Algae is the most common pool water problem only because it is the most visibly obvious one. Algae in itself is not dangerous — in fact, it is the main ingredient in many health supplements and tablets. Algae brings danger in that it converts sunlight into food, releasing wastes that become the feeding grounds for unwanted and harmful bacteria and other micro-organisms.
There are well over 20,000 species of algae, only a few of which are encountered in swimming pool water. Algae is almost constantly entering the pool, and as soon as the sanitizer level drops too low, the algae begins to take hold and multiply. It takes as little as a few hours on a warm sunny day for your sparkling pool to develop an algae problem. The algae "spores" found in the air are from algae that have dried out (at a nearby stream, from a neighbor's pool, etc.) and become airborne with the breeze.
Algae in swimming pools is often referred to by its color:
Maintaining proper water balance and minimum sanitizer levels will ensure that any algae spores entering the pool water cannot take hold. Most pools use chlorine, which should be kept at a minimum level of 1.0ppm. Using a mineral system may allow you to keep the free chlorine level at 0.5ppm or lower without the risk of developing an algae problem.
Once algae has been allowed to bloom, it is quite tiresome to destroy. The common steps to get rid of an algae problem are:
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