What’s Growing In My Pool?

Depending on the type of algae infecting your pool, the water may be greenish, yellowish, pinkish or even blackish. Sometimes a swimmer may even come out of the pool with algae attached to them. Gross, right? 
Don’t be alarmed this type of algae is not known to be harmful when if you come in contact with it. Unlike some types of algae found in other bodies of water, your pool algae won’t harm you but if you allow it to stay untreated it will grow and treating/eradicating it will become harder.

Is there a way to prevent algae from forming? Perfect start off question…
The best-known treatment is water chemistry but that isn’t just adding chemicals to your pool, it’s more complex than that. It means making sure your pool is filtering properly so cleaning your filter regularly. Having your filter running more than a couple hours a day and I know some of you reading this will grumble at that. It means keeping your water level up so that the water can filter. Keeping your pool clear of debris is very important. Cleaning and balancing the pool as soon as possible after a storm or any backyard work that may leave residue or debris in your pool. Testing your pool regularly for chemical balance then adding chemicals as needed is another way to help prevent algae from being introduced to your pool but also from returning if you’ve had it. Hiring a licensed pool professional to help you is a great way to prevent or treat the algae.

How does your pool get algae you ask? Well that’s a great question…..
Algae gets into your pool in a number of ways. A swimmer may have particles on their swimwear or there may be slime on a pool float but however it’s introduced to your pool if you fail to treat it then it will think of itself as a welcomed guest and may never leave.  

How can we treat it you ask? Well again that’s a great question….
As I stated above, water chemistry and balance are the best-known treatment, I should say preventative treatment for a pool but once you do have algae there are a number of ways to treat it. Of course, I would recommend hiring a licensed pool professional like myself to take care of it but if you are more of a DIY then I would say you need to first identify which type of algae you are dealing with.

You say that there are different types of algae, how do I know which one I have? Another good question……

Green algae: The most common and easiest algae problem to kill is Chlorophyta, which gets its color from chlorophyll. Green algae floats in the water, making it cloudy and giving it a greenish tinge. 
Yellow algae: If you see what looks like pollen you probably have yellow algae. It’s also sometimes called mustard algae. It’s also chlorine-resistant, which makes it tough to treat.
Black Algae: Technically a cyanobacteria—not algae at all—this nasty offender makes its own food, so it grows and grows. Not only that, its roots dig into concrete surfaces, making it tough to kill black algae. It’ll grow back quickly if your treatment isn’t aggressive enough to ensure none of the roots hang around.
Pink Algae: Pink slime is another bacterium that grows in pools, especially inside (PVC) pipes. You can get rid of pink slime in your pool, but it’ll take some hard work. 

Now that I know what type of algae I have how can I treat it? Well I’m sure that’s precisely why you were interested in reading this blog in the first place…..

As mentioned above the best-known treatment is to maintain balanced water chemistry but the 4 types of algae above can be treated a number of ways. You can shock your pool, there are varies types of shock chemicals available on the market. You can use algaecide, which can kill the algae but is better suited for preventative help. You can hire a licensed professional to help as well. Regardless of which of those options you choose remember the best option is always the preventative option. Algae is a pain and can be an ongoing issue for years if you allow it to grow without treatment. 

A couple tips….

1. When treating your pool on your own put your cleaning equipment in the shallow end of your pool to help sanitize it.
2. Rinse all pool toys and swimwear off before and after swimming.
3. If you have an older pool uneven or cracked surfaces are great hiding spots for algae to grow so have them repaired whenever possible.

I leave you with this bit of information……

Even if you are at the top of your game your pool may still get algae. The important thing is to treat it right away. Each day that goes by is more time for it to grow/ spread making treatment harder and more expensive. So, act quickly at the first signs of algae then make algaecide treatment a part of your preventative routine.