Algae: The Summer Pool Bummer… What it is, How to Spot it and How to Deal with it

Algae is a common issue in swimming pools, especially in the summer as it can reproduce faster in hot weather and require more maintenance to keep it at bay. Aquaman Pools LLC Owner Chad Nikkel talks all things algae — what it is, why it grows in pool water and, most importantly, how pool owners can get rid of it.

Algae is a single-celled plant form that uses the process of photosynthesis to manufacture its own food. Algae is microscopic so by the time it becomes visible on a pool’s surface or in the water, it’s because millions of these plants have accumulated. There are three main types of algae that generally impact pool water — green, black and mustard.

Green algae is most often found in pool water. It can cling to the walls of the pool or floating in patches atop the water’s surface, which tends to turn the water a greenish hue. This type of algae grows fairly quickly and it can be tough to remove it from pool walls, but generally it is fairly easy to get rid of. Typically a homeowner can fend off green algae by brushing the pool walls and surfaces, shocking the water and treating it with algaecide.

Another common type of algae that can crop up in swimming pools is black algae, which despite its name can appear as a bluish-green shade along cracks in the pool walls. It can appear as spots or stains on the pool, and often forms in areas of the pool that receive the most shade. It requires aggressive brushing to get rid of it as well as the use of algaecide. It’s important to keep a close eye out for this type of algae as it is very hard to get rid of and will likely require the assistance of a professional pool service to take care of it.

Finally, there’s mustard algae, a form of green algae that’s resistant to chlorine. It may appear at first to be dirt or sand, but it has a slick and slimy feel. It generally accumulates near pool stairs, lights or ladders or it can settle at the bottom of the pool. It should be treated the same way as black algae.

Algae can crop up for a number of reasons including poor water circulation, lack of proper chlorine levels, insufficient chemical balance and poor water filtration. Consistent and careful pool maintenance is the best way to prevent any type of pool algae, but this can be particularly difficult during the hot summer months as temperatures rise. It’s important to keep the pool’s sanitation levels balanced all season long to keep algae from becoming a summer bummer! The professionals at Aquaman Pools are highly skilled at preventing algae from forming or catching it early before it really takes a toll on the pool water. They also have the equipment and chemicals needed to bring a pool back to its pre-algae crystal clean state — so don’t hesitate to give them a call for algae issues or any pool service needs!


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