Algae blooms are never a good sight in a pool. They can strip the beauty from your pool water and discourage you from having a swim.
In this article, I will be discussing how you can deal with this perennial problem.
Is it safe to swim in a pool with algae?
As a pool owner, swimming safety should be one of your predominant concerns. Regular maintenance and checks on your pool must be carried out. This way, you can reduce incidents that can cause harm to those swimming in the pool.
Drowning isn’t the only potential hazard associated with swimming in a pool. Having an algae infestation can be a source of such a hazard if not properly dealt with. This algae bloom comes from algae spores that get into your pool and begin to multiply.
Below, we listed all the potential hazards that can result from having an algae infestation in your pool:
- Skin infections: Swimming in algae-infested waters can pose a risk to your skin. Algae in itself is not harmful to the skin, but the bacteria on them is another story. Most algae have a mutual relationship with bacteria. So don’t be surprised to know there is a risk of bacterial encounter.
This bacteria can cause breaks and rashes on your skin, leading to more issues. This break in your skin makes you much more susceptible to having further infections. And if care is not taken, pathogens can get into one’s bloodstream. You wouldn’t want that for yourself or your loved ones.
- Bacterial infections: While swimming in a pool, there is every likelihood that one could end up ingesting some water. If this water contains bacteria and other microbes, your health becomes at risk. Diarrhea is just one of the possible outcomes, in addition to fever.
You could become sick for days and have inflammation of the intestines. There is also the possibility of eye infections. Bacteria can come into contact with the cornea and lead to complications like teary and red eyes, conjunctivitis, and numerous other issues. You can contact pool care personnel to help you get rid of this infestation.
- Low visibility: This is another risk posed by algae in a pool. When the algae reaches a critical level, the pool water can become cloudy and murky. This cloudiness greatly reduces visibility. In cases of drowning, locating a person quickly is very important to saving that person’s life.
But when the water is very cloudy it can prevent rescuers from locating the victim very easily. The rescuers can also have a hard time knowing if the person is still moving or unconscious.
Another problem caused by low visibility is false depth perception. Due to refraction through the algae and other organic matter blocking the path of light, swimmers could have issues properly ascertaining the depth. This could lead inexperienced swimmers to enter the deep side of a pool when they haven’t learned to handle that.
- Physical injury: Algae is quite slippery. Another risk is posed when algae begins to grow on the walls and floor of a pool. People can slip while walking around the edges of the pool and this can lead to cuts and bruises.
Even bone fractures and dislocations are known to happen. There is the possibility of even slipping inside the pool and hurting oneself. One could even drown as a result of a loss of balance.
How to get rid of algae in pool quickly
There are some steps you must follow to kill algae quickly.
- Scrub the walls and floors: The first step is to manually scrub the areas where the algae growth is visible. This includes the corners and crevices, the walls, and the floor. The essence of this exercise is to loosen up the algae and make it easier to take care of. Make sure you scrub it till your arms ache. Because if algae spores remain, it can be the start of new blooms.
- Vacuum your pool: While your filter is in “Waste” settings, begin to manually vacuum the pool for algae. Also, ensure that the water is being filled continuously. Ensure that the water doesn’t go below halfway to the skimmer inlet.
- Test the water: It is important that you test the pool. Ensure that the water is at the right pH and level of alkalinity. Also test chlorine levels and the presence of other chemicals. They go a long way in determining how effective your shock will be.
- Shock your pool: Use chlorine shock for the best results. It kills off any remaining algae that is in your pool. Check the manufacturer’s instructions and use them accordingly, depending on the kind of algae.
- Filter the pool: It is natural for your pool to turn cloudy after this process of shocking. This is because when green algae dies, it turns gray or blue. You need to filter your pool to remove these remnants. Else, new algae could come from them. Run your filter continuously for 8 hours till the water clears.
- Wash out your filter: You don’t want the dead algae that you have removed to be recycled back into your pool. Give your filters a very good back wash and then be sure that every last piece of algae is removed.
How to get rid of algae in pool without chemicals
There are a variety of ways one can kill algae without involving chemicals. They are:
- Ionic treatment: This involves the use of copper electrodes to discharge metallic ions into the water. These metallic ions include silver, copper, or zinc. These metals are very effective at killing algae.
- Sonic wave treatment: This involves using ultrasound technology to vibrate the algae. Low power frequencies of 29-200 kHz can kill algae. These ultrasound frequencies can cause cavitations in the algae cell membrane, leading to lysing and cell death. It is best used in combination with other methods.
- Ultraviolet treatment: High-intensity ultraviolet light is very effective at destroying algae. When algae is subjected to this light, its cell walls and DNA rupture, effectively killing it.
Does shock kill algae?
Chlorine shock is a very effective way of killing algae. It does the same work as setting fire to algae. It oxidizes the cell walls of the algae and causes cell death.
How much shock Do you need to clean a green pool?
The amount of shock you will need will depend on the severity of the algae infestation.
- Light green water: If the water in your pool is light green, it shows that the level of algae infestation is quite mild. You will need a sufficient dosage of shock. You will add two pounds of shock to every 10,000 gallons of water.
- Dark green water: This means that the level of algae blooms in your pool is on a medium level. For this you would require a triple amount of shock. That is you add 3 pounds of shock to every 10,000 gallons of water.
- Black green water: This is a severe case of algae infestation. And black algae is responsible for it. For this you will need quadruple shock. That is, you add 4 pounds of shock to every 10,000 gallons of water.
Should I use shock or algaecide first?
It is recommended that you use chlorine shock 1-3 days before using the algaecides. The reason for this is that chlorine will make the algaecide ineffective.
What happens if I put too much shock in my pool?
Though this is quite unlikely to happen, when chlorine levels are very high, you can get green hair. This is because chlorine can oxidize excess copper in the pool.
What happens if you put too much algaecide in a pool?
- The presence of foam: Adding too much algaecide can cause foam to emerge on the surface of your pool.
- Skin and eye irritations: A large volume of algaecide in the pool can be an irritant to your eyes and skin. If it gets into the eyes, it can cause teary eyes.
How long does it take to get rid of algae in the pool?
Depending on the severity of the algae infestation, it can take anywhere from 24 hours up to a week to clear.
Why is my pool still green after shock and algaecide?
The major reason, among others, is the presence of metals such as copper and iron. Chlorine oxidizes these metals to give a greenish hue to the water.
Will baking soda clear a green pool?
Baking soda helps in clearing algae. Sodium bicarbonate is the major component of baking soda and it helps in breaking apart the algae for easy vacuuming.
Will vinegar clean a green pool?
Vinegar is a household cleaner that is good for cleaning metals. It is effective at removing calcium buildup, but it won’t be effective against algae.
Can you vacuum algae out of a pool?
You can decide to vacuum your pool to remove algae, both from the pool surface and the floor. But ensure that you are refilling the water even as you work.