The 3 different types of algae that could be a menace in your swimming pool

It’s unquestionably one of the swimming pool dilemmas that most of us least want to have; lifting off our pool cover with a quick, relaxing dip in mind, only to instead be confronted by our previously crystal-clear pool water having turned green. 

This is a classic sign of algae having proliferated in a swimming pool. But what are the different forms of algae that could cause peril to your own pool, and what steps can you take to prevent and combat the growth of this notorious plant life?  

First things first… what is algae? 

‘Algae’ is quite a broad term, so they can be tricky to define in a sentence. All you really need to know is that the word covers an extremely broad range of aquatic plant life that can very easily grow in a swimming pool if the conditions are right. 

Oh, and it also helps to know that there are literally thousands of recognised varieties of algae. Nonetheless, it is the below three types that you generally need to be alert to when it comes to your swimming pool: 

  • Green algae, which is the most common form of algae that affects pools. As you might expect, this is the type of algae associated with the aforementioned green and potentially cloudy hue that can arise in pool water seemingly out of nowhere. In fact, slippery green algae can sometimes grow rapidly enough to fill an entire pool in just a few days. Thankfully, though, green algae are also the easiest to remove, with the shock chlorine that all responsible pool owners should have ready at any time. 
  • Yellow algae, meanwhile, is also sometimes referred to as mustard algae, and – while it’s much less common than green algae – it can unfortunately be much tougher to entirely banish from your pool. So, you’re likely to need to put in more of the classic ‘elbow grease’ – both shocking and brushing – to effectively remove it. Keep your eyes particularly peeled for this form of algae, as it can be tricky to even spot at first, often languishing in shaded, easily forgotten areas such as the underside of inflatables. As the name suggests, mustard algae have a lime yellow-green hue, and can slightly resemble pollen or sand. 
  • As for black algae, well, this is the real ‘baddie’. Although this rough-to-the-touch algae grows slowly, and you might only initially spot it in the form of spots at the bottom of your pool, it can be extremely difficult to completely remove. This resilience is partly due to its strong roots that dig into concrete surfaces, as well as the tough ‘head’ that effectively protects the organism underneath and is highly chemical-resistant. As you might imagine, it can be a long, difficult and complex job to remove black algae from a pool, with this process often being best left to the experts. 

So, what can you do to destroy these algae – and ward off future growth? 

Naturally, as the above descriptions of the different varieties of algae make clear, the type of algae you have will largely dictate what you do to remove it from your pool. As mentioned above, adding shock chlorine to your pool is a good go-to treatment if algae are present in your pool already. Such steps as literally brushing algae off the walls of your pool, and then thoroughly vacuuming the pool surface, will further help banish the algae altogether. 

So, what role do pool algaecides – like those you’ll find in stock in our online store at Pool Warehouse – play in this? Unlike what their name may suggest to you, these liquid treatments are used more for preventing future algae growth than ridding a pool of existing algae. 

Our own pool algaecides, then, can be a key weapon in your fight against algae reappearing in your pool water, alongside other measures like ensuring your pool filter is operating well and the pool water chemistry is nicely balanced. 

For a more detailed summary of how you can give yourself consistently clear, safe and healthy pool water, simply consult this swimming pool water chemistry guide today. It will help you make the most informed decisions when you next shop for the crucial chemicals and equipment you will require for the responsible maintenance of your pool. 

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