Green pool before cleaning

As soon as the temperatures begin to warm up so does the increase in the number of green pool related problems. Please keep in mind that green pools are a direct result of lack of sanitation, poor chemistry and/or poor circulation! Many swimming pool owners will tell you that their pool water is “dead” or “done” and that it needs to be drained. We will be the first to tell you that when calcium hardness, total dissolved solids, and cyanuric acid levels get high, it’s time to change out your water BUT this doesn’t cause a swimming pool to turn green. Depending on how long it has been green for will determine what actions steps need to be taken as well as what type interior finish you have.

Typically, during the cooler weather months you can get away with shorter filter run times and less chlorine (about 1 part per million) but when the water warms up those filter times must increase along with the chlorine levels too (minimum 3 parts per million)! So, if your swimming pool is green we recommend the following….

  • Running the filter all day and night until the water is clear (typically sand filters will take the longest to clear up a green pool and DE filters will be the quickest)
  • Dumping 2-3 gallons of chlorine in the swimming pool each day until the water is clear
  • If you have a sand filter, check the sand for clumps or aging
  • Make sure the grids of a DE or cartridge filter are clean and filtering properly. You might need to do several DE changes and cartridge filters might need to be hosed off.
  • Brushing the sides, steps and benches of the swimming pool to loosen up the algae should occur a couple times a day if possible
  • If the algae have been in the water for a long time, staining of your interior finish might occur and draining the swimming pool should be the next step.

If staining has occurred to the liner and a drain is necessary, please keep in mind that depending on the age of the liner (typically plaster) an acid wash might not be able to be performed. Depending on the circumstances having a certified professional to access an acid or chlorine bath to remove stains is highly recommended.

Same pool after drain and cleaning

One other issue to keep in mind that can be troubling for swimming pool owners is phosphates. They are an issue because pool stores will always test for them and sell you chemicals to get rid of them. They are always brought up when you have either green or cloudy water. The truth is, you are always going to have phosphates in your pool water! They get introduced to your pool water in several ways, including:

  • Tap (Fill) water
  • Vegetation (leaves and dirt)
  • Lotions and hair products
  • Certain pool chemicals

They are pretty hard to avoid, and they are considered to be “food for algae.” As long as you have good levels of chlorine, you should save your money and not purchase phosphate removers. Test your water, make sure your chlorine level is high and monitor your pH as algae will cause it to rise. Remember, pH levels don’t cause algae…. poor circulation, lack of circulation and/or lack of chlorine will do it every time!

At Clark County Pool & Lawn we can help you with all of these issues. Please contact us today if you’re having issues with maintaining a clear and swimmable pool.