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How to Identify and Treat Pool Algae

By Greg - Updated On: 05/01/19

One of the most common pool problems homeowners can encounter is algae growth. Algae are single celled marine plants. There are literally hundreds of different species that can develop in your swimming pool. Letting your chlorine level drop is the culprit of most growth problems. It can be a difficult & tiring  process, but you can get rid of algae. The best deterrent is not to let the chemistry of your pool become unbalanced, but sometimes its inevitable.

Green Algae

The most common type of algae found in pools is green algae. It looks like green slime. Green algae starts on the floor and walls and can quickly spread throughout if not treated. The easiest and most efficient way to kill green algae is to super chlorinate your pool with shock. Let the pool circulate overnight, then vacuum out the dead algae debris.

Mustard Algae

Mustard algae, aka yellow algae, is another fairly common type. It starts out looking like a thin layer of dirt or sand and eventually like pollen. It is usually found in shady area's of the pool. Mustard algae is resistant to normal chlorine levels & is a bit more difficult than green algae to eradicate. First you must brush the entire pool surface. Next,  you treat the pool with a copper based algaecide, carefully following the instructions on the bottle as not to stain the pool. Metal based chemicals are notorious for causing staining.

Black Algae

Black algae is the dreaded type that is the most difficult to kill. Black algae firmly root to the surface & grow a protective coating over its underlying layers. It looks like small green or black dots. To eradicate this nasty fellow, you must first brush the pool with a stiff & abrasive brush. You have to scrub really hard in order to knock off the protective coating. Immediately treat with silver or copper-based algaecide.

Let the algaecide work overnight, then vacuum the entire pool on waste. In order to ensure that you've gotten all the roots, you may have to repeat this process several times.

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