The single biggest problem that all swimming pool owners have to deal with is green algae in their pool. But if it is such a common problem, why hasn’t someone solved it with a permanent solution? To answer this, first we need to fully understand what algae is and why it grows in your swimming pool.
Algae are single-celled marine plants. Algae are present in air, soil, water and our environment. In favorable conditions (which include water, warmth, sunlight and nutrients) algae growth is accelerated in swimming pool surfaces. It can float freely in the water or attach itself to the surface of the pool walls.
Algae is introduced to a swimming pool in various ways. Some sources of algae spores are wind and rain. Algae spores also can be carried into the pool from leaf debris or dirt, contaminated swimsuits or pool equipment from other swimming pools.
Once introduced to your swimming pool, poorly sanitized water will allow the algae to grow rapidly (this is called an algae bloom). Poor water circulation, inadequate pool filtration, unbalanced pool water, unstable pH and Total Alkalinity, compromised Chlorination and damaged and worn pool surfaces can lead to overgrown algae in the swimming pool.
One of the most common times to find an algae bloom is on opening the pool at the beginning of the season, since has not been circulated and filtered for a long time. Once algae spores get into the pool with the above conditions they can grow very quickly – often in just a few days.
Algae have several varieties, however there are three main varieties which are seen in swimming pools:
There is another mutated form of algae which is pink algae, but it is rarely seen in swimming pools, they are only found in natural ponds and lakes.
Algae consume carbon dioxide, which lowers pH levels and makes maintaining water balance of the pool very difficult.
Algae also cause slippery pool walls which creates hazards and the potential for injuries in water.
Once algae are visible, a substantial problem exists. One of the major problems caused by algae is an overgrowth of bacteria in the water. Algae use carbon dioxide and sunlight, and give off oxygen like most other plants. Most bacteria found in swimming pools consume oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. Therefore bacteria and algae consume the by-products of the other, and flourish fast in pool water.
Algae also are harmful to the pool surface and plaster, causing the water to become cloudy. Algae overgrowth and dead algae in the water causes discoloration and damage to the pool surface. It can also clog filter elements, decreasing filtering efficiency.
Another problem with algae is that it consumes the chlorine that should be working on pathogens. In other words it increases the chlorine demand, and large spots of algae provide shelter for harmful bacteria (as explained above).
This algae species has its name by making the color of water look green (and occasionally blue/green).
Although the amount of the blue-green algae which grows in swimming pools are not harmful directly to humans, algae overgrowth causes bloom and scum.
The scum affects the quality of water and can carry toxins (produced either by specific species of algae or its harboring bacteria) that are harmful to human body and cause problems as subtle as skin irritation to serious respiratory problems.
Blue – Green algae (cyanobacteria) are the most common algae in swimming pools. Algae can stick to the pool walls, although it brushes off easily. Growth of green algae can be controlled in a pool by using the correct amount of chlorine and pool shock, keeping the water pH less than 7.6, providing good filtration and regular water circulation.
It is much better to focus on prevention rather than treatment when it comes to algae. Many problems, time and money can be saved if an algae prevention program is in place. The plan should include routine brushing of pool surfaces to dislodge dirt that can accumulate in small spaces and keeping leaf debris out of filters, skimmer baskets and lint strainers. The areas where water flow is slow have to be well shocked and the water kept in good chemical balance.
If there is a chronic algae problem, or it is algae bloom due to closure of pool, it is important to not spread algae spores to other areas of the pools with brushes and infested vacuum hose. Use onsite equipment or disinfect equipment thoroughly. Again the secret is to maintain good chemistry at all times. You may need to add Phosphate measurement to your pool chemistry tests and measurement because high Phosphate can also leads to algae problems or be caused by algae overgrowth.
To remove algae, brush the walls well, make sure all equipment such as vacuum hose, filter pipe and brush are checked and cleaned from algae residuals and spores. This vigorous cleaning needs to be done before you add chemicals to the pool.
