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Pool Service: How to Treat and Prevent Algae Growth

One of the most common pool service problems is algae, a simple autotrophic plant that can be found in nearly any body of water, from man-made swimming pools to naturally occurring lakes and ponds. Algae isn’t likely to harm your pool or your family, but it can discolor your water, stain pool liners, and generally make your pool an unpleasant place to be.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how your pool service regimen can help you avoid algae and eliminate it if it pays a visit.

Prevent algae from arriving in the first place. Any good pool service regimen should include regular inspection of your pool’s chemical levels. That means ensuring your chlorine level is between one and three parts per billion. But you can be doubly sure algae won’t give you problems if you regularly “shock” your pool in order to balance out chemical levels. It’s also important to maintain a pH balance of about 7.4 at all times.

If the algae shows up anyway, use your pool cleaning tools to remove as much of the algae as possible from the walls and the floor of your pool. Clean out the big concentrations of algae, and then you can move on to eliminating it altogether.

Use algaecide. As the term suggests, algaecide is a product that kills algae on contact. Add this to your pool water to eliminate the algae entirely. You may need to add it continually over a few weeks to ensure the algae doesn’t come back.

Dead algae looks substantially different from live algae. If, after you’ve cleaned out your pool, used algaecide and restored the chemical balance of your pool water, you find white or grayish matter hanging in the water or sitting on the bottom of the pool, rest assured you’ve done your job well — that’s dead algae you’re seeing. Use your skimmer and your pool vacuum to clean it out.

Finally, clear out your filter. Backwash the filter and clean it out thoroughly to ensure that there’s no dead algae trapped inside.

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