This article explores a common question our pool maintenance service department gets asked regularly; “Why has my pool turned green/turquoise in color?”

Chances are if you are asking yourself this question, your pool is suffering from a large presence of algae.  Of course, without a technical diagnosis from your pool maintenance service provider, we can’t be 100% sure. However, from experience, we know this is likely to be the culprit of turning pool water green!

This article briefly explains what algae is and how it would be treated during a pool maintenance service.

What is algae?

If there is a large presence of algae in your swimming pool water then you might notice that the water turns a green/turquoise color.  Algae are photosynthetic organisms that take advantage of the sun, water, and carbon dioxide present in pools to produce their own food. They are incredibly fast-growing, with blooms often attaching themselves to any objects in their path- from floats to walls, floors, and steps. 

What causes algae in swimming pools?

Algae blooms can appear when a number of factors work against it to create optimal breeding grounds. Indicators of algae developing in your pool include;

  • Low chlorine levels
  • Exposure to high heat
  • Heavy rain 
  • Poor circulation

Is swimming in pool algae dangerous?

In general, mild pool algae isn’t harmful, however, most pool maintenance service providers will recommend not swimming in your pool. If the swimming pool has more severe algae then there is a greater risk of it becoming a breeding ground of harmful bacteria that feed directly on algae. These bacteria will definitely pose a health risk to anyone swimming in it and those who come into contact will likely develop anything from skin rashes to more serious bacterial infections of the eyes and ears.

How do you treat swimming pool algae?

If you find your pool has algae then its best to call for an immediate pool maintenance service. During the visit, your technician will assess the severity and decide on the best course of action. Typically a few steps will be taken. These include;

Shocking your pool – The most surefire and quickest way to rid your pool of algae is to shock it. Shocking your pool usually requires a concentrated form of chlorine like calcium hypochlorite or dichlor. Calcium hypochlorite is a granular chlorine oxidizer that adds chlorine and calcium to water. The more serious your pool algae problem, the more shock you’ll need. Typically Chlorine shock is the most effective way to get rid of green algae. However, an algaecide may become necessary if you’re fighting more chlorine-resistant algae, such as mustard algae or black algae. (If your curious about the different types of algae, we discuss this in another blog post on our site called “Is there more than one type of swimming pool algae?”) Remember, the pool algaecide should work with chlorine or other sanitizers – not as an alternative to them

Scrubbing and cleaning your pool – During your pool maintenance service to remove the algae, technicians will vigorously scrub any of the pool surfaces covered in algae, including the walls, floors and steps. They may apply algaecide (in addition to/instead of) then let the water circulate for 24 hours. They will return and scrub all the remaining dead algae off the pool again until it is completely clear.

Lastly – please bare in mind that there is always preventative care that can be done to stave off pool algae – During your pool maintenance service, if the technician believes you may be at higher risk for algae, they may well take preventative measures and recommend that you proactively use a  preventative algaecide to stave off future outbreaks. Our pool technician team here at Tortorella can help guide you through the process as needed. Contact us here to discuss any concerns you might have.