Algae 101: How to Identify the Algae in Your Pool
<p> Learn about the different types of algae and how to identify what is growing in your swimming pool.</p>
One of the greatest fears of a pool owner is the appearance of algae in the pool. Unfortunately, algae are a common occurrence, sometimes despite the best efforts of a pool owner to prevent it. The best way to keep algae at bay is by maintaining a proper chlorine level in your pool. However, stray spores can still occasionally find their way into your swimming pool, creating a problem you will need to address sooner rather than later. This article will start you out on the right foot, by helping you identify the type of algae you are dealing with so you can find the most effective method for getting rid of it.
Green algae are the most common types of algae found in swimming pools and fortunately, they are also the easiest to get rid of. You will know if you have green algae because your pool water will become green and cloudy. You may also see pieces of algae stuck to the sides of the pool or floating in the water. This type of algae usually appears because the filtration system in your pool wasn't working properly or proper chlorine levels were not maintained. When treated early, there is a high success rate of getting rid of green algae once and for all. However, regular maintenance may be recommended for a period of time to ensure stray spores don't return.
Mustard algae gets its name from it color as well, because this algae sports a brownish gold color like mustard. These algae typically appear in shady areas of the pool and may look like yellow sheets on the water. Mustard algae are more stubborn to remove than green algae, and elimination processes may take an entire season to complete. One reason is that mustard algae are resistant to increased chlorine levels, so other methods, like use of algaecides, must be used consistently. It is important to exercise persistence when treating mustard algae to ensure you get rid of your infestation once and for all.
Black algae are by far the hardest type of algae to get out and keep out of swimming pools. In some cases, professional assistance may be required to bring your pool back to a usable state. Black algae appear as small dark blue, green or black spots on the sides of the pool walls or on the steps. Black algae are difficult to get rid of because their roots go directly into the plaster or your tile grout, anchoring it to the liner of your pool. Like a stubborn weed, it is darn near impossible to eradicate the roots completely, which allows the algae to grow back even after you think you solved the problem. The spores also contain substances that make them resistant to the chemicals typically used to treat algae infestations.
While algae are a pesky problem for pool owners, understanding the type of algae in your pool is the first step to ridding your swimming spot of the annoying spores once and for all.