During the months of July and August, algae can be a very big problem for swimming pool owners. With owners often avoiding their pools during the colder month’s inconsistency in a pool’s sanitizer levels often change and algae can appear. The different types of algae can be found below.
Algae is a single-celled plant form. It utilizes the process of photosynthesis to manufacture its own food and comes in very wide variety of colors and forms making it adaptable to almost any condition. Due to algae’s microscopic size, it takes literally millions of these plants to accumulate to be noticed by the naked eye.
The most common form of algae in swimming pools is “green” algae. Green algae (varies in color from blue-green to yellow-green to dark-green) can be free floating in the water (turning the water a hazy-green) or can be wall-clinging (patches of green). Green algae can be treated fairly simply with the right amount of brushing, shocking, and algaecide.
Treatment: Have water properly analyzed to ensure PH is at proper levels and balance the pool water. Pools treated with chlorine should be brushed thoroughly, then shocked, raising the chlorine levels above 30,000 ppm. Also, add a strong dose of Algaecide 60 to the water. Continue to check the pool’s filtration throughout this process to ensure proper water flow. You may have to repeat this process a few times in order to completely eradicate the algae.
“Black Algae” (actually blue-green algae) forms in cracks and crevices on pool surfaces, especially plaster finishes. Black algae normally grows in shady areas of the pool. Black algae is more typically found in concrete or plaster finished pools because of their rough surfaces. It is known for a heavy slime layer and “skeletal growths” that make it impervious to normal chlorine levels. Black algae usually doesn’t have any effect on water clarity, it just makes your pool appear to have black spots on the surface.
Treatment: Have water properly analyzed and balanced. Prior to and during treatment, the algae MUST be thoroughly brushed in order to “break open” the slime layer. Failure to do this critical step will prevent the treatment from working. Shock the pool very aggressively and continue to brush the black algae. Add substantial amounts of algaecide 60.
Mustard algae is a chlorine-resistant form of green algae (yellow-green to brown in color). It often resembles dirt or sand on the bottom or sides of a pool.
Treatment: Same as black algae.
In certain cases, when a pool is full of algae, the algae must be vacuumed directly out of the pool. This can be accomplished by brushing the algae off the walls, then adding a ‘floc’ to the water, which coagulates the algae and causes it to settle. Once it settles, it should vacuumed directly out of the pool. When attempting to floc a pool, follow the directions on the bottle very carefully.
Good luck and happy swimming!