I have a beautiful home with a beautiful swimming pool which I've helped to maintain and keep clean for my family and our many guests.
What Causes Algae In A Swimming Pool
It's a hot summer day, the sun is bright, perfect weather for taking a dip in your pool. You feel that heat coming down on you and you venture out to the back yard onto the patio to check out the pool you haven't used since last summer. Lo and behold, it's green. You take a closer look and see green, yellow and even black algae growing in your pool. You know it can't be safe to swim around in that infested water, plus it's just gross and slimy. How did this happen?
Basically, algae are plant organisms that grow where it is warm and wet and there is sunlight. Algae spores drift into the pool on the wind through dirt and leaves and also come into contact with your pool through people. Nutrients like phosphate can also enter the pool through people, dirt and leaves, and even chemicals, and further allow the algae to thrive. Some organisms that we call algae, such as blue-green algae or black algae and pink algae, are actually bacteria. Either way, algae is also a breeding ground for bacteria and so it is potentially not safe to come into contact with it.
During those hot summer months when the sun is beating down on your swimming pool, algae is given the perfect environment to grow. Especially when the pool has not been cleaned or treated.
Vacuum In Above The Ground Pool
If you have an above the ground pool, you might want to use a vacuum to clean up the pool and pick up the algae to discard it. Only one problem with some of the vacuums that are made for these kinds of pools is that they will likely have a mesh bag attached that is meant to pick up the debris but often much of this debris (including the algae) slips through the bag and back into the pool while you are vacuuming. A sort of work-around, fix, for this problem is to do something to the mesh bag so that it will still collect the small debris that usually escapes it. If you are using the Intex vacuum you can do a couple of different things to sort of modify the vacuum - specifically, to modify the bag attached to it. If you fill the bag with cotton balls and then make sure you pull the bag up to the end of the vacuum opening so that there are no loose cotton balls in the bag, it is likely the cotton will actually pick up most of the dirt, sand and algae that you suck up through the device. Another alternative is to put a microfiber glove mitt, made to be used for cleaning cars, on the outside of the bag and secure it to the vacuum (with something like a shoe string) and the glove will actually pick up a whole lot of that junk that the regular mesh bag loses. The glove must be turned inside out when you put it over the mesh bag, so that the algae and sand sticks to it when all of that debris is sucked up through the vacuum.
Natural Home Remedy
Because it is actually less expensive than chlorine and also natural and safe, many people treat their swimming pools with salt rather than chemicals. Through a process called electrolysis, salt helps to break down dirt and bacteria in and at the bottom of your swimming pool; for this, you can use a salt chlorine generator to deposit salt into your pool.
Another natural way to get rid of algae from the bottom of your pool is the Orenda Water Treatment, which eliminates nutrients that algae feeds on. It takes very little of this treatment to get rid of the phosphate which bacteria in your pool eats. No food supply for those organisms and they can no longer thrive and grow.
Another option is an ionic pool cleaner, which operates to release copper and silver into the water to reduce the growth of bacteria.
You might also consider a sonic wave pool cleaner which causes the cells in algae to vibrate and break down. However, this tool should not be used exclusively but it is good to use in conjunction with these other suggestions.
Many people also choose to use generators that make use of ultra-violet light or electricity to produce ozone to sanitize their pools through a process called oxidation.
Natural Cleaning Agents
Baking soda is a good and well-known cleaning agent and works well in cleaning your pool. The active ingredient in baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which breaks up algae and allow you to scrub it and clean it from your pool. This particular substance works well in getting rid of black algae.
Borax, a bit more controversial, is considered a relatively safe cleaning agent that works well in cleaning up white algae. It is a mineral and is considered to be a mild skin irritant though it is not carcinogenic.
So you have a multitude of options for keeping your pool clear of algae. You can keep it clean with a vacuum, use natural cleaning materials like baking soda or borax, and you can use natural treatments like salt or other natural products that remove minerals that algae feeds off of.
In these ways you can keep your swimming pool clean and safe!
Kampmann, N. How To Remove Algae From Pool: The Best Pool Algae Killers. Retrieved 2017, August 28 from SimplePoolTips.com
Betty, C. (2017). Getting To The Bottom Of Borax: Is It Safe Or Not? Retrieved 2017, August 28 from CrunchyBetty.com
Salvador, K. (2017). Eliminate Algae In Your Pool Using A Homemade Algaecide. Retrieved 2017, August 28 from Solar-Breeze.com
Wilson, L. (2009). 8 Ways To Green Your Pool. Retrieved 2017, August 28 from Earth911.com
Natural Pool Cleaning. Retrieved 2017, August 28 from Deheny.com
Gary Stoltzenberg on August 29, 2017:
how do you winterize an above ground salt water pool?