Phosphates are a challenge and can be a nightmare in your swimming pool. Since they are something that you can’t see, as their levels increase in the swimming pool the water could turn green even though you have adequate to high amounts of sanitizer in the swimming pool. Phosphates (also denoted as PO4) are known nutrients to help increase plant growth rates such as in algae. However, there are several debates (and confusion) regarding phosphates in pool water. Simply put, phosphates are food for algae and when levels get out of control… so can your swimming pool. Now that we are in spring, vegetation is in bloom and the wind has picked up, phosphate levels will increase in your swimming pool. One way you can help is to make sure you skim out debris instead of letting it sit in the pool for days.

The biggest challenge with phosphates is in certain environments they are constantly being introduced into your swimming pool water. They can be found in vegetation, fill/tap water, lawn and garden fertilizers and potentially in other pool chemicals as well. With that said, phosphates can enter into your swimming pool in the following ways:

  • When water is added to the pool by either you or the automatic leveler
  • The wind blows dirt and vegetation into the pool, which is extremely common right now
  • Sprinkler fun off from your lawn or landscaping/dirt gets into your pool. This can also occur after heavy rains
  • Certain chemicals that contain phosphorous to help clean your pool

So, how do you remove phosphates from the pool?

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of things you can do to prevent phosphates from entering the pool but you can be diligent in having the levels checked several times a year. We would recommend doing this a couple of times during the spring time. You can also be pro-active in removing dirt, debris, and vegetation from the pool as soon as possible instead of allowing it to sit on the surface or bottom of the pool. Phosphate removers can also be extremely effective if used following the directions based on the size of your pool. Many people think more is better but this is definitely not the case with phosphate removers.  Remember, if you have algae growth in your swimming pool and you are reading adequate amounts of sanitizer, it usually indicates a phosphate problem.

Finally, phosphates can also be removed using our Reverse Osmosis (RO) Mobile Filtration Trailer. By using RO membranes we can lower calcium hardness, total dissolved solids (TDS), CYA, phosphates, waterborne diseases and so much more from your swimming pool. Not to mention we retain 85% of the water in your swimming pool. So remember, even though you maintain your swimming pool on a regular basis, phosphates can enter into the swimming pool causing algae to grow. We recommend testing regularly for phosphates especially if you’re in an area with heavy vegetation and being mindful to lower the levels especially if they climb above 500 parts per billion (ppb) to prevent possible growth.

If you have any other questions about phosphates or how we can help you, contact us today!