How To Prevent And Quickly Remove Mustard Algae In Your Pool

What To Do When Mustard Algae In Your Pool Won’t Go Away

A cloudy and yellow pool is not just unsightly but can be a health hazard as well. Mustard algae is the most likely cause of this. Aside from pool walls, the yellow algae often cling to your pool toys, equipment, and even your swimsuit. In comparison to green algae, it will attach to the bottom and walls of your pool instead of floating around in the water. Furthermore, you can also find it hiding in your pool filter, around lights, and other shady areas.

Mustard algae grow in all swimming pools but it thrives more in a warm climate. Since they are chlorine-resistant, getting rid of them once they’ve made a home in your pool can be challenging. But the good news is, it is entirely possible and doable. The key here is arming yourself with the right information and tools before beginning the cleaning process.

Whether you’re a pool owner who’s currently dealing with mustard algae or wants to prevent it, this helpful guide is for you. We’ll provide you with essential information about mustard algae. These include what it is, how to get rid of the annoying pool problem and prevent it from growing or coming back.

What Exactly Is Mustard Algae?

Although it is known as mustard or yellow, the algae’s color is usually yellowish-green. But unlike its cousin green algae, which is typically slimy and hard to brush off, mustard algae tends to look like dirt, sand, stain, or pollen. And as mentioned, it grows in shaded areas like the bottom or sides of your pool.

To identify mustard from green algae, simply swipe a brush or your hand on your pool wall or steps. Once the dirt sends up a cloud, it’s a clear indicator that your swimming pool has yellow algae buildup. This type of algae is rather common and the majority of pools will acquire some at some point. Usually, it is not dangerous. However, its overgrowth can result in the growth of E Coli and other harmful bacteria.

What Causes Yellow Algae

Mustard algae can be really annoying to deal with. The spores enter your pool either through your pool equipment and bathing suit contaminated with the algae spores or elements, such as rain or wind.

The speed of the algae bloom will depend on your location and specific situation. The factors that affect how quickly it blooms are the following:

  • Plenty of sunny days or if you live in a place with a mostly warm climate
  • If your pool has high levels of carbon dioxide or nitrates
  • Improper filtering, maintenance, and sanitizing of your pool
  • Pool chemicals are not balanced
  • Overlooking pool circulation

The lack of chlorine and proper filtration are the two main culprits of yellow algae. Many factors play a part in these, including sanitation techniques, run time, bather load, pump speed, and weather. For example, if you live in Florida, your pool water will not be kept clear with a pump run time for six hours during August. The ideal run time you want to start with is at least 8 hours.

Moreover, you have to consider your filter’s condition. You’ll increase the chances of algae appearing if it requires some repair, broken, or clogged. Another factor that helps mustard algae is leaks. When your pool has leaks, it will be nearly impossible to maintain the right amount of chlorine. Mustard algae normally rear their ugly head as the season transitions from winter to spring in most areas. That’s because the warm climate and the rapid rise in humidity and heat offer the algae a much better environment to thrive in your pool.

How To Treat Mustard Algae

If you have no idea how to eliminate yellow algae, it will frustrate you. Fortunately, it’s quite easy to treat mild to moderate cases of mustard algae.

Clear your pool

The first step you need to do is to clear your pool of all items in it, from toys to floats. Disinfect everything using a solution with chlorine and not bleach. Also, make sure to thoroughly wash all your swimwear.

Balance the water of your pool

Upon validating that you do have a mustard algae outbreak, the next thing you want to do is to balance the pool water. Here are a couple of ways to do it:

  • Check the filter system of your pool and clean it. Then, ensure that the pool water has the right pH level with the help of a pool test kit. You may consider refilling your swimming pool with fresh, new water.
  • Use an automatic pool cleaner to suck up every bit of debris on your pool walls and floors. Robotic pool cleaners are highly recommended since they can climb steps and walls with ease. Hence, they eliminate the need for you to manually brush these areas to get rid of algae. Afterwards, check and ensure you have the correct pH levels.

The alkalinity of your pool water should be between 120 to 150 parts per million. On the other hand, the pH levels should be around 7.4 to 7.6. Keep in mind that algae enjoy pool water with a higher pH level so make sure to keep everything balanced.

Encouragement pool circulation

Use the automatic timer settings of the pump system to encourage circulation. Moreover, running the pool filtration for at least 24 hours can help.

Do an additional cleanup

A robotic pool vacuum cleaner can do pretty much all the hard work for you. Still, you have an option to run your filter again after a few days as an added step. You may put your floats and other items back into the pool once it is cleared of algae.

Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Mustard algae are very persistent and will always find a way to make their way back to your pool. Thankfully, there are preventive steps you can do to stop them from taking over your backyard oasis:

  • The easiest way is to regularly use your swimming pool, especially when it’s sunny and warm.
  • Make sure to have the appropriate levels of sanitizer, chlorine, and pH.
  • Maintain your pool regularly and do not forget to clean everything, including pool ladders, toys, and equipment.
  • Make it a habit to practice proper pool sanitation methods.
  • Run your filter daily for around 8 to 12 hours across all seasons.
  • If you use the swimming pool all the time, it is advisable to run your robotic pool cleaner daily. If not, run it at least weekly or every other week.
  • You can also prevent yellow algae from growing by shocking your pool or adding algaecide on it weekly. Keep in mind that it is best to shock your pool at night.

If the algae won’t stop from coming back, consider draining your pool. Pressure washing or using acid can help eliminate all algae embedded in pool surfaces. Afterwards, clean your filter or change if necessary.

Final Words

Without a doubt, mustard algae are one of the most irritating and difficult issues most pool owners face since they resist chlorine. Nevertheless, there’s no need to lose hope. Just make sure to follow the steps and preventive tips we have here and your yellow algae problem will become a thing of the past.

(Devdiscourse’s journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)

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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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