Algae: The Stuff of Every Pool Service Professional’s Nightmares

Pool Service and Preventing Algae Formation

For a lower level organism algae has the ability to be on the mind of every pool service professional constantly and even creep into their dreams at night.  Algae are one-celled plants which come in several thousand varieties, and they readily populate any body of water including pools and spas. Preventing this is a major focus for all pool service and spa maintenance professionals.

Carried by the wind in the millions or even introduced into a pool or spa by the source water, algae are most commonly grouped by color into three groups: green, black, and yellow.  Green algae are by far the most common, and green is the color most people associate with algae. Thankfully for pool service and spa maintenance technicians green algae is the easiest to control.  Black and yellow algae are harder to control, and they tend to form on the surfaces of the pool and spa walls in areas of poor circulation. Oftentimes your pool or spa technician will require specifically formulated algaecides to control black or yellow algae.

Environmental Factors and Pool Service and Spa Maintenance

The environmental conditions are key to support algae growth.  The additional light and warmer weather of summer both create optimal conditions for algae growth.  That’s why during the summer month’s your pool maintenance professional or spa service will spend a lot of time and use a lot of sanitizer trying to prevent the growth of algae in your pool or spa.  Additionally all the nutrients that algae needs to grow are commonly present in your pool or spa. Water naturally contains hydrogen and oxygen (H2O) and elements like carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous constantly get into your pool or spa from the outside environment.

pool service algae

Fighting algae formation is a big part of pool service and spa maintenance.

Most people don’t realize it but wind is one of the pool service technician’s biggest problems.  Wind carries with it all kinds of organic material that end up in your pool and even in your spa when it is uncovered.  This obviously includes leaves and other plant life, but it also includes dust, bird droppings, fertilizers, and dead insects.  All of these contain nitrogen and phosphorous which are like super-food for algae and enable it to bloom in your pool or spa. Algae can even digest phosphorous and store it in their body to be consumed at a later date.  

In most cases algae by itself is not harmful to swimmers or people using your pool or spa.  Algae does pose a slip hazard, however, if it is present on wet decks. It can also cloud the water making it unsafe if it is difficult to see the bottom.  For public pools, it is the pool operator’s responsibility to shut down the pool if the bottom of the pool can not be seen because a drowning victim could have sunk to the bottom.  Algae can harbor bacteria which can be harmful to people. So it is imperative that your pool service or spa cleaning professional keep your water free of algae and maintain sparkling clear water.

Fighting Algae with Proper Pool Service and Spa Maintenance

To fight the green, black, or even yellow menace your pool service or spa maintenance technician will use a variety of methods.  Ensuring sufficient circulation and filtration is a good start and something your service technician can control. So setting your filter pump up for the right amount of run time is critical.  Brushing the pool or spa walls regularly is also something your pool service and spa maintenance professional should do. This prevents the formation of algae. They can also ensure the proper levels of sanitizer are maintained on an ongoing basis and implement routine super chlorination and the use of algaecide on a maintenance basis.

For a simple one celled organism, algae can create quite a complex problem for your pool service or spa maintenance professional to eliminate.  That is why preventative measures are critical to implement on an ongoing basis. Because it is far easier for your pool or spa technician to prevent algae than remove it.