Three Types of Pesky Pool Algae
Algae – it’s the worst thing that could happen to your swimming pool. It cannot only make pool maintenance tough on you, but it can easily ruin your summer pool parties as well. There are three types of pesky pool algae that you might find yourself fighting.
Standard Green Algae
This is the most common type of algae pool owners fight. Combine warm pool water with high phosphate and pH levels and you’ve got the perfect environment for this slimy green algae. You’ll often find it in the shady areas of your pool.
Yellow or “Mustard” Algae
This type of algae looks a lot like pollen or sand, so it’s easy to not realize that the yellow stuff in your pool isn’t from the neighboring flower beds, but actually a type of algae. While it brushes off easily, it’s resistant to chlorine and will grow back in the same areas if not treated properly. Because of its small size and pollen like appearance, this algae gets around easily and attaches itself to swimming suits, pool toys and maintenance equipment. Everything that enters the pool should be treated appropriately in addition to the water.
Black algae is perhaps the most difficult to deal with. This algae grows in black spots on your pool and will develop deep roots into your pool’s surface. This algae is difficult to treat, as it requires a significant amount of brushing to allow the chlorine to get into the roots. This algae can also be transported by swimming suits and pool toys. In most cases, the black algae is brought into the swimming pool from the ocean or lake, so be sure to clean and treat all water toys and swimming suits after using them somewhere other than your swimming pool.
Chlorine – Your Best Weapon
Chlorine is your best weapon against algae and specifically, the best is calcium hypochlorite pool shock. The type of algae you’re fighting will dictate what method of attack you’re going to use.
For light green, yellow and black algae, you can use the double shock method. This involves shocking your pool with two pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool.
For dark green algae or a pool with heavy spots of black or yellow algae, you will need to use three pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water.
For a heavy infestation of algae, you will need four pounds of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water and you may even need to repeat the procedure two nights in a row.
The best steps for shocking a pool is to first remove all pool toys and equipment. Sanitize everything with a chlorine or bleach mixture. Bathing suits should be washed with hot soapy water and dried. Next, test your water to ensure your pH and alkaline levels are correct for holding chlorine. In the evening, brush the entire pool and pay close attention to all of the nooks and crannies as well as areas around ladders.
Finally, shock the pool with the amount of shock required for the level of algae infestation you’re dealing with. Turn your filter on and leave it running 24/7. Let the pool run overnight and continue to brush the pool over the next few days. Continue to check your pH, alkalinity and chlorine levels as well. If the algae hasn’t reappeared in about two days, you’re most likely back in control of your swimming pool.
Keep in mind that the water may be cloudy as the algae dies off and your filter works on cleaning the water. Keep the filter running until the water is clear. You can also add some clarifier to assist it. Backwash the filter thoroughly when the pressure builds up as well. If the algae was extreme, it’s recommended that you also clean the filter with a 1 gallon to 10 gallon bleach mixture.
Algae is a lot easier to deal with when it doesn’t get out of control. However, if you travel frequently or you find yourself without the time you need to properly attend to your swimming pool, you may benefit from a pool maintenance service that can keep your pool algae free for you.