How To Get Rid Of Pool Algae
Is Algae giving you a headache? If so, then learning how to get rid of pool algae is probably at the top of your to-do list. Algae tend to freak people out. You don’t need to go that far, although you will definitely want to take it seriously.
Ask any experienced swimming pool owner to tell you about the most annoying aspect of swimming pool maintenance. The odds are pretty good that they are going to mention algae first. There is no question that swimming pool algae is one of the most frustrating things that can keep you from enjoying your pool as you would like. Algae in your pool can bring about an early end to the season in no uncertain terms. This fact is made even worse by the reality of knowing that standard sanitizer levels are often ill-equipped to actually deal with algae in a useful fashion. What can be done on your end?
Thankfully, when it comes to getting rid of algae, you have a lot of options available to you. With diligence, and perhaps a little patience, you will algae easy to deal with more often than not. What arguably matters the most is dealing with the algae as quickly as possible. Some minor cloudiness in your pool can very quickly become an issue that can shut down your pool for costly work.
However, again, it is generally quite easy to avoid this scenario.
Let’s break down everything you need to break down and eliminate algae in any form or fashion.
What Is Pool Algae?
The first thing you will obviously want to do is understand what you’re dealing with. This means not only knowing where algae can come from, but how to spot algae in a swimming pool, as well. Keep in mind that just because you can’t see any significant plant growth on or inside your pool, this doesn’t mean you don’t have algae. One of the most frustrating things about algae has to be the various ways by which it can get into your water.
From the microscopic particles that can attach to a swimsuit, to small patches of a slimy substance that can be stuck on a pool float, as you’re bringing it into the water, algae will use a number of delivery methods that you will have to contend with. How it gets into your pool is important, in terms of establishing preventive measures for the future. At the same, you will want to make sure you are dealing with the problem as quickly as possible. To reiterate an earlier point, a small algae problem can become a very large one in hardly any time at all.
Maintaining balanced water chemistry is very, very important. If you aren’t doing regular maintenance with your swimming pool levels, you are inviting a constant of algae in your swimming pool. While the algae in of itself is not harmful to a swimmer, it is still highly problematic for several reasons. At the top of the list would be the fact that algae are an attractive food source to various bacteria. Such elements ARE harmful to swimmers, particularly if swallowed. Algae can also create a situation in which the cloudiness of the water makes it hard to see if someone, such as a child, is struggling beneath the water. This creates a serious safety issue.
Finally, being perfectly honest, the presence of green slime in your swimming pool is just unattractive. Not only is it displeasing to look at, but it doesn’t feel particularly good when it touches your skin. If you plan to make your swimming pool a focal point for entertaining friends and family, you will want to make sure to get rid of algae as soon as possible. There are three types in total that can infiltrate your pool and cause headaches. If you find that your water is green, yellow, or even a blueish black in its appearance, then you definitely have an algae problem. Beyond the presence of discolored water, you will also want to keep an eye out for these colors anywhere along your stairs, with any corners, on the walls of your pool, or even on your skimmer and/or jet. Algae has a reputation for being able to grow just about anywhere. Even if you can’t see it, there is always the likelihood that its growth in the cracks and similar spaces that can be found in and around your pool.
With a better idea of what you are looking for, you are now in the best possible shape to deal with any algae problems you might be experiencing. This means not only knowing how to get rid of algae, but what you can do to make sure you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
How Do I Get Rid Of Pool Algae?
Don’t forget that algae can even affect the overall performance of your pool. If it gets into your filtration system, for example, you could have a particularly frustrating problem on your hands.
You will also want to understand that the different types of algae are going to have different issues and characteristics. For example, yellow algae is particularly difficult to eliminate, owing to its ability to resist chlorine. Thankfully, it is the rarest of the three algae types. Black algae is another one that’s tough to kill, which is made worse by the ability it has to grow its own food source. That means it can proliferate very quickly, leaving you with a long list of concerns. Green algae, on the other hand, is the most common type of the three. It also has the benefit of being the easiest to get rid of.
At the end of the day, regardless of the specific type of algae in your swimming pool, you will want to have it destroyed ASAP.
You should also be on the lookout for pink slime. It is sometimes mischaracterized as being a fourth type of algae. It’s not, but it can still cause you problems. It is particularly susceptible to damaging PVC pipes.
Now, let’s discuss your various options for getting rid of pool algae:
- Manual Vacuuming: This is one of your best bets, although it can be a bit time-consuming. That will ultimately depend on the severity of your problem. Products like automatic pool robots are great for general maintenance. They aren’t ideal generally for the task of actually eliminating an algae problem. Manual vacuuming allows for careful elimination of the area. It can also be combined with the next option we are going to discuss.
- Brushing Your Pool: Again, this can be combined with manual vacuuming to completely wipe out just about any moderate algae problem you might be experiencing. Scrubbing a good way to make sure your sanitizer will be able to fully penetrate the algae to its source. You are also stirring off the sediment, which can then be brushed off and killed with ease. Armed with a sturdy brush and a long pole, you can get to work. Pay particular attention to shady portions of the pool, as well as the nooks and crannies that wouldn’t immediately occur to you.
- Shock Treatments: This is yet another measure that can be combined with one or both of the suggestions we have covered thus far. Before you run out and buy swimming pool shock treatments, make sure to test the levels in your water first. A poor balance means the shocking process won’t be as effective as you need it to be. You ideally want to avoid high pH levels or low alkaline levels. A calcium hypochlorite shock will probably be your best bet. Keep in mind that there are less-strong sanitizer treatment options out there.
- Pool Water Clarifiers: Regardless of whether or not you use this product, you can expect to need to run your filter for a period of at least eight hours. If you don’t want to wait quite that long, then you will definitely want to get your hands on a pool water clarifier.
- Flocculant: We mention this one last because it arguably works best with very minor algae problems. If you use these additives quickly enough in the lifetime of the algae, then you can almost certainly eliminate some of the steps/options we have covered so far. However, again, this is not a recommended option for moderate to severe algae.
When you have done everything mentioned above, you will want to have the water tested out one more time. You want your levels to be absolutely perfect before you let anyone back into the pool.
We would also suggest cleaning your filter as a final measure. This is another difficult-to-reach area that can prove to be problematic for several reasons.
In terms of preventative measures, we would suggest running the pump 8-12 hours daily, shocking the pool on a regular basis, resurfacing the old concrete area surrounding your pool, and making sure swimsuits, swimming trunks, pool accessories, and everything else has been cleaned and sanitized.
Also, don’t forget that saltwater swimming pools ARE NOT completely immune to algae!