This past summer we encountered a lot of Green Pools. Algae was forming and folks were devastated to find their pool infested and overtaken by algae (both green and black). We ran into a lot of questions about why algae was forming, how it got there, and what could they do to prevent it from happening again. Thought this would be a perfect topic to share our knowledge on.
Why Is There Algae In My Pool?!
The best way to keep your pool not only beautiful and sparkling but healthy is proper maintenance. Algae thrives in pools that are not well kept and can form in pools that are even being 'maintained'. This is usually due to improper maintenance. Have you ever seen your pool man test the water with those little strips with colorful markings on it? That tells the pool man what the pool needs in relation to chemicals. Maintaining the proper pH balance is ESSENTIAL to prevent algae from forming.
Another reason folks end up with algae forming in their pools is due to poor circulation. Every pool NEEDS to have a good filtration system to help prevent the growth of algae. When water sits for long periods of time without being circulated, algae will start to form rapidly, especially in hotter weather conditions. Filters and pumps are needed and must be functioning properly. If you have a leak or a broken filter or pump, it will need to be replaced immediately to help prevent the growth of algae. Also, your filter will needed to cleaned at least twice a year or more, depending on the debris in your pool and filter. Pump and skimmer baskets also need to be maintained to ensure proper circulation. You should have your pool equipment checked regularly (weekly) to ensure proper circulation and function.
Finally, weather conditions can encourage algae to form in your pool. Outdoor swimming pools are an open source of water for not only animals and insects but for bacteria, spores and other microscopic life. If your pool is not balanced and/or has poor circulation, they can make their way to the bottom of your pool and start the growth of algae. Wind, trees, animals and insects carry these small living organisms into your pool which is how they start their new life. This is why it is equally important to have your pool serviced weekly to clean out these small infections.
How Do I Prevent Algae In My Pool?!
The best way to prevent algae from forming is by having your pool serviced weekly by a certified (and licensed) technician. Certified technicians have been certified with the state by taking the necessary classes and demonstrating their knowledge. They are awarded a certificate of completion and compliance once they are able to pass the state test.
If you want to maintain the pool yourself, test your pool's water on a regular basis. You can buy strips at your local pool supply store or take a sample of your pool water to local pool shops and have the water tested. Once you know what your pool needs, you can ask the pool supply representative for recommended chemicals to help balance your pool. The essentials include conditioner, acid and chlorine. Some pools require more chemicals and care so be sure to discuss your personal pool situation with a knowledgeable representative.
If you put everything you just learned into play, you will be well on your way to enjoying your personal oasis or family retreat in your own backyard.