By: Kurt Bednarcyk 6.7.17
It’s a bit of a dark cloud in our industry, but at some point in your tenure as a pool owner, you’ll likely have to deal with algae. Algae spores can enter your water through wind, dirt, fertilizer, animals, and even on a swimmer’s body or bathing suit. A sudden increase in warm weather like we’re seemingly (finally!) about to experience is an accommodating environment for spores to develop into unappealing blooms, so even more reason to discuss these top 5 tips for algae prevention.
1.) Ensure circulation system is running properly.
Keeping the water moving is probably the most important step in preventing algae. Running the pool pump more often as well as keeping the flow unrestricted – e.g. regularly checking and emptying the pump strainer and skimmer baskets; backwashing or cleaning filter cartridges – should be at the top of the priority list.
2.) Keep chemicals within desired range and shock regularly.
Chlorine is the big one here. Regularly check and maintain a level of 2.0-4.0 ppm. “Shocking” the pool by adding a few cups of liquid or granular chlorine each week will help keep the water growth-free.
For quick reference, here are appropriate ranges for the other common pool chemistry tests:
pH – 7.4-7.6
Alkalinity – 100-150ppm
Calcium hardness – 200-275ppm
*** As always, we are offering FREE water testing and chemical recommendations at our retail store: 7244 Pittsford-Palmyra Rd. in Fairport.
Brush the entire surface of the pool at least once a week, paying especially close attention to corners and steps/benches. Vacuuming a few hours later will also help eliminate any spores that may settle to the bottom.
If you’ve experienced algae in the past or have a lot of shade over your pool, we recommend using a multipurpose “quat” algaecide a few times per month during the warmer weather.
5.) Eliminate phosphates
Phosphates can enter through debris and swimmer sweat/oils and are, unfortunately, great nourishment for algae. One ounce per 2000 gallons added to the skimmer each week will help starve the young spores.
And there you have it; 5 steps to avoid the algae headache this summer. The takeaway is to keep to a preventative maintenance schedule – keeping the pool clean and chemicals balanced – and you should have zero algae a bunch of happy swimmers!