What to do About Algae in Your Pool

Posted by Blue Haven Pools on 09/23/2019

in-ground pool with green water due to algae

Keeping your pool clean throughout the season often involves removing dirt and other debris that finds its way into the water, along with maintaining the right pH level. While general pool maintenance is fairly simple and somewhat easy to deal with for the most part, the presence of algae in your pool presents a whole different set of issues that require a separate approach.

Do you currently have algae in your pool? Don't worry, it’s a common problem that can happen to practically any type of pool, especially during the hotter months and end of the season.

Below, we’ll discuss what causes algae in your pool, and how to rid it from your pool and get your water back to being clear, blue, and healthy!

What Causes Pool Algae?

Algae growth actually has a few different causes, but in regard to pools, it often begins to show up when chlorine levels are too low, and the water’s pH is high or low. The low chlorine levels can sometimes stem from not using enough stabilizer in the water, which creates a buffer that protects the chlorine from being neutralized by UV rays. Even if you’re using the right amount of chlorine, the lack of stabilizer means the chlorine won’t last long.

Standing water is another factor that can create a favorable environment for algae growth. If your pool goes for extended periods without being used, the potential for algae growth climbs higher.

Regardless of the cause, it’s important to act as soon as you notice the algae in the pool before it begins to worsen. Aside from the obvious aesthetic issues algae causes, algae can also pose risks to your health — mainly in the form of skin irritation.

How to Remove Algae From Your Pool

Whether you currently have algae in your pool, or may have to deal with it in the future, it’s important to know that the effective response to the problem depends on the type of algae present. The three types of pool algae you’re most likely to encounter are green algae, black algae, and mustard algae.

Green Algae

This is the algae type is the most common, but also the easiest to get rid of. Green algae actually varies in color, and can have an appearance that ranges from blue-green to yellow-green to dark-green. It can sometimes be seen floating in the water — which gives the water a green hazy look — or take the form of patches along the pool’s wall.

How to Remove:

Begin by analyzing the pool water’s pH level and balance it if needed.

If your pool is treated with chlorine, you should then brush it to loosen the algae, especially if it’s a concrete pool. Follow this by shocking the pool and raising the chlorine levels above 3 parts per million, ideally at night so the sun doesn’t burn the chlorine away. You may also want to add algaecide to the water.

When you first begin the process, check the filter for algae buildup, and rinse it off if needed. Be sure to check the filtration throughout the removal process to ensure the water is flowing properly, otherwise the algae might survive.

Black Algae

Although not technically black, this algae has a blue-ish green appearance and tends to form in cracks and crevices on pool surfaces, especially in shaded portions. Black algae is incredibly stubborn and resistant to normal chlorine levels due to its slimy outer layer, and creates black spots.

How to Remove:

Begin by analyzing and balancing the water’s pH, and then move onto aggressively brushing the algae in order to open its protective layer — or the treatment will have no effect. Once you’ve finished the initial brushing, shock the pool while continuing to brush the black algae. Follow this by adding a high amount of algaecide.

Mustard Algae

Mustard algae is another chlorine-resistant algae that typically has a yellow-green or brown color. It usually looks like dirt or sand collected on the bottom or sides of the pool.

How to Remove:

Follow the same steps as the black algae removal process.

What About Severe Cases of Algae?

In some instances, your pool may have a major algae problem that conventional shock methods are not able to treat on their own. If that’s the case, you’ll need to rely on vacuuming the majority of the algae out of the water. To make this process easier, you can add flocculant to the water, which will cause the algae to coagulate and fall to the bottom of the pool, where it will then settle.

hand holding pH strip to test algae in a pool

Prevention is Key!

Algae can wreak havoc on your pool and filtration system if you fail to address it, but the easiest way to deal with algae is to prevent it from forming in the first place by maintaining a proper pH balance and chlorine level in your water.

Whether you're in need of pool cleaning supplies for maintenance and algae removal, or require any work on your pool, please send us a message, give us a call at 405-844-7500, or drop by and see us at our Blue Haven location in Edmond! Our team can provide you with the expertise and products needed to ensure that your pool is always sparkling clean and in peak condition.