How To Get Rid Of Algae In Swimming Pool


Maintaining a clean and algae-free swimming pool is essential for the health and enjoyment of its users. Algae growth in swimming pools not only affects the aesthetic appeal but also poses potential health risks. In this article, we will explore the causes of algae growth in pools and discuss effective prevention measures and treatment methods to keep your pool pristine.

Understanding Algae

Definition and Types of Algae

Algae are microscopic organisms that can be found in various forms, colors, and textures in swimming pools. The most common types of algae found in pools include green algae, black algae, yellow/mustard algae, pink/red slime (bacteria), blue-green or cyanobacteria.

Factors Contributing to Algae Growth

Several factors contribute to the growth of algae in swimming pools. Sunlight exposure, warm temperatures, pH imbalance (too high or too low), inadequate filtration or circulation system can create an ideal environment for algal blooms. Additionally, poor water balance with high levels of phosphates can fuel algal growth.

Potential Health Risks Associated with Algae-infested Pools

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Swimming in a pool infested with algae poses several health risks. When left untreated, certain types of bacteria present alongside the algal bloom can cause gastrointestinal issues if ingested by swimmers. Moreover, some individuals may experience skin irritations or respiratory problems due to prolonged exposure to infected water.

Prevention Measures

To prevent algal growth from occurring:

Regular Pool Maintenance Routine

  1. Skimming and Vacuuming: Remove debris such as leaves or bugs regularly using a skimmer net while vacuuming any settled particles on the pool floor.
  2. Brushing: Brush all pool walls and floor surfaces weekly to remove any potential spots for green or black algae attachment.
  3. Cleaning Pool Filter Regularly: A clean filter ensures proper circulation which prevents stagnant water – an invitation for unwanted guests like blue-green algae.

Proper Water Chemistry

  1. Maintaining Appropriate pH Levels: Regularly test and adjust the pH levels of your pool water to keep it within the recommended range (7.2-7.6).
  2. Balancing Alkalinity and Calcium Hardness: Correct alkalinity (80-120 ppm) and calcium hardness (200-400 ppm) levels are crucial for a stable water chemistry environment.
  3. Testing and Adjusting Chlorine and Sanitizer Levels: Monitor chlorine or sanitizer levels frequently, ensuring they stay in an adequate range to combat potential algal growth.

Reducing Sunlight Exposure

  1. Using Pool Covers or Shades: Invest in a pool cover that can reduce sunlight exposure when the pool is not in use, inhibiting algae’s ability to photosynthesize.
  2. Planting Trees or Installing Umbrellas Around Pool Area: Creating shade with natural or artificial elements around your pool limits direct sunlight exposure, minimizing algal growth opportunities.

Algae Treatment Methods

In case you encounter an algae problem despite preventive measures, here are effective treatment methods:

Shocking the Pool

  1. Determining Appropriate Shock Treatment: Calculate the required amount of shock based on your specific pool size using a reliable guide or consult with a professional.
    2.Step-by-step Instructions for Shock Treatment:
  2. Dissolve the appropriate amount of shock treatment product according to package instructions.
  3. Distribute evenly across different areas of the pool while ensuring proper mixing.
  4. Run filtration system continuously for 8-10 hours after adding shock treatment to maximize effectiveness.

Algaecide Application

1.Choosing Right Algaecide Based on Algae Type:
Different types of algae require specific algaecides for effective removal; consult professionals at local swimming pool stores if unsure which product suits your situation best.

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2.Proper Dosage and Application Techniques:
Follow manufacturer guidelines carefully regarding dosage requirements and application techniques. Remember to keep the pool circulation system running during and after application for optimal distribution.

Brushing and Scrubbing

1.Targeting Algae-prone Areas:
Pay special attention to corners, steps, walls, or any other areas where algae tend to accumulate.

2.Using Appropriate Brushes and Techniques:
Select a strong pool brush suitable for your pool surface material (e.g., nylon brushes for vinyl pools) and scrub affected areas thoroughly until visible signs of algae are gone.

Filtration and Circulation

1.Ensuring Proper Functioning of Pool Filter:
Regularly clean or backwash filter cartridges as recommended by the manufacturer’s instructions.

2.Increasing Circulation:
Improve water movement within the pool by adjusting return jets or installing additional circulation devices like automatic cleaners. Adequate filtration helps prevent stagnant water that promotes algal growth.

