles if it! I've bought the algaecide that treats mustard algae as well. 
Today I went to clean the filter basket out & it's full of YELLOW SPOONGE looking stuff! Never seen anything like it.. Please help me understand whats going on. I'm so uncertain what to do. We plan to convert to the salt system but want to get this problem solved before doing so!
Posted @ Thursday, June 13, 2013 10:31 PM by Stacy
Good suggestion about how to maintain the swimming pool. In the rainy or winter season the pool use decreases from the other season and the pool owners like to do the maintenance of the pool, if getting any damage they repair it immediately for the better service. 
http://beachwoodpools.com/
Posted @ Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:27 AM by danielrose
Good suggestion about how to maintain the swimming pool. In the rainy or winter season the pool use decreases from the other season and the pool owners like to do the maintenance of the pool, if getting any damage they repair it immediately for the better service.
Posted @ Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:28 AM by danielrose
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