If you have some kind of pool in your backyard — whether it be an outdoor pool or an inground swimming pool —then chances are that you have dealt with algae of some kind. However, if it’s your first time encountering this slimy, green problem, then you might be feeling quite overwhelmed.
The good news is that algae is a relatively simple problem to solve, and a common one at that. In this article, we will take a look at the most common causes of pool algae as well as the best ways to prevent and eliminate them.
What Causes Pool Algae Growth?
There is a reason why pool algae are most likely to occur after a long vacation or time away from the house. Most pool algae can be easily prevented through regular maintenance, and will only begin to show once this maintenance becomes less reliable. That is because algae usually grow either when the pH level is disturbed, or the chlorine level is insufficient.
If you have a saltwater pool, you can also be susceptible to algae growth. Your stabilizer could be low, your salt level could below, or your salt chlorinator could be malfunctioning.
What are the Different Types of Pool Algae?
The four most common types of pool algae are as follows:
- Green algae, also sometimes called blue algae, which is by far the most common type found in pools
- Pink algae, which is not actually an alga but bacterial matter
- Yellow, also sometimes called mustard, which looks just like it sounds
- Black algae, which is by far the most difficult to remove from a pool, but thankfully also somewhat less common
Is Pool Algae Harmful?
For the most part, no. However, certain types of algae may be capable of stinging your skin, not to mention interfere with your plans to enjoy your pool.
How to Prevent Pool Algae?
Chlorine is one of the most effective ways to prevent pesky pool algae — this is one of the many reasons why so many pool owners use it. One tell-tale sign of your pool lacking chlorine is green water or, you guessed it, algae clumps.
Keep an Eye on Your Pool pH
Algae thrive in water with high pH levels. One way to keep a bloom at bay is by ensuring that your pool water’s pH is under 7.6.
Clean Your Pool Filter
Having a clean filter at all times is another great way to prevent algae. Depending on your filter type, you may need to change it to a backwash setting or clean its cartridge on a regular basis.
Ensure Your Pool Has Proper Circulation
Water jets help ensure that pool water does not remain stagnant. If you have noticed a suspicious uptick in algae blooms, chances are that your jets are not functioning properly.
Use a Preventative Algaecide
In some cases, the use of an algaecide can help prevent blooms in your pool, especially when you use them in small doses when the conditions of your pool are otherwise normal.
How to Destroy Pool Algae?
Identify Your Algae Type
Not all pool algae are created equally, and before you start to effectively destroy algae bloom it is ideal that you determine the type of algae you are dealing with. While green algae are the most common type of pool algae, it is not the only type, and different types of algae (such as mustard algae, pink algae, or black algae) will require different types of treatment.
Shocking the Water
“Shocking” the pool water is what happens when you put a large dose of chlorine in the pool to change the composition of its water. It will generally remove spots of algae within 1-3 days.
Brush the Bottom of Your Pool
Using a large brush to clean the bottom and the sides of your pool’s liner can help break up your algae blooms, making it possible for you to rectify the situation faster. You can also use a vacuum for the same purposes.
Use a Flocculant
A flocculant works by clumping your algae together so that it is easier to vacuum or sweep up. However, although this can visibly remove algae, it does not also remove the conditions that algae bloom in, so it will be important to follow the use of a flocculant with another more aggressive treatment.