Additional Tips and Best Practices

To maintain an algae-free swimming pool:

Regular Pool Maintenance Schedule

Establish a routine maintenance schedule that includes regular skimming, vacuuming, brushing, testing chemical levels, cleaning equipment like skimmers or pumps – these efforts help minimize opportunities for algae growth.

Monitoring and Adjusting Chemical Levels

Consistently monitor chlorine levels alongside other chemicals such as pH balance or alkalinity using a reliable test kit. Make necessary adjustments promptly if levels fall outside their recommended ranges.

Properly Storing Pool Chemicals

Store all pool chemicals in cool dry places away from direct sunlight; ensure lids are tightly sealed to avoid moisture absorption which can affect their efficacy over time.

Regularly Cleaning Pool Equipment

Clean skimmers, pumps filters regularly according to manufacturer guidelines. Removing debris buildup ensures efficient operation of equipment crucial in maintaining proper water circulation throughout your swimming pool.

FAQ Section:

Q: How long does it take for an algaecide treatment to work?
A: The effectiveness of an algaecide treatment can vary depending on the severity of the algae problem and the product used. In most cases, you should start to see improvements within a couple of days, but it may take up to a week for complete eradication.

Q: Can I swim in my pool immediately after adding algaecide?
A: It is generally recommended to wait until chlorine levels return to their normal range before swimming in a pool treated with algaecides. Follow manufacturer guidelines regarding specific waiting times.

Q: Why does algae keep coming back even after treatment?
A: Algae can come back if the underlying water chemistry issues are not addressed properly or if there is poor filtration or circulation system in place. Regular maintenance and monitoring of chemical levels are essential to prevent future outbreaks.


In conclusion, maintaining a clean and algae-free swimming pool requires proactive measures that include regular maintenance routines, proper water chemistry management, reducing sunlight exposure, effective treatments such as shocking and algaecide application when needed. By implementing these strategies and following best practices for pool care, you can ensure your swimming pool remains an inviting oasis free from unsightly and potentially harmful algae growth.


Green algae: A type of algae that commonly grows in swimming pools and gives the water a green appearance.

Pool filter: A device used to remove debris, dirt, and other particles from the pool water to keep it clean.

Type of algae: There are various types of algae that can grow in swimming pools, including green, yellow, black, and pink algae.

Protective layer: A layer formed by certain algaecides or chemicals to prevent new growth of algae in the pool.

Dead algae: Algae that has been killed or treated with chemicals but still remains in the pool water. It may need to be physically removed using a vacuum or filtration system.

Yellow algae: A type of mustard-colored algae that is more resistant to chlorine treatment compared to green or black varieties.

Roots: The anchoring structures that some types of filamentous (string-like) algae have. They attach themselves onto surfaces such as pool walls or equipment.

Algae in pools: Unwanted growths of single-celled organisms known as “algae” within swimming pools. Can lead to cloudy water and unpleasant appearances.

Pool party: An event where people gather for socializing and recreational activities around a swimming pool area.

Green water/Green pool water : Water in a swimming pool with an excessive amount of suspended green particles caused by an overgrowth of green algae

Pool toys : Items designed for play or enjoyment while being used within a swimming pool environment

Pool owners : Individuals responsible for maintaining their own personal backyard swimming pools

Water levels : The height/depth at which the surface level reaches within a body of water such as a swimming pool

Cyanuric acid : Also known as stabilizer/conditioner; helps protect chlorine from sunlight degradation allowing it stay effective longer

Harmful bacteria : Microorganisms present in untreated/unbalanced/poorly maintained waters which can cause health issues if ingested/inhaled through contact with contaminated water

Poor circulation/Poor water circulation : Insufficient flow of pool water which can contribute to algae growth and poor chemical distribution

Black spots : Dark-colored patches or areas that may appear on pool surfaces due to the presence of certain types of algae or other factors such as metal staining

Algae bloom: A rapid and excessive growth of algae in a body of water, often leading to visible discoloration and cloudiness.

Pool equipment: The various devices used for maintaining and operating a swimming pool, including pumps, filters, heaters, etc.

Swimming pool algae: Algae specifically found within swimming pools due to favorable conditions for growth such as warm temperatures and organic matter.

Concrete pool: A type of swimming pool constructed using concrete as the primary material for its structure.

Entire pool/Whole Pool: All parts/components making up the entirety/full extent

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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