Once the southwestern heat extends past the summer months, temps feel brutal. But for the pool owner, sweet relief awaits in the backyard. Your pool is a refreshing place of refuge where you can cool off, even if you have to wait until the sun sets. Yet, like with everything wonderful, your pool requires hard work, which includes algae prevention (also known as the “green monster”).
Algae is problematic for pool owners, especially during the hot summer months or in areas with ongoing high temperatures. Algae is a microscopic single-celled plant form. Algae plant spores can enter your pool through wind, rain and dirt, damage your pool and cause bacterial infections.
The three types of algae include the following:
Green algae: Green algae is the most common form of algae in swimming pools. It can free float and turn the water a hazy green color or cling to the wall in green patches.
Black algae: Black algae forms in cracks and crevices of rough pool surfaces. Black algae is mostly found in shady areas and pools with concrete or plaster finishes, appearing as black spots on surfaces.
Mustard algae: Mustard algae is a form of green algae resistant to chlorine. Mustard algae resembles dirt or sand along the bottom or sides of pool and feels slimy.
Once your pool shows signs of algae, such as turning into a shade of ominous green, you’ll have to shock your pool to kill and remove the algae. But the best way to maintain an algae-free pool is through algae prevention. Avoid the following mistakes as you prevent, remove and treat algae in your pool.
Inconsistent Sanitizer Levels
Chlorine levels need to be maintained at optimal levels 24/7. Salt chlorine generators produce and manage consistent levels of natural chlorine in the pool all day, every day. Salt chlorine generators ensure crystal-clear, healthy pool water, even if you’re away for a few days.
Inactive or Idle Pool Water
Keep your pool water filtering to prevent algae growth. Variable speed pumps can keep water constantly flowing without using high amounts of energy. Also, use your pool! Swimming in your pool often can help stir up debris in the water. Then the skimmer can catch more particles and improve the filtering process.
Improperly Running Circulation System
Ensure your circulation system is in good condition by regularly checking and cleaning the skimmer and pump strainer baskets. This helps keep sanitizing chemicals evenly flowing. Also, clean and backwash the filter to to de-clog dirt and debris. If your pressure gauge reads 8-10 psi higher than normal, backwash the sand or D.E. filter and clean the cartridge filter.
Skipping Routine Checkups & Treatment
Like your car and health, your pool requires routine checkups and maintenance.
Test the alkalinity and pool water for a pH level between 7.2 and 7.6. High alkaline levels in water reduces the effectiveness of chlorine.
Shock the pool weekly to eliminate algae spores and keep sanitizers at proper levels. A non-chlorine oxidizer can also help treat your pool with a boost in chlorine levels.
Fight the growth of algae blooms with algaecide. Algaecide works best in a clean, algae-free pool.
Use phosphate-removal treatment to prevent algae growth.
Ignoring Regular Maintenance
Brushing, scrubbing and vacuuming the floor and sides of your pool prevents algae from growing and maintains a healthy, spotless pool. Give close attention to surface cracks and crevices where hidden algae can be the most difficult to remove. Not only will brushing and vacuuming dislodge algae, but this maintenance also eliminates dirt, debris and other contaminants.