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Articles - Understanding Algae
Articles - Understanding Algae
Articles - Understanding Algae
algae_photoSwimming Pool Algae - A Pool Owners Guide

Swimming Pool Algae - A Pool Owners Guide
Many pool owners have problems from time to time with algae. What is it and what can be done to get rid of it? What can we do to avoid the problem recurring?

Algae - What Is It?
Algae is a small plant growth which can take on many forms and is closely related to seaweed which itself is a form of algae. As in the case of seaweed, it can come in many shapes and sizes but for the most part Algae found in swimming pools is very small and resembles moss. These tiny microscopic plants feed on nutrients contained in the water.
How Does It Get Into The Pool And How Does It Grow
The algae spores or seeds if you like, are either already present in the water, transported to the pool by wind or are attached to other debris which finds its way into the pool. The algae plant requires only air, sunlight, water and a good supply of nutrients to grow. They normally grow most profusely in the shallowest water and are usually found in areas around swimouts and steps.
If your pool looks like this, you have a serious problem.

The Three Main Kinds of Algae
  1. Green Algae – This is mainly a floating algae, but will commonly cling to the walls. This type can grow very fast and can appear in the pool in as little as 24 hours. Before the pool water turns green, you may notice the walls of the pool becoming slippery and the water itself becoming slightly hazy.

  2. Mustard / Yellow Algae - This normally appears as a yellow deposit on the pool, usually on the shady side. Once established in your pool, it is chlorine resistant and can live in the presence of 3-5 ppm free chlorine.

  3. Black (Blue-Green) Algae - This type of algae is most commonly known as "Black Spot". This type of appears as dark spots measuring 1 to 3 cm. These spots are formed in layers. Killing off the outer layer with chlorine doesn’t necessarily mean the inner layers have been treated. This type of algae is actually very similar the black staining often seen in batrooms and on the sides of aquariums.
Health and Why Algae Matters.
An algae bloom can turn a “clean” swimming pool into a green mess overnight. As algae grows it consumes carbon dioxide from the water and produces oxygen as does any plant. This also has the effect of raising the pH (i.e. making the water alkaline). Most bacteria in pools on the other hand consumes oxygen and gives off carbon dioxide. So bacteria and algae live off by each other’s by products. So basically, algae is not only unsightly but an indication that you may have a serious health problem

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