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What’s Causing Your Pool Water to Change Colors?

Woman relaxing in hot tub

Performing a water test is an important first step to understanding what your pool water requires to be ready for swimming. Testing for the key parameters will help to ensure that your maintenance tasks will be fewer and more effective in minimizing time-consuming treatments in the future.

If you would like assistance in testing your pool and/or spa water bring a water sample into our store for free analysis and we can help you to customize a personal pool care program and provide you with instructions on water care that are specific to your pool water and your particular water source.

Cloudy Water

Cloudy water can be caused by the introduction of suspended particles that may be invisible to the naked eye. These impurities are introduced to the water from a number of environmental sources and also from bathers and your source water. Particles can strengthen and increase and cause water to cloud due to improper water balance, low sanitizer levels and/or lack of routine oxidation, poor filtration or inadequate water circulation.

To prevent cloudy water it is necessary to either backwash the sand filter frequently or clean cartridge filters frequently, replace filter media as directed, run the pump 10-12 hours per day, maintain proper water chemistry, oxidize pool weekly to destroy contaminants and shock weekly to destroy contaminants such as perspiration, suntan lotions, hair products, body oils, pet dander and cosmetics.

Eye/Skin Irritation

Eyes and skin can become irritated after spending time in the pool for various reasons. Out of balance pool parameters, specifically pH, can cause eye and skin irritation in swimmers. A build-up of contaminants in pool water can also create chloramines (a strong chlorine smell) and will contribute to eye/skin irritation. Test water to determine current chemistry conditions and add appropriate chemicals to balance, oxidize contaminants and enhance filtration. Keep pool water balanced according to suggested parameters.

Yellow Mustard Algae

Mustard algae is a chlorine-resistant form of algae that can resemble dirt or sand on the bottom or sides of your pool. It contains compounds that act as a defense mechanism against the oxidation effects of sanitizers, helping it survive even in highly chlorinated conditions. This factor can even create a large chlorine demand in certain situations. Mustard algae will brush away easily but returns quickly.

Green Algae

Common “green” algae are microscopic, aquatic plant-like organisms that can float in the water or cling to the pool walls. Algae grows in salt or fresh water and thrives in temperatures above 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Algae can “bloom” overnight and can enter your pool via rain, wind, animals, toys or swimsuits and if left unchecked, can clog filters and create surface damage.

Black Algae

Black algae are single-celled organisms that grow in large colonies.  They contain chlorophyll like other algae, but they also contain compounds that hide the green color.  It forms in cracksand crevices on pool surfaces (especially plaster) and can grow somewhat protected from the surrounding environment due to the formation of a protective layer on the outside of the cell.This makes black algae more difficult to treat and is somewhat resistant to normal chemical levels.  Brushing is extremely important when treating black algae because that protective layer has to be broken in order for the sanitizer or algicide to come in contact with the cells.

BioGuard’s five steps to prevent algae growth:

  1. Maintain a sanitizer residual of 1-3 ppm.

  2. Do an initial and weekly application of a preventative algicide.

  3. Shock routinely.

  4. Make sure there is adequate circulation and filtration.

  5. Brushing is vital.

 

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