Algae is a one-celled plant that can grow in your pool if conditions are favorable, and it’s a major concern for swimming pool owners. The most common myth concerning algae growth in pools is that it is ONLY a result of low chlorine (or its alternative). Although this is definitely a major cause of algae, it is not the single contributing factor.
How Does Algae Get In My Swimming Pool?
Despite water treatment facilities best efforts to remove all impurities from the water supply, actual traces of algae may very well be present in the tap water that is used to fill your pool. Another contributing factor to algae growth in pools are the millions of microscopic algae spores that are carried by wind, eventually falling into your pool. These spores will grow into outbreaks of algae if conditions are favorable.
What Kind of Environmental Conditions are Favorable to Algae?
Algae, like all plants, need light and food in order to survive and grow. Temperature, humidity, sunlight, and nutrients (food) foster algae growth. And, your backyard pool offer 3 of 4 components for algae to flourish. Algae get their nutrients from products like lawn fertilizers and other industrial products that are carried by wind and blown into the pool. Nutrients also consist of certain minerals that are already present in water. Since water chemistry relies on some of these certain minerals to be present, they cannot simply be removed from the water.
Here is a possible sequence of events: Algae spores will blow into your pool, where they are supported by temperature, humidity and sunlight. The algae spores then consume various nutrients. From temperature, humidity and sunlight, as well as from nutrients, the once unnoticeable algae spores have now grown into actual algae.
Poor Pool Filtration and Maintenance Also Lead to Algae Growth
In addition to these environmental factors there are other factors related to pool chemistry and pool equipment. Things like:
- Poor or limited water circulation
- Poor pool filtration systems
- Neglected routine pool maintenance
- Heavy bather loads
- Neglect of “shocking” the new water supply
- Neglect of overall water chemistry
- Insufficient levels of chlorine (or its alternative)
How You Can Control Algae Growth in Your Pool
Algae is not harmful to swimmers. Algae causes the appearance and integrity of your pool to suffer and occupies time to correct. If you do get algae, you are not alone; it has been seen in pools of some of the foremost authorities on pool care and maintenance. Rest assured, any algae can be killed, but not without a few days of continued effort and time.
Quick, Easy Ways to Kill Algae in Your Pool
It is best to begin with the necessary steps to prevent algae growth. Our general rule is: an ounce of prevention is worth a hundred pounds of cure. We recommend that when your fill or refill your pool for the pool season, that you shock your pool. Shocking your pool means adding extremely high levels of chlorine (anywhere from 3 to 5 times the normal amount) to the pool for a short period of time. Shocking helps eliminate algae and bacteria; we recommend shocking as close to dusk as you can to limit the sun from changing the chemical composition. If you have had or had an algae problem, we recommend adding an algaecide to your pool on weekly or bi-weekly basis to limit its growth.