How To Get Rid Of Algae In A Swimming Pool

algae in pool

When spring starts to come around the corner many homeowners might notice that their pool has turned a shade of green during the winter months. This is caused by algae, a small plant-like organism that grows when pool water is left untreated for long periods of time. The result is a green tone in your water or a series of black/green spots on the walls of your otherwise clean pool.

Here are some ways to correctly identify the pool algae treatment you need and what you can do to prevent pool algae.

What Causes Pool Algae?

Algae usually grows when the level of chlorine is low and when the pH is unbalanced.. Whether it be a lake or your pool, algae can grow anywhere where water is not moving. The main cause for algae is a lack of sanitation and no use of chlorine, which provides the perfect environment for it to grow. Algae is also common in dark places, which is why it’s commonly found on pool steps and in corners or other crevices of your pool.

Types of Pool Algae

Green Pool Algae

Green pool algae is the most common form and comes from a lack of proper sanitation or filtration in your pool. It’s commonly found clinging to the bottom of your pool, to the walls, and even floating on the water. Thankfully, this type of green algae is easy to clean and only requires some algaecide or sanitizer.

Yellow Pool Algae / Mustard Pool Algae

Yellow algae is often found in areas that don’t get much sunlight and is harder to remove. Often it can be confused with pollen or sand due to its color. This variety is a bit harder to remove compared to green algae.

Black Algae

While not that common, black algae is the hardest algae to remove from your pool. It appears as dark black spots on the walls of your swimming pool. While the black algae seems to be only on the surface of the wall, the roots are actually located deep into the walls.

How To Get Rid Of Pool Algae

There are a variety of methods to get rid of pool algae, here are some of the most common:

Superchlorination, also known as pool shock

Pool shock is made up of chlorine or non-chlorine chemicals that are added to pools in order to destroy contaminants such as algae or other bacteria. The chlorine versions of pool shock raise the levels of chlorine to high levels, often up to 10 ppm, to kill bacteria. Non-chlorine pool shock, on the other hand, generally contains potassium monopersulfate which is good at oxidizing contaminants but will not do much to kill bacteria.

To use the shock, put on some protective gear to protect yourself from the chlorine steam that might form. This can include goggles and gloves. Once you’re well protected, empty the contents into a bucket of water before adding it to your pool. Always empty the shock into the water and not the other way around to control the amount of chemicals going into the bucket. Once this is done you can add the shock to your pool and leave it to rest overnight to avoid having the sun evaporate the shock.

Once you are ready to use your pool, make sure to test the chlorine levels in your pool before swimming. Pool shock treatments raise the chlorine treatment in waters to high levels. The instructions in your pool shock chemicals should advise on the proper time to wait before going for a swim.

Do not add shock to an automatic chlorinator. Doing so could cause the shock to mix with certain chemicals and could create a deadly gas that could cause an explosion. Always read the instructions of your shock mix carefully before use.

Add flocculant

Flocculant, also known as floc, is a chemical that takes small particles in your pool and causes them to settle at the bottom of your swimming pool. While it will not kill the bacteria, it will bind to the algae and cause it to fall to the bottom of your pool where you can then vacuum it.

To use it simply turn your water pump to “recirculate” or “recycle” to spin the water in your pool. Add the flocculant to your pool, following proper directions to find the correct dosage for your size of swimming pool. Once that is done, leave the water to circulate for about 2 hours before shutting down the pump and leave overnight. In the morning the particles should be ready to vacuum.

Use algaecide

Algaecide is best used as a preventive measure, not as a treatment. The reason why is simply due to the limitations of algaecide and how much chemical would need to be used before it takes effect. Check with your pool store to see which algaecides are best at killing algae before use.

How To Prevent Pool Algae From Appearing

While treating algae is possible, it’s best to prevent algae from growing in the first place by following some simple steps:

  1. Keep your filter clean to help remove fine particles from your water and to circulate water frequently. This prevents algae from forming.
  2. Keep your water balanced by checking the level of chlorine in your water.
  3. Shock your pool regularly and use a pool brush to knock the algae off the walls.
  4. Use UV light to prevent algae from growing in your pool.
  5. Keep your pool sanitized by ensuring your pool always has a proper level of chlorine in it.
  6. Keep cleaning regularly by brushing the walls and vacuuming the floor of your pool.

A cleaner pool is a better pool

By following proper water care and making sure that your pool is taken care of, you can swim without worry all year long. Looking for a new pool or an upgrade? Contact Sanchez Pools Inc today for more information about our pool selection!