If you own a swimming pool, you know the importance of maintaining it on a regular basis. There is a lot more work involved to keeping these outdoor escapes in good condition than most people realize, especially when it comes to making sure the water is crystal clear and clean.
Algae buildup is one of the more annoying and common issues that affects both residential and commercial swimming pools, and it is caused by both an imbalance in pH levels, as well as a lack of preventative maintenance. The more use your pool gets, the more bacteria it is exposed to; bear in mind that it only takes a few days for water to turn green, which is why you need to consistently test the pH levels on a routine basis.
Over the years, home and business owners (especially pool cleaning contractors) have devised a number of ways to rid algae as effectively as possible. It may be a bit time-consuming and costly, but do note that if the problem is too severe, sometimes the only feasible option is to drain, scrub, and refill the pool. For health and sanitary reasons, it simply is not worth the fight attempting to oust the bacteria with excessive chemicals. At any rate, just be thankful your pool has not reached the “blacked out” state, which does happen from time to time
What to do in the face of algae
Regardless of the shade, anytime a pool has a tint of green, it can only mean one thing, and that is that its chlorine levels are extremely low or non-existent. You can always test to verify how much is left, but at this point this is essentially an unnecessary step; shocking (the process of adding chemicals for cleaning purposes) is now required.
The goal is to achieve a low pH level; you will know right away whether the amount in your pool is too high if the water turns cloudy. To fix, simply add roughly a gallon of muriatic acid, then allow the water to thoroughly filter before reading the test strip once more.
As for the shock itself, the general rule of thumb to follow is one pound per 10,000 gallons of water. Granular chlorine is considered the go-to cleaning solution by most people, but many also rely on diatomaceous earth to cleanse and sanitize the filter (a step often forgotten). To keep algae at bay in the long-term, the combination of using a water clarification solution, quality pool chlorinating system, and regular filter cleaning is virtually unstoppable!