Algae growth is a common problem that pool owners face. Not only is it unappealing, but it can also pose health risks. Dangerous bacteria like E.coli flourish in contaminated water, and its slippery consistency can result in falls and injuries. Moreover, algae can cause severe damage to your pool and lead to expensive repairs. This article will provide a detailed guide on how to prevent and remove algae from your pool, including identifying different types of algae and their causes, as well as the most effective ways to clean and maintain your pool.
What Is Pool Algae?
Algae is a living plant organism that thrives in swimming pools. It can come in various colors, such as green, teal, yellow, brown, red, or even black. Algae can be either free-floating or stick to your pool walls, floors, or cracks and crevices. Cloudy pool water is also a sign of an algae problem. Although it spreads quickly, it can be treated and prevented with regular maintenance.
Can You Swim in a Pool with Algae?
It is not recommended to use your pool if there is algae present. The presence of algae indicates poor water balance, which means there may not be enough chlorine in the water to fight off other harmful bacteria. Algae can also suggest inadequate water sanitation, so it is best to stay outside of your pool until you have removed the algae.
What Causes Algae in a Pool?
Algae in pools can be caused by several factors. Algae spores can travel from your yard into your pool through wind, rain, or contaminated pool tools. Most soil and plant debris also contain algae. Additionally, poor water circulation, sanitation, and balance, as well as inadequate water filtration, can result in algae growth.
Types of Pool Algae
There are three common types of algae found in swimming pools, and each has different characteristics and treatment methods.
- Green Algae
Green algae is the most common type found in pools. It typically appears in corners and other areas where circulation is poor. It can grow explosively, so regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to preventing its growth. Although it is not more dangerous than other types of algae, it can potentially cause skin infections and rashes due to bacteria feeding on the algae.
- Mustard Algae
Mustard algae is yellow-brown or “mustard” in color. It is easy to brush off pool walls, but it can return quickly and be resistant to chlorine and shock treatment. It is prevalent in shady areas with poor circulation.
- Black Algae
Black algae is a resistant type of algae that clings to pool walls, floors, and cracks. It is usually found in gunite or concrete pools and should be treated immediately upon detection.
How to Kill Algae in Your Pool
- Whether you are dealing with an algae-infested pool or want to prevent algae growth in the first place, there are several methods to keep your pool clean and safe.
- Identify the type of algae in your pool to determine the most effective treatment. Green algae is the most common type, but yellow/mustard, black, and pink algae/slime are also frequently found in pools.
- Remove everything from your pool besides cleaning equipment. Vacuum your pool to remove any existing algae, which the algaecide has forced to the bottom of your pool.
- Routine brushing will also kill algae spores. Make sure to scrub and brush your pool walls on a regular basis.
- Sanitize your pool with chlorine or other sanitizers, which can effectively kill algae.
- Balance your pool water’s pH and alkalinity.