Run the pool system and filter 24/7 and shock the pool in the evening when the water is cooler, there are no swimmers and there is no sunlight to interfere with chlorine levels. Make sure you close the pool and turn off the pump. The treatment of choice is to shock the pool at 30 ppm.
To shocking the pool and get chlorine levels of 30 ppm, Trichlor Granules which have 90% available chlorine should be used. For every 10,000 gallons of water, 2.8 lbs of granules are needed (for a 20,000 gallon pool use 5.56 lbs of Trichlor granules).
If you have chronic algae problems, consider using algaecides and get professional a assessment instead of doing it yourself.
There are a number of algaecides on the market that can help reduce algae growth. The most cost effective and reliable way to treat green algae is by having free active chlorine. Some alternatives include quaternary ammonium, or QUATS, which is inexpensive; unfortunately these products tend to produce foam.
Other products such as cationic polymers or Poly Quats are also effective and don’t foam, but are expensive.
There’s a dead cockroach at the bottom of the pool. I’m not going swimming!
There is nothing more disgusting than looking into a dirty pool and seeing dirt or dead insects at the bottom. So it makes sense that keeping the pool clean is an important factor in enjoying swimming and playing in the pool. Beyond that, a clean pool is also important to keep the water balanced. Dirt and contamination affects the pool water’s balance and chemical properties, as well as having a negative impact on our skin and body.
One of the most important aspects of keeping pool clean, is vacuuming the pool.
I recommend that you vacuum your pool at least once a month, as well as after each pool party, at the beginning of the swim season when you open the pool, and also when you are preparing to close the pool for winter.
Prior to vacuuming a pool you need to clean up large objects such as small branches in the water (or at the bottom of the pool). The filter can become clogged up, requiring frequent backwashing if larger objects are vacuumed (instead of being removed using a leaf skimmer).
The fast movement forward pushes the water helping to float the object off the bottom of the pool slightly, and the scooping motion is used to catch the object in the leaf skimmer.
The equipment needed for vacuuming is:
Setting up the vacuum:
Now you can bask in the glory of a beautifully clean pool. Or just splish splash 🙂
Shocking a swimming pool does not involve lightning (despite what it sounds like).
Shocking a pool actually means hyper-chlorinating the pool water for sanitation purposes i.e. to kill all the algae and bacteria.
Sand filters are known to be the lowest maintenance of the three types of pool filters.
The length of time the sand lasts before it needs to be changed depends on the filter structure, the size of the filter and the amount of the water that goes through the filter.
Human beings are not fish.
Yet we seem to love being in the water. Especially if the water is not salty and is in our backyard – as in a swimming pool.
But swimming in a pool can be a hazard to our health if the water is not clean.
The water in a swimming pool is cleaned by a filtration system. All swimming pools have a filtering system to keep the pool fresh and usable. The most popular type of filter used is a cartridge filter.
Today I’m going to give you exact instructions on how to clean swimming pool cartridge filters.
“My eyes are burning!”
That’s what my daughter said to me as she climbed out of the swimming pool.
“I don’t want to swim anymore.”
I’ll never forget that day. I looked at the pool water and it looked a little green. I instantly knew I had to check the acidity and pH level of the water.
What does coffee in a cup have in common with water circulation in your swimming pool? I’m about to tell you, but before that, let me ask you…
What is the fastest way to cool down a hot cup of coffee?
Drop an ice cube in it! Of course. But that would be cheating.
Most people don’t know this, but the fastest way to cool down your hot coffee is by not stirring it.
The reflecting pool, the ultimate symbol of wealth and serenity. What better way to accentuate the best aspects of your home than with a
reflecting pool giant mirror?
Well, you don’t have to have a million of dollars to build a reflecting pool or pond.
You can turn your standard pool into a reflecting pool quite easily, but before I show you how, let me tell you a story about Benjamin Franklin.