We all remember this picture right? One beautiful blue pool and one very very green pool. For those of you that are ready for your pool opening and take off your pool cover only to discover you have the pool on the left, there is help!
Green pool water is caused by one culprit - yes, only one - ALGAE. There are about a thousand types of algae out there, but you can treat the vast majority of them with the same approach. Basically, you take away their food (phosphates), and you make the environment inhospitable. There are other things algae need to survive, but taking them away in the summer when you are using your pool is impossible - sunlight being a main culprit. So, you starve and attack it.
Step one to getting rid of the algae in your pool is to take away the food - the phosphates. You will want to add some type of product that essentially removes the phosphates. We recommend Natural Chemistry PhosFree, but if you have a favorite, use it. The key is to keep your phosphate reading under 500. At a reading above that (even just 501) algae can begin to thrive.
Tip: Treating for phosphates will be a proactive process you will want to continue periodically throughout the summer to stay on the offense.
Step two is killing the existing algae. For this, you will want to utilize an algaecide and shock your pool. These approaches work very differently when attacking the algae, but both are effective. Think of the algae as a green bubble floating in your pool - the algaecide is a knife, stabbing through the bubble, and the shock basically pops the bubble.
Once you have killed the algae (via stabbing and popping), you have to get it out of the pool - you will want to filter your pool on high until the algae is gone. Any algae that is on the bottom of the pool can be vacuumed out.
Make sure you are backwashing frequently to enable your filter to effectively clean the water. We recommend a filter helper - like Clear Results Sand Filter Aid - this will allow your filter to remove particulates at a very small level, helping it clean the dead algae out at a quicker pace.
Once you have gotten rid of the algae, the best defense is a good offense. We recommend making your water as inhospitable to algae as possible - on the plus side, the pool water will be very hospitable to you and your family! You can do this by keeping your phosphate level low and maintaining a stable pH which allows your sanitizer to effectively attack the algae. We recommend a once / season dosing of Haviland Activator or Activator Plus - this will help your sanitizer keep algae at bay all season long by helping to buffer your Alkalinity and keep your pH stable, which ultimately makes the water more enjoyable for you.
Need help testing your water for phosphates? Our water lab will test for them and keep you informed on where your levels are so you can ensure the dinner table is empty for any algae that may be trying to make a home in your pool.
Happy Summer Swimming Season!