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How Does Pool Algae Affect my Swimming Pool?

pool algae, pool maintenance

Pool algae is a common pool maintenance concern for homeowners. No one wants an ugly, dirty, green swimming pool – or the bacteria that comes with it.

Read on to learn how pool algae and phosphates affect your swimming pool and how to fight back.

pool algae, pool maintenance

What is algae?

Algae is a living thing – an aquatic plant that conducts photosynthesis with chlorophyll. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.

Algae includes seaweeds like kelp, pond scum, and algae blooms you typically see in lakes.


Photosynthesis – The process by which plants convert sunlight into nutrients from carbon dioxide and water.


Where does algae come from?

pool algae, pool maintenance

Algae is actually always entering your pool in some way or another, often brought in from wind, rain, or contaminated surfaces like dirty equipment or even swimsuits. Hence, you can’t completely destroy all algae in your pool. It’s even present in clean, blue pools – in tiny microscopic quantities.

It’s when algae multiplies and grows that it leads to swimming pool problems. And that opportunity appears when the chlorine level drops, the pH rises, or your filter or pump aren’t operating correctly.

Like other organisms, algae needs food to survive. Any contaminant, dust, or debris in your pool is perfect nourishment for algae.

Algae bloom can occur in a few hours if certain conditions are met, such as:

  • Unbalanced water
  • Hot, sunny days
  • Presence of nitrates, phosphates, or carbon dioxide

The most common cause of algae is improper pool maintenance or neglect.


The most common cause of algae issues is not taking care of your pool properly. A pool filled with algae is often due to poor circulation, filtration, and sanitation practices.

How does algae affect my swimming pool?

Algae overgrowth in a pool can cause a variety of problems, including:

  • Ugly green tint to water
  • Cloudy water
  • Reduces depth perception
  • Harbors dangerous bacteria like E-coli
  • Damages pool plaster and tile
  • Degrades and stains pool surfaces
  • Clogs up sanitation pathways
  • Clogs your pool filter
  • Dirty pool environment due to chlorine consumption
  • Raises pH

Once an algae bloom happens, it becomes easier for future algae blooms to occur.


Pool algae eats up the chlorine in your pool, the same chlorine that should be fighting harmful bacteria. As it expels carbon dioxide, the pH levels in your pool increase.

Overall, algae creates more pool maintenance work for a homeowner and can be frustrating to deal with.

pool algae, pool maintenance

Is it safe to swim in a pool with algae?

Most people won’t want to swim in pool algae, but is it unsafe?

Before you dive in, take these points into consideration:

Pools Aren’t Lakes

While it may be okay to swim in a green lake, a swimming pool is a totally different environment. Pools are closed systems, meaning they are not continuously diluted rather than with the occasional refill or rain water.

Lakes have balanced ecosystems within them along with plants that help clean the water of toxins and bacteria. Your pool has chlorine, but with algae eating up the chlorine, that safety net is heavily decreased, leaving you at risk for contact with harmful bacteria.

Where Algae Goes, Bacteria Follows

If there is not enough chlorine to kill the algae, there’s definitely not enough chlorine to kill viruses, parasites, and bacteria in your pool that could make you sick. These can enter a swimmer’s body through the nose, ears, eyes, throat, or even a small cut on the body. Swimming in an algae-infested pool could lead to:

  • Ear infection
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Skin itching and irritation
  • Eye, nose, and throat irritation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

Swimming in pool algae can put your health at risk.


How can I prevent pool algae from hurting my pool?

The best way to prevent algae blooms from hurting your pool is proper pool maintenance.

You want to avoid high pH levels and low chlorine levels. If you use cyanuric acid to protect your pool from the sun, know that it also suppresses chlorine activity. This gives algae even more opportunity to bloom and get out of control.

pool algae, pool maintenance

Keep your pool clean. Regular brushing and cleaning is key to a healthy swimming pool. It prevents dirt and other bacteria from hiding in the pores of your pool plaster and getting worse.

Keep your pool pump and filtration system in tip-top shape. Most pool filters should run for about 12 hours a day in the summer and 10 hours in the winter. It is absolutely crucial to run the pump during the hottest, sunniest time of the day so that you are circulating, filtering, and chlorinating when algae is most actively reproducing.

How do I kill algae once it’s in my pool?

So the algae has already attacked your pool and you’re panicking. Thankfully, there are ways to fight back.

  1. Balance your water
  2. Check your filter and pump
  3. Shut off the pool heater (if you own one)
  4. Adjust valves for optimal circulation
  5. Run the pump until the pool clears
  6. Turn on your pool cleaner
  7. Brush daily and vacuum as needed

Getting algae out of your pool once it has bloomed can be challenging and adds a lot of extra work to regular pool maintenance. You don’t want your pool to suffer or fall by the wayside, so if pool maintenance is taking too much time or stressing you out, call the experts.

We can take care of everything for you and keep your pool looking great, running efficiently, and best of all – algae-free.

Get a Free Pool Maintenance Quote from Manning Pool Service Today!

Ready to take the work out of keeping your pool clean and in great shape? Call Manning Pool Service. We can handle everything from A to Z, and keep your pool running efficiently and looking beautiful year-round.

Simply call us at 713-255-8325 or click the button below to get your free quote today!

pool algae, pool maintenance

How Does Pool Algae Affect my Swimming Pool? | Manning Pool Service – Houston, TX



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