You may be wondering how the algae ever entered your pool in the first place. This nagging question is especially frustrating to people who have tried to stay on top of pool maintenance but still find themselves battling algae in the water (see Part 1). Perhaps you’ve always wondered what exactly algae are and how it enters your pool.
How Does Algae Infest a Pool in the First Place?
Algae is nothing more than microscopic spores that blossom as tiny flowering plants. They can be carried into the pool by rain, wind, on pool toys and equipment, or even on a swimmer’s bathing suit. There’s no way to completely prevent these spores from initially getting into your pool. That’s because they’re so small and prevalent in the natural environment. What you want to watch out for are the conditions that allow these spores to bloom.
What Does Algae Need to Bloom?
In order for algae to bloom, it needs both phosphates and nitrates as well as sunlight. These conditions provide food for the algae as well as photosynthesis. That’s why maintaining your pool water’s proper chemical balance is so critical, especially during the summer when the sunlight is shining brightly into your pool. If you allow your pool’s chemistry to get out of balance and stay that way for any significant length of time, or if your water filtration system isn’t working properly, you’re allowing the perfect set of circumstances for algae bloom to occur.
What are the First Signs of an Impending Algae Bloom?
When it comes to the extremely common green algae, full-blown algae bloom usually follows a period of cloudiness in the pool. Just a few hours after the water gets hazy, you’ll see the algae bloom start discoloring the water.
What if an Algae Bloom is Ignored?
Perhaps you’re so frustrated by the appearance of algae bloom in your pool that you want to just give up. The very worst thing you can do in this situation is to ignore it and hope the problem will get better. It won’t. In fact, it will only get more serious the longer the bloom is allowed to go untreated. It will cause your pool water to become more and more chemically imbalanced as well as further slow down your pool’s filtration process. This will, in turn, make the conditions in the pool more and more conducive to continued algae growth!
How Can an Algae Bloom Be Prevented?
In order to keep algae from blooming in the first place, always stay on top of pool water and equipment maintenance tasks. Along with keeping your pool’s pH levels and sanitizer in the proper range, include a pool water stabilizer. This extra step is less of a hassle or expense than having to constantly add a decreaser and an increaser for your pool’s pH and sanitizer levels. Additionally, products such as PhosFree and Pool Perfect can help keep nitrates and phosphates from building up in your pool. Don’t forget to add a strong algaecide to your pool maintenance regimen.
In our next article in this series, we’ll look at what happens when prevention measures aren’t carefully followed or they somehow fail to prevent algae bloom.
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