Green Pool? How To Effectively Remove Algae

A public pool is more than just another interchangeable feature on a commercial property. It’s a statement piece, often serving as the showstopper that draws in customers with the promise of fun and relaxation. To do this effectively, though, the pool must appear pristine. Only clean and crystal-clear water will be inviting to your clientele. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. Many commercial pool owners know the all-too-familiar feeling of seeing their star attraction turning an unsightly green color. When this happens, it’s a sure indicator you must remove algae in your pool water.

For a business or organization, a green pool means lost customers and lost income. That’s why it’s crucial to address the problem as quickly as possible. In the following article, we’ll discuss some of the best strategies for effectively removing algae from a commercial swimming pool.

What Causes Algae to Grow in Pool Water?

Algae refers to a large group of simple, plant-like organisms that lack roots, leaves, or stems. Instead of taking hold in soil, algae most often grows in stagnant bodies of water. There, it utilizes photosynthesis and available nutrients (particularly nitrogen and phosphorus) to spread and thrive.

Spreading through both airborne algal blooms and cell division, algae is found very commonly all over the world. It is constantly looking for new environments where it can take hold.

If they aren’t properly maintained, swimming pools can quickly become excellent havens for algal growth. For this reason, pools have several features designed to keep algae at bay. Because algae thrive the best in stagnant water, a pump keeps the water in your pool moving. Pool chemicals, such as chlorine, are added to create an environment that is not conducive to the growth of algae, bacteria, or other harmful organisms.

Person trying to remove algae in pool by vacuuming the pool

Is Algae Harmful?

Algae in pool water is more than just unsightly. It can be actively dangerous to customers who are swimming in the pool.

While the plant itself isn’t necessarily harmful, it will eventually die and begin to decompose. It becomes an excellent food source for bacteria that can cause sickness.

Algae is also an indicator that the pool isn’t properly cared for. Algae indicates the presence of chemicals such as nitrogen and phosphorus. These may come from animal waste, among other sources. A pool that has a strong algal growth may not be effectively filtering out harmful biological matter or other potentially dangerous disease vectors.

Removing Algae, Step 1: Scrub It Off by Hand

When algae take hold, they don’t simply float on the water’s surface. The growth begins to coat the sides of the pool. Simply restoring the proper flow of water in the pool will not be enough to remove it. If that’s the case, an essential part of effectively removing algae is physically scrubbing it away.

A pool brush suited for the task can be purchased at any pool supply store. Depending on what the walls in your pool are constructed from, you may need either a soft nylon brush or a more heavy-duty stainless steel one.

Either way, it’s important to reach every corner of the pool during the cleaning process. Make your way around the perimeter of the pool. Be sure to reach all the nooks and crannies as you do so.

Removing Algae, Step 2: Pool Shock

An important step in eliminating algal growth in the pool is to maintain the proper balance of pool chemicals. According to the CDC, the safe chlorine level in a swimming pool should normally be kept at around 1 ppm (part per million). This is in order to prevent the growth of harmful pathogens.

However, if the pool has already become overgrown with algae, you may need more than that. This is known as “shocking” the pool.

Pool shock kits, which are sold in pool supply stores, are boxes containing tablets with high levels of chlorine. Their purpose is to bring the pool’s chlorine levels up very high, very quickly. This will essentially sterilize the pool, killing off any organisms that are growing in the water.

If there is excess algae growth in pool water shocking the pool once may not be enough. You may need multiple kits over several days to eliminate the algal growth. You can call a pool service professional to address the problem.

Removing Algae, Step 3: Ongoing Pool Maintenance

Eliminating the algae growing in the pool is only the beginning of keeping it clean and sanitary. It’s crucial to maintain the pool’s equipment over time. Otherwise, the algae will return and take hold once again.

It’s important to ensure that the pump system in your pool is working as it should. It filters out algae before it can begin to take over.

You must keep the filtration system clear. Otherwise, the chemicals that encourage algae growth will be allowed to build up. Finally, the heater and thermostat in your pool should be kept in good working order. Then the pool can be kept at a temperature that discourages algae from growing and spreading.

To ensure your pool remains clean, crystal clear, and algae-free in the long term, you should develop a working relationship with a professional pool maintenance company. We recommend one that specializes in commercial swimming pools, such as Strong Refuge Pool in Oregon and Washington.

Companies like these are experienced with the size and scale of the equipment used in public and commercial pools. Schedule regular preventative maintenance with your pool company to prevent algae from growing uncontrollably and harming your bottom line.

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