How to Get Rid of Algae in a Pool

Learn how to treat and prevent visible algae from invading your pool

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algae

Algae is a living plant organism that can seemingly appear in your pool overnight and result in clogged filters and poor water circulation. It can also make your pool chemical less effective. After entering your pool by wind, algae will flourish in a pool filled with debris and dirty water. Heavy rain, high heat or low chlorine levels can all make matters worse. Follow the steps below on how to treat green, mustard and black algae in pool water.

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What You Need

1
how to treat GREEN ALGAE
Green Algae

Green algae in pool water is a fairly common issue in which free-floating algae clouds the water, making it appear green. Fortunately, it is also the easiest algae type to prevent and treat. 
  
How to remove green algae

1. Use a pool water test kit to test and balance your water's chemical levels.
2. Apply a quality pool shock product and follow the label directions to boost any residual chlorine in your pool.
3. Vigorously brush the pool surface where algae has grown.
4. Apply a green algaecide and follow the label directions.
5. Allow water to circulate for 24 hours, then brush the pool surface again.
6. Vacuum or backwash to remove the dead algae.
7. Test and balance your pool water again, ensuring levels are within the ideal range: free chlorine (1 - 4 ppm), pH (7.2 - 7.6), alkalinity (80 - 150) and calcium hardness (200 - 275).

2
HOW TO TREAT MUSTARD ALGAE
Mustard Algae

Mustard algae is a stubborn pool algae that results in dirt-colored or yellowish-brown spots clinging to the walls and floor of your pool. This algae typically brushes away from pool surfaces easily, but it quickly returns to nearby areas. It can also be resistant to chlorine, making it more difficult to remove.

Mustard algae can grow unnoticed in your pool filter and adhere to anything that enters the swimming pool (swimsuits, toys, skimmer baskets, poles, nets, brushes and more), so it is important to clean everything thoroughly to prevent it from re-entering the water. Place all accessories into the pool during treatment to ensure cleaning tools are thoroughly cleaned.

How to remove mustard algae 

1. Use a pool water test kit to test and balance your chemical levels.
2. Apply a quality pool shock product and follow the label directions to boost any residual chlorine in your pool.
3. Vigorously brush the pool surface where algae has grown.
4. Remove the dead algae by vacuuming or backwashing.
5. Apply a mustard algaecide and follow the label directions.
6. Allow water to circulate for 24 hours.
7. Vacuum or backwash again to remove the remaining dead algae. In persistent cases, repeat brushing and product application after 2 - 4 days.
8. Test and balance your pool water again, ensuring levels are within the ideal range: free chlorine (1 - 4 ppm), pH (7.2 - 7.6), alkalinity (80 - 150) and calcium hardness (200 - 275).

3
HOW TO TREAT BLACK ALGAE
Black Algae

Black algae is one of the toughest strains of pool algae to kill. Often appearing as black spots, it will securely adhere to the pool surface and form a protective outer layer. Brushing the affected area will help in the treatment process. Similar to mustard algae, black algae can also thrive in your pool filter.

How to remove black algae: 

1. Use a pool water test kit to test and balance your chemical levels.
2. Apply a quality pool shock product and follow the label directions to boost any residual chlorine in your pool.
3. Using a pumice stone (on plaster pools only), scrub the black algae to break up the protective layer.
4. Vigorously brush the affected area of your pool surface where black algae has grown.
5. Vacuum the algae debris.
6. Apply a black algae treatment and follow the label directions.
7. Allow the water to circulate for 24 hours.
8. Vacuum or backwash to remove the dead algae. In cases of persistent algae, repeat brushing and product application after 2 - 4 days
9. Test and balance your pool water again, ensuring levels are within the ideal range: free chlorine (1 - 4 ppm), pH (7.2 - 7.6), alkalinity (80 -150) and calcium hardness (200 - 275).

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Pool Algae Control and Prevention
Pool Algae Control and Prevention

Preventing pool algae will keep your pool operational all season long and prevent excessive chemical costs. Safeguard your pool by following these simple steps.

1. Test and balance your pool water weekly, maintaining an ideal pH range of 7.2 - 7.6.
2. Check to ensure an adequate supply of sanitizer is on board to help kill bacteria and maintain 1 - 4 ppm chlorine residual.
3. Shock your pool water weekly to remove contaminants.
4. Brush the pool surface weekly to remove any algae and improve water circulation.
5. Add the preventative dose of an algaecide to your pool every week to avoid algae growth

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