Getting Rid of Algae in the Swimming Pool
Pool owners facing algae problems can learn simple methods that can be used to kill the growth. If you act quickly enough and use the right methods, you can eliminate the problem before it grows out of control.
Property owners that have swimming pools can easily eliminate and prevent common problems found in pool water. Itís all about having the right balance of pH and alkalinity and sterilization. But if you still witness stains, algae and other problems in your swimming pool, itís good to know how to get rid of them.
Algae is one of the biggest problems that pool owners face. It is a persistent and resourceful plant and can be found floating about your swimming pool or growing on the sides of the walls, floor and your pool equipment. Itís substance for life is sunlight, heat and water with high pH levels. Itís important that you take action right away once you see algae growing in your swimming pool. Not doing so will allow the algae to spread quickly. In a matter of hours, algae can cover the entire surface of your swimming pool. It also acts as a host for other bacteria growth. Once algae gets out of hand, you will have to drain your pool to get rid of it. You will then have to scrub the walls and floors with a full-strength chlorine product.
One of the signs of algae presence is slippery surfaces, like on the steps and floor of the shallow end of the pool. In order to minimize algae growth, you should keep the pH level and amount of chlorine residual, also known as free chlorine, at an acceptable level, which is between 1.0 and 3.0 ppm for free chlorine and between 7.2 and 7.6 for the pH level. If you skip chlorinating the pool two days in a row, or donít conduct superchlorination after lots of people swam in the pool or after it being heated up in hot weather, algae growth may occur. Superchlorination can be used to get rid of algae when it first appears, and the pH level of the pool should be adjusted between 7.2 and 7.4. This process is done by placing in three to five times the amount of recommended dosage of chlorine into your swimming pool, which will quickly kill the accumulated microorganisms that have developed.
After doing the superchlorination, you should brush the walls and floors vigorously to ensure that all of the algae is removed. You should use a stainless steel brush for the best results in pools made out of concrete and a soft nylon brush can be used in pools that have a vinyl liner. Afterward, you can vacuum the water. If you see any more spots of algae, you can repeat this process. Pay close attention to certain areas likearound underwater lights and ladders. You should keep your water filter running for about three to four days to help the chlorine residual stabilize around 2.0 ppm. No one should be allowed in the pool until the treatment has been completed (when the chlorine residual is 3.0 ppm or below). Itís important to keep in mind that algae is harder to kill the longer it lives, which is why itís necessary to kill it as soon as possible.
There are two types of algae strains that are commonly found in pools, black algae and yellow algae. Yellow algae is easier to brush away than black algae, but tends to grow back quickly if it isnít treated correctly. Green algae can also be found in swimming pools, which float at the top of the water and tends to cloud its color. Superchlorination can be used to get rid of green algae. Although chlorine is usually effective at killing the beginning stages of algae, there has been instances where algae is resistant to it, especially in stabilized pool water. When this occurs, commercial algaecide will need to be used along with the superchlorination and brushing. Keep the water filter on after treatment, so that the chemicals can disperse throughout the entire pool. If the algae isnít killed completely, it will grow at a rapid speed, causing you more of a headache and costing you more money for disinfectants.
Black algae is known to grow in colonies. Since the dead outside colonies protect the inner layers, it is important that you brush away the outer layers, so that the chlorine can kill it. Using an algaecide can also help with preventing reinfestation. Clean all the brushes used after each treatment. If your pool has sustained severe algae growth and is beyond your control, you should contact your local pool cleaning company to take care of it for you.
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