Have you ever returned home to find your fibreglass swimming pool a greener shade than your yard?
Green pool water isn’t safe to swim in. Cyanobacteria algae is the single biggest reason for green pools. If your pool isn’t stopping the cyanobacteria algae from growing, then there might be deadly pathogens swimming around in the waters as well.
Bringing your pool water back on track can be tough. But the longer you wait, the worse the problem gets.
This article will show you how to return your pool water to normal.
How Did My Swimming Pool Turn Green?
Cyanobacteria algae is always present around you. It’s in the soil of the earth. It’s in the plant debris around you.
The wind picks up cyanobacteria algae spores and contaminates your pool water with it.
It’s always present in your pool. But you never see it grow out because the pool’s chemicals and sanitizers keep the bacteria in check.
But the right conditions can easily make the smallest patch of algae grow into a full-blown colony, visible from afar.
Algae happens when
- The pool water circulation is low.
- The alkalinity, calcium, cyanuric and pH levels are out of control.
- The water filtration systems have failed.
- The sanitation has failed.
There are other, simple reasons why algae can bloom in your pool as well:
- Extreme weather conditions and extreme heat.
- High winds and the lack of a wind breaker.
- Dirt and grime in the pool serving as food for bacteria.
- A clogged up filter that’s been neglected and ignored.
Just any one of these conditions is enough for algae to take a foothold. It can take weeks for some pools, and hours for others. This is why you always want to test, test, test your pool waters to understand the situation you’re looking at.
How To Get Your Pool Back On Track
1. Ask if you need professional help.
First, look at your pool. Really examine it. Does it look a mild shade of green or is it full-on sloppy, mucky, sludge-like green?
No one wants to drain their pool or end up calling in the professionals. But certain situations demand it, and wasting any more time only increases the damage.
Put on a pair of gloves and stick your hand in the pool water. If you can see your hand, then you’re okay to resolve this issue on your own. Otherwise, you need to call in the cavalry to drain the pool and overhaul the entire thing. Who knows how much damage could be caused? It’s best to get the professionals in, quickly. If the damage isn’t extensive, move on to the next step.
2. Get cleaning.
It’s time to get down and dirty. Start by vacuuming the pool floors. Pick up all the heavy gunk and matter you can that’s settled on the floor and made a home there.
Brush the walls and stairs of your pool. Use a thick and powerful brush meant for heavy-duty cleaning. Not thin and dainty brushes meant for delicate work. Ask your local pool shop for a brush that’s meant for heavy algae infestations. Remember to cover all the surfaces, including difficult-to-reach areas and additional embellishments you’ve installed onto your pool.
3. Get testing.
A test kit will allow you to take samples of your pool water and analyze the chemicals within. You need to understand the pH levels, the sanitizer levels, and check to see if any dangerous pathogens might be present.
You can treat small isolated blooms with granular chlorine or good quality algaecide alongside some hard brushing.
You can treat large algae colonies with a strong burst of chlorine shock, or granular chlorine to kill the algae.
Your pool’s pH needs to be around 7.2. The alkalinity needs to be around 80-100 and the cyanuric acids need to be within 30-50 for a healthy range.
4. Get shocking.
Once you’ve done the above steps, it’s time for super chlorination.
Add 30 ppm of chlorine with 4 pounds of pool shock per 10,000 gallons.
This amount is a must to kill algae and prevent them from breeding further. The killing needs to be thorough. If you leave algae behind, it’s just a matter of time before they spread and reproduce once again.
You might have sand filters, cartridge filters, or diatomaceous earth filters. Whatever the case may be, you’ll need to clean your filter multiple times while you clean or there’s no point. Run your filter the entire 24 hours of the day.
The shocking is what’s killing the algae. But the filter is what’s removing it from your pool and sweeping away the dead bodies.
5. Finish it up.
Scrub the pool after you clean the filter. Run the filter. Then repeat this process. Add clarifier to help the filter if needed.
You’ll need an algaecide to kill all the remaining algae and a flocculant as well. The flocculant bunches up the algae into bigger pieces so that the filter can actually catch them and remove them.
Make sure you add in the algaecide only after the chlorine levels reach below 5 ppm.
Immunize Your Pool Against Future Algae
Your pool water should be clean and sparkling new again. Now you want to be vigilant. All it takes is a small amount of surviving algae to wait for the chlorine levels to drop low. Then they can immediately begin breeding again to turn your pool green.
It’s a constant, never-ending battle against cyanobacteria algae, but you have technology on your side to make things as simple as pie.
Enjoy the results of your hard work by taking a swim after the filters are done and the chemical levels are back to normal.
What can you do in the future to prevent this from happening again?
Test, test, test your pool water. Test once a week at the absolute minimum.
Consider potassium tetraborate, chitin, phosphate remover or chlorine enhancers to further reinforce your anti-algae arsenal.
The moment your sanitizer levels are low, add some more. There are multiple ways to prevent algae blooms in the future, and the first step in all of them is to test your waters to figure out what you’re looking at.