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Green Pool No More: Essential Tips for Algae Prevention and Treatment

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What do you do when algae begins to grow?

Actually, that is a complicated question. There are many distinct varieties of pool algae, a wide range of environmental factors can contribute to it, and it can range greatly in severity. It might be a tiny patch of mustard (yellow) algae that is just beginning to sprout in the grout of the skimmer or in the ring of the light fixture. It can be a pool that is totally covered in green algae, so thick that you can’t even see the top step, and the surface is covered in swarms of mosquitoes. It might possibly be the feared Black Algae, a problem that plagues pool service providers and pool owners worldwide.

The proverb “Ask ten different pool guys and you’ll get eleven different answers” is used frequently in the industry. Although each swimming pool technician is unique, will have various views and ideas, and may agree or disagree with any or all of these methods and techniques, there are a few ways and techniques for getting rid of algae that have been written here.

Step 1:

Find the breakdown in the three keys to clear, clean, and healthy water (see section “Three Keys to Clear, Clean, and Healthy Water”) as soon as algae starts to bloom. Is there insufficient circulation, inadequate filtering, unbalanced chemistry, or a combination of these factors to blame for the algae? Does the pool pump run for 8 to 12 hours every day? Depending on the size, the pool should be circulating and filtering for 8 to 12 hours every day. Has the filter recently undergone backwashing or sanitization? Is it clean? A clean filter is a must. Is the chemistry of the water balanced? The Free and Available Chlorine (FAC) concentration should be between 3.0 and 5.0 ppm. The pH balance of the water should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Total Alkalinity (T.A.) for the water should range from 80 to 120 ppm (parts per million). Is there the right amount of CYA or conditioner in the water?

To safeguard the chlorine, the Conditioner/CYA level must be between 30 and 70 ppm (parts per million) and under 100 ppm at all times.
What is the water’s age? The recommended calcium hardness ranges from 200 to 400 ppm (parts per million). Find the flaw or crack in these three essential elements of wholesome water. Perhaps the chlorine lost its effectiveness due to a too-high pH balance, allowing the algae to develop. The chlorine may not have been properly protected by the water’s Conditioner/CYA content. Algae can grow during these weak points and develop a resistance to the chlorine when it is weak if the chlorine level fluctuates dramatically throughout the week, becoming strong the day it is applied and weak after a couple of days owing to lack of protection.

Step 2:

Use a wall brush to clean the walls and floor, preferably one made of steel wire if there is black algae present or particularly potent mustard (yellow) or green algae. The algae will be broken up by brushing the walls and floor, knocking the blooms or flowers off and exposing them to the chemicals. A fiberglass, painted, or vinyl lined pool should NEVER be cleaned with a steel wire wall brush. The surface of black algae will be scored (scratched) when it is scrubbed with a steel wire brush, much like a cut or scrape on a human, exposing it to infection or, in the case of water chemistry, exposing it to sanitizers, oxidizers, and algaecides.

Step 3:

Depending on the type and severity of the algae you’re trying to eradicate, different doses of the chemicals must be added, which can be complicated. When detailing chemical applications here, we’ll be generic; nonetheless, larger pools and more severe algae problems require you to use more chemicals.

Muriatic Acid should be used to reduce the pH balance as safely as feasible. Bring the pH Balance to 7.2 to 7.4 if you can do so safely.
Why? By doing this, you can preserve chlorine in its most potently lethal state without turning the water acidic or corrosive.

Increase the chlorine concentration to 5–10 ppm (parts per million) or more.

Why? It will ensure that the pool has sufficient of sanitizer and oxidizer available to prevent additional algae growth and gradually affect algae that is already in the pool, even though by this point the algae is probably quite resistant to the chlorine.

Put PhosFree agents there

Why? Any organic matter in the water will be oxidized by PhosFree, leaving chlorine free to sterilize and enhancing chlorine’s efficacy.

Add Algaecide, then get ready for some difficult cleaning (ALWAYS VACUUM BEFORE BRUSHING!) and brushing.

Step 4:

Make sure your filter is backwashed and cleaned the following week after the algae has cleared up, and that your pump is working for 8 to 12 hours every day. Make sure to refill the chemicals, including chlorine, that are used to sanitize and oxidize the water.

Step 5:

In order to prevent algae from returning too rapidly, it is a good idea to retest the water for phosphates and, if necessary, add more remover. Dead algae also decomposes into phosphate, which future algae spores can consume.

Black algae can spread from one pool to another if you’re not careful, so while dealing with it, be sure to rinse any wall brushes or steel wire brushes off with liquid chlorine after usage.

To help stop algae growth, maintain the three elements of good water: circulation, filtration, and chemical balance. Although it might occasionally recur, a skilled technician will identify it, treat it swiftly before the homeowner can see it with their own eyes, and then report their findings to the office and manager.

Looking for professional help? Dolphin Pool Services is ready to help with any pool related issues in the Virginia, Maryland and District of Columbia. Feel free to contact us and schedule our services!

Things to Remember About This Section

There are many distinct varieties of algae, a wide range of environmental factors can contribute to it, and it can range greatly in severity.

Find the breakdown in the three keys to clear, clean, and healthy water (see section Three Keys to Clear, Clean, and Healthy Water) as soon as algae starts to bloom.
Use a wall brush to clean the walls and floor, preferably one made of steel wire if there is black algae present or particularly potent mustard (yellow) or green algae. The algae will be broken up by brushing the walls and floor, knocking the blooms or flowers off and exposing them to the chemicals.
Depending on the type and severity of the algae you’re trying to eradicate, different doses of the chemicals must be added, which can be complicated.
A fiberglass, painted, tiled, or vinyl lined surface SHOULD NEVER BE BRUSHED WITH A STEEL WIRE WALL BRUSH.
Make sure your filter is backwashed and cleaned the following week after the algae has cleared up, and that your pump is working for 8 to 12 hours every day. Make sure to add fresh chemicals, including chlorine, to the water as well as sanitizer and oxidizer.
It is a good idea to test the water for phosphates and add a phosphate remover if necessary. This is because an abundance of phosphates can encourage the growth of algae and transform dead algae into phosphates that future algal spores can consume.
Black algae can spread from one pool to another if you’re not careful, so while dealing with it, be sure to rinse any wall brushes or steel wire brushes off with liquid chlorine after usage.
To treat algae, a variety of products and methods are available.
Remember that the grout inside the skimmer and along the light ring are typically the first places where algae development is visible. Before you can see this algae with your unaided eye, you will be able to view it using UV-protected polarized sunglasses.

NEVER simply brush algae away once you notice it. Brushing the algae only moves it; it doesn’t get rid of the issue. If you only mask a symptom and don’t address the underlying cause, the algae will likely become more obvious and resistant to chemical treatments the next week.

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