Your pool represents a significant financial investment so it’s normal to be frustrated when algae shows up and turns the water murky green. Aside from the investment, no one wants to swim in green water so the kids are upset and there won’t be any backyard parties for a while!
Let’s learn a bit about algae, where it comes from, and the different types of this living organism that can invade your pool.
Algae is a diverse group of one-celled aquatic organisms that can produce oxygen through photosynthesis. They usually have no roots, stems, leaves, or vascular system to carry nutrients through their bodies or in water.
If you own a pool and have experienced algae, you know how fast it grows. This is because it reproduces through its own spores when it finds a good environment in which to grow. Algae loves stagnant water, but it is also a problem in a pool. Filters can become clogged with algae if you turn them on in hopes of clearing it up.
There are also other issues with algae in a pool. Algae is often slimy or slick and this sometimes leads to falls around a pool with algae. Plus, no one wants to swim in water infested and dirtied with algae. It can cause irritating health problems, too.(More on this below.)
Algae is a plant-like organism that flourishes in wet environments. Making pools a perfect place for it when not maintained properly. There is no algae “season”; it can show up at any time, carried into your pool by rain or a summer breeze or bathing suits. Some are hardier than others and take a variety of remedies to eliminate.
Here are the most common strains of algae found in pools:
Green algae is the most common type of algae found in pools. Also known as Chlorophyta, this is a slimy substance that starts in small clusters on pool steps or in corners. It grows quickly and only needs about 24 hours to spread across the surface of the pool, turning your pool green.
This looks like pollen and loves the shady areas of your pool. It will collect on ladders, pool stairs, or around lights because sunlight prohibits its growth. It is actually a form of green algae which turns into a brownish-yellow color and is powdery.
This isn’t really algae. It is a single-celled organism that makes its own food and doesn’t need sunlight to grow. Black algae is aggressive and spreads quickly, digging its roots into the walls and floors of pools. If black algae has invaded your pool, it is time-intensive to eliminate and even one spore left behind can quickly void all your hard work.
Pink algae, also called pink slime, is a form of bacteria that acts like algae. The good news is that it isn’t harmful to people, but it can be destructive to your pool. It clogs filtration pipes, which will eventually burst from the buildup of pressure. It also likes dark areas of your pool with a slow current.
If the PH levels aren’t balanced in your pool, green can set in, indicating the presence of algae. This is probably one of the biggest reasons for algae growth in a pool. Chlorine can prevent this, but knowing how much to use is often confusing.
Hypochlorous acid, which is created by chlorine when added to the swimming pool water supply, kills bacteria like salmonella and E.Coli. It also kills germs known to cause diarrhea or other illnesses. There are several chlorine-based compounds used to combat these harmful conditions. The difficult part is knowing which to use, how much to use, and when to use them. (More on solving this problem below!)
A pool filter that is inadequate or malfunctioning will lead to the growth of algae, too. Dead spots in the pool happen when the water isn’t flowing properly through the filter consistently as needed. This creates another difficulty for you as you try to prevent or eliminate algae: Is the problem the chlorine balance or is it a poorly operating filter? It’s a tricky balancing act to uncover the true culprit and then fix it.
Aside from being unpleasant, swimming in algae can cause several problems for humans:
Skin problems: Bacteria on green algae enters the pores on the skin and can lead to severe skin infection and a variety of rashes.
Bacterial infection: Pool water is a good incubator for bacteria, where they reproduce instantly. This bacteria can lead to eye infections and itchy skin irritation. If the contaminated water is swallowed, the result is often nausea, fever, diarrhea, and other infections.
Physical injury: The presence of slippery algae in a pool can lead to dangerous falls on pool steps and ladders.
Was your pool looking really good, then all of a sudden turned green? Even after spending $300-500 at the pool store on chemicals? If you have been battling a green pool for 2 or 3 weeks and can’t get it cleared up, don’t worry, you are not alone. Killing algae can be very challenging.
Here at Pool School Videos, we have a specific video that will show you exactly how to clear up your green pool in a matter of a few days. No more guessing! Just follow the expert advice in the video and the problem will be solved. In this video, you will also learn how to never have a green pool again. You can keep your backyard oasis crystal clear moving forward!
This video is just one of 20 self-paced online pool maintenance videos you will get. Packed full of professional advice like never before.
Plus, when you buy the videos, you can get access to customized guidance in our private Facebook group when you have specific questions. And we respond within 24 hours!
Get started on your Pool School Videos today for easy-to-follow, expert advice about algae in your pool and other pool topics you need to know! Led by pool professional Mike Steele, who has over 30 years of experience in professional pool maintenance, our videos provide solutions like you won’t find anywhere else and clear up confusing misinformation often found in YouTube videos on pool maintenance!
All of this will save you hundreds of dollars each year and help you keep your pool sparkling clean and algae-free!
Click here to preview the top 5 of our videos and meet Mike Steele, the Pool Doctor.