How To Get Rid Of The Algae In Your Pool: Part 1 The Basics

Is your swimming pool infested with a strange growth? Is the water cloudy? Has it developed a dirty film in a matter of hours or is the bottom of your pool riddled with patches of dark-green filth? Yup, it’s algae, and no, they’re not deadly. But neither should you wait to get rid of them. If you’ve got algae in your pool, that’s a clear sign something is wrong someplace – and you should fix it before things get even more complicated.

What Are Those Algae in Your Pool?

Your swimming pool algae, together with kelp, pond scum and lake bloom, are all part of a gigantic family of more than 100,000 organisms that live in freshwater or on wet surfaces of almost any kind.

They’ve existed for 3.5 million years in various shapes and guises. Some are gigantic, hundred-foot long kelp; others are microscopic organisms. They all thrive on warmth and light and food. Which makes their lives easy in the Sunshine State: it’s plenty sunny and warm, plus algae feed on almost anything, from other microscopic organisms to mere specks of dirt.  

Why Do Algae Appear in Your Swimming Pool?

Anything can be a carrier of algae spores: rain, clothes, the wind carrying particles from here to there, shoes, and especially an overabundance of nitrates and phosphates. Since they are so quick to spread, you can have a clean pool early at breakfast on a warm and sunny day, and find the water infested by lunchtime.

Algae are, simply put, a fact of life: there is nothing you can do to prevent their spores being circulated around your pool area. What you can do, however, is make sure they do not grow and spread to infest the water and learn how to get rid of the algae in your pool before they take over. Water circulation, treatment, and filtration are essential; routine cleaning and maintenance work is also important if you’re looking to prevent complications.

How Dangerous Are They?

Very few algae are dangerous in and of themselves. Some marine types can actually be harmful, but those that live in swimming pools are widely acknowledged to be benign.

That does not mean they do not pose other types of risks and threats. They are both unpleasant and feel slimy on the skin, and potentially dangerous through their effects.

For instance, cloudy waters caused by algae are notoriously tricky for divers, since they make depth harder to asses correctly. Cloudy waters also make it difficult to spot a swimmer in distress or foreign objects on the bottom of the pool.

However, the most dangerous effect of having algae in your swimming pool is that they enable dangerous bacteria to thrive. The most notorious of these is E.coli (Escherichia coli), which feeds on the excess oxygen of an algae-rich pool and can cause diseases of the digestive or urinary tract.

How to Get RId of the Algae in Your Pool

When you have cloudy water or a visible patch of algae in your pool, things have already gotten out of control. Sure, you can fix it, but ideally, you’ll want to pay attention to even minuscule amounts before they spread too much simply to make your life easier.

At this point, you will most likely need a professional intervention. You will first have to identify the type of algae in your swimming pool because that will dictate how to get rid of them. There are three (plus one) types of algae that live in swimming pools: black, yellow and green, in order of difficulty. The plus-one is pink algae, less common but also hard to get rid of.

Once you’ve figured out which algae it is, a professional will tell you what the best treatment is – usually, chlorine, brushing, and pool shocks are involved – and help you do it so that you don’t leave anything out. If you leave out any step or do not attack all surfaces, chances are you will soon have to deal with another, even larger infestation.

If you don’t feel like dealing with the problem, or don’t trust yourself to do the best job to prevent further problems, we’ll take over your cleanings and deliver the best results with affordable, reliable services you can trust. We’re your neighbors in Lutz and Land O’Lakes; contact us and we’ll soon have your pool crystal clear once again!

Be sure to check out the rest of our blogs in this 5 part Pool Algae Series.

How To Get Rid Of The Algae In Your Pool: Part 1 The Basics
How To Get Rid Of The Green Algae In Your Pool: Part 2
How To Get Rid Of The Black Algae In Your Pool: Part 3
How To Get Rid Of The Yellow Algae In Your Pool: Part 4
How To Get Rid Of The Pink Algae In Your Pool: Part 5

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