The Importance of Keeping Your Pool Clear of Pool Algae

by | Mar 4, 2016 | Swimming Pools

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Summer is a time for kids playing in the pool, pool parties, and keeping cool. But the truth is that backyard pools require quite a lot of cleaning and maintenance. One of the major issues that pool owners face is the formation of unsightly pool algae.

Though there are a number of species of algae, most pool owners are familiar with the common green algae. This forms as a result of airborne spores landing in the pool and subsequently growing and colonizing the pool. Spores are all around us. They are inert until the find favorable conditions for growth and reproduction. It is at this point that the algae can become a nuisance.

The Health Problems Associated With Algae in Pools

Pool algae is not particularly harmful itself. Whilst it is unsightly and can leave a slimy residue on clothes and skin that needs to be washed off with soap and water, it is not toxic unless there is a rare strain growing. The major issue with algal growth is that fact that it can clog up filters and provide a haven for the growth of more harmful bacteria. This bacteria can cause ear, nose and throat infections due to the ingestion of E. coli bacteria. This common and particularly harmful bacteria likes to grow in an oxygen-rich environment. The growth of pool algae feeds more oxygen into the water and promotes the growth and spread of bacteria like E. coli.

The algae will also eat up any free chlorine in the pool, so other bacteria cannot be effectively controlled. All it takes is for some harmful bacteria to wash off from our skin and we could have a real problem in our pool!

Not as immediately disturbing, but still dangerous, is the fact that an overgrowth of algae can cause surfaces, including cement, pool steps, and other surfaces around the pool to become very slippery. It is possible for people to slide and fall on these surfaces, causing serious injury or worse. Not only this, but algal growth can interfere with rescue operations should a swimmer be in distress. The algal growth cuts down vision and makes rescue more difficult.

Controlling Algae in Pools

It’s important for the above reasons to maintain the health of your pool and control the growth and spread of algae. Many swimming pools use a simple filtration system and chlorine to kill off any bacteria or algae, but it is now possible to actually buy special ionizing systems that kill off bacteria and algae without the extensive use of chlorine. This is certainly preferable to the potential hazards of bacterial growth and eye and skin irritation due to chlorine, which is itself an extremely toxic substance and should be handled with great care.

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