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As soon as the temperatures begin to warm up so does the increase in the number of green pool related problems. Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve noticed that there has been an issue with homeowners pools turning green so we thought it would be a great time to discuss why this happens, what you can do to help and how to prevent it in the future. The bottom line is, green pools are a direct result of lack of chlorine and/or poor circulation! Many swimming pool owners will tell you that their pool water is “dead” or “done” and that it needs to be drained. We will be the first to tell you that when calcium hardness, total dissolved solids, and cyanuric acid levels get high, it’s time to change out your water BUT this doesn’t cause a swimming pool to turn green.

Typically, during the winter months you can get away with shorter filter run times and less chlorine (about 1 part per million) but when the water warms up those filter times must increase along with the chlorine levels too! So, if your swimming pool is green we recommend the following….

  • Running the filter all day and night until the water is clear
  • Dumping 2-3 gallons of chlorine in the swimming pool each day until the water is clear
  • If you have a sand filter, check the sand for clumps or aging
  • Make sure the grids of a DE or cartridge filter are clean and filtering properly
  • Brushing the sides, steps and benches of the swimming pool to loosen up the algae

One other issue to keep in mind that can be troubling for swimming pool owners is phosphates. They are an issue because pool stores will always test for them and sell you chemicals to get rid of them. They are always brought up when you have either green or cloudy water. The truth is, you are always going to have phosphates in your pool water! They get introduced to your pool water in several ways, including:

  • Tap (Fill) water
  • Vegetation (leaves and dirt)
  • Lotions and hair products
  • Certain pool chemicals

They are pretty hard to avoid, and they are considered to be “food for algae.” As long as you have good levels of chlorine, you should save your money and not purchase phosphate removers. Test your water, make sure your chlorine level is high and monitor your pH as algae will cause it to rise. Remember, pH levels don’t cause algae…. poor circulation, lack of circulation and/or lack of chlorine will do it every time!