If you’ve got black algae in your pool, you’ve got yourself a complicated problem. Depending on the type of pool you have, they might be harder to get rid of than any other type of algae, simply because they’ve got deeper roots that get into any porous surfaces, as well as a more complex structure that makes them harder to destroy.
What to Do about the Black Algae in Your Pool
If you look closely in your bathroom, you might notice a black growth between the tiles or around your bathtub, underneath or around the silicone seams.
That is more or less similar to the black algae that, if you’re not paying close attention, may infest your swimming pool as well. Since it is quite impossible to prevent algae from being transported around by wind, rain or people carrying things from outside areas into the swimming pool, the only thing you can do is do proper pool maintenance to prevent these algae, especially the black kind, from taking root.
Understand Why They’ve Appeared
Black algae can be carried into the pool by anything, from swimming suits that were used in the ocean or other pools infected with black algae, to just strong winds. Nothing can be done about that. What you can do is run a tight ship, so to speak, when it comes to your pool.
Why are there black algae in your swimming pool, then, and not in other people’s? Well, they are doing something and you are not. Look at the checklist below to see what you may have overlooked:
- Run your pump and filter for 8 hours a day.
- Check your chlorine levels and make sure they never fall below 1 ppm.
- Check pH levels and make sure they are between 7.2-7.6.
- Routinely shock and brush your pool.
- Keep your equipment clean. Everything from your pump and filter to pool noodles should be cleaned regularly and thoroughly.
If you don’t do these things, do them on a regular basis, and instruct family members and guests to not bring in equipment that might be problematic, you can expect these problems to surface and stay.
Are Black Algae Dangerous?
To be accurate, black algae are not exactly algae, but cyanobacteria. They are usually microscopic, but form chains that give the appearance of a film-like surface. Like the green variety, black algae are not dangerous in themselves, except in extremely rare cases when they can cause skin rashes.
On the other hand, like their relatives, they become a propitious environment for other bacteria and microbes, the most dangerous of which is E.coli. This can cause serious health issues, especially digestive problems and urinary infections and complications. That’s one good reason to get rid of the black algae in your pool before you and your closed ones have to deal with their dark side.
How to Get Rid of the Black Algae in Your Pool
Once these organisms – or plants, depending on who you ask – take root in your pool, they are quick to spread. Though they may not be easily detectable at first, they will soon turn into a downright infestation. To eliminate it, you will basically need to do a lot of brushing, scrubbing and shocking to get your pool back to normal. What are the exact steps, though?
- Check that your filter is in working condition. To get rid of the black algae in your pool, you will need to repeatedly filter the water. If your equipment is not up to it, you’ll find yourself with even more problems on your hands.
- Shock the pool. Calculate the amount necessary by using 3 pounds of pool shock for every 10,000 gallons of water. Repeat the process at least one more time. While this is going on, you will obviously want to wear gloves and make sure no one goes into the pool.
- Brush and scrub! The walls and stairs, all the spots where you’ve noticed dark patches, even places where you think you’ve scrubbed before. This is essential: black algae are not easily destroyed and will be quick to reappear – even develop a mad resistance to algicides – if given a chance.
- Run your filter for a whole day. After all the brushing and scrubbing, you are sure to be left with ugly debris. Collect what you can and let the filter do its job until things look relatively normal again.
- Repeat steps 2, 3 and 4! You may think you’re out of the woods, but experience shows that, once you’ve got black algae in your pool, you’re going to have a really, really hard time getting rid of them once and for all. Shock the pool, brush, and scrub, and run the filter again. No mercy!
- Clean your filter. After all its hard work, the filter is sure to need a good scrub, too. Take your time to do it thoroughly; your filter is essential to the health of your swimming pool.
- Balance the pool’s pH. A pH level of 7.4 (or anywhere between 7.2 to 7.6) is ideal. This will take care of both your body, as it matches the pH level of your eyes, and your equipment – as higher pH levels take a toll on your pump, heaters etc.
- Adjust the chlorine level of your pool. Make sure that, once you’ve shocked the pool, chlorine levels go back to normal. Somewhere around 2% is safe; less than 1% simply invites algae to come in and build a home in your pool.
Prevention is always better than the cure, but in this case, it’s twice as true because getting rid of the black algae in your pool is just so complicated. With all this work, you’ll just wish you had taken better care of your water!
Do you feel up to fixing the problem? If not, we’re your Lutz and Land O’Lakes neighbors. We’ll be happy to take over and deliver the best expert care for your pool. Just contact us and we’ll know what to do!
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 Yellow Algae In Your Pool: Part 4
How To Get Rid Of The Pink Algae In Your Pool: Part 5