When you feel like taking a dip, there's nothing more off-putting than the green hue of algae. Every pool owner battles these frustrating little organisms at some point; it's just one of the necessary evils of owning a pool. Because algae contains chlorophyll, they photosynthesize, which makes them flourish during the times that you really want to use your pool: the summer.
How Algae Forms
Algae spores can infiltrate your pool in a number of ways, most commonly through wind, rain and dirty swimsuits. If your pool doesn't have the right balance of chemicals, nitrates and carbon dioxide, they can literally bloom in a matter of days. Contrary to common belief, algae itself is not dirty or harmful to humans; however, it can upset the pH balance of your pool and harbour infectious pathogens such as E-coli.
Stopping Algae Formation
You will never completely stop algae formation, but with regular maintenance, you can control it. The key is to "shock" your pool by adding more chlorine -- one pound of granulated chlorine for every 10,000 gallons of water. While the application process can vary depending on the manufacture of the "pool shock," you should always keep your filtration system switched on until the water is clear, as it will accelerate the oxidation process and evenly distribute the chlorine.
Treating Severely Discoloured Pools
If your pool water has turned light green, you will need to "double shock" your pool by increasing the amount of chlorine to two pounds for every 10,000 gallons. For dark green water, add three pounds for every 10,000 gallons. And for black water, add four pounds for every 10,000 gallons. In all of these circumstances, follow the same procedures and keep your filtration system running until the water is clean.
It doesn't matter how much shock you add to your swimming pool; if you don't have a clean filter, it will stay murky. If you are using a sand filter, backwash it first. This will reverse the flow of water and pump any waste from the filtration system out of the backwash valve. To do this, set the multiport valve to "Backwash," direct the waste water hose into a drain, and keep the filter running until the water runs clear. Alternatively, if you are using a cartridge filter, replace the cartridge.
Swimming pools should be shocked at least once per month to keep the water in good standing. Just remember, too much chlorine can upset the chemical balance and lead to other problems, such as the rapid corrosion of the filtration system. Fundamentally, the less chemicals you have to add, the better.
Contact a business like Leisure Coast Pool Centre for more information on pool maintenance.