Swimming pool that has grown mold.

Algae – What Is It?

Algae is a simple non-flowering plant of a large group that includes the seaweeds and many single-celled life forms. Algae contains chlorophyll but lack true steam, roots, leaves and vascular tissue.

There are three types of algae that like to form in your swimming pool:

  • Green Algae
  • Black Algae
  • Mustard / Yellow Algae

Green Algae

Green Algae can be many different shades of green from dark green, blue green, even a yellow green. Green algae is the most common type of swimming pool algae. It can float freely or cling to walls and steps. If green algae is left untreated it could clog and damage the filter as well as damage pool surfaces like pool plaster.

Black Algae

Black algae is a dark blue green color and they find their home in the cracks and crevices of pool surfaces. They have deep, strong roots and if their roots aren’t killed properly and fully they can easily come back. This type of algae is one of the most difficult to get rid of.

Mustard / Yellow Algae

Mustard or yellow algae, is yellow in color and is commonly mistaken as dirt or sand. It usually likes to cling to the wall and in the shady spots of the pool. Mustard algae can be difficult to get rid of because it is resistant to normal levels of chlorine.

Preventing algae from taking a hold of your swimming pool is simple enough. You just need to make sure you’re keeping up with your weekly pool services. On a weekly basis you should make sure your chemicals are properly balanced, you vacuum any dirt up, net out any leaves and scrub the walls with a pool brush. No one wants to swim in a pool where algae has started to grow. It can harbor harmful bacteria that can potentially make us sick. It takes time, work and effort to get rid of algae, so be sure to take care of your pools needs to prevent algae growth!

If you are looking for high-quality, efficient pool service and repair, look to us, Sahara Custom Pools. We provide quality and consistent pool maintenance and repair service! We have a large variety of services for your pool maintenance needs. Click HERE for more information.

Swimming Pool Water testing

Maintaining Your Pool Water

Keeping your pool crystal clear and swim ready is not as difficult a task as you may imagine, but keep this mind, once you have obtained crystal clear water, you have to maintain it. By following only a few simple rules, you can stop algae and other contaminants in their tracks!

Clean Your Pool

What should you do if your pool is invaded by pine needles, leaves, pollen or dirt? Your first option is an automatic pool cleaner. Some pool owners use their kids or their back to remove the debris while others turn to an automatic cleaners to get their pool clean.

Trust us when we say that an automatic pool cleaner can be a pool owners’ best friend. Cleaners come in two types: pressure side and suction side.

Pressure side cleaners usually have an opening of about 2.5 inches in diameter, which makes these automatic cleaners perfect for locations with lots of trees, pine needles and leaves. Using water pressure, these cleaners roll across the pool surface, picking up debris and force it into an attached bag. Some cleaners you may have seen have a tail that moves back and forth that stirs up small particles for the pool’s skimmer and / or a main drain to filter out.

Suction side cleaners connect to the skimmer or to a dedicated suction line. These cleaners use the suction of the filtration system to transfer sand, dirt and other debris into the pool’s skimmer. Some automatic cleaners include their own filter bags so leaves or other large items do not clog the skimmer.

Filter Your Pool Water

A pool filter plays a key role in keeping water circulating and prevent the growth of living organismis like algae. There are three types of pool filters – sand, DE (diatomaceous earth), and cartridge. Sand and DE filters require backwashing, while cartridge filter systems do not need backwashing—just the occasional spray from a hose. Sand and DE filters do require some disassembly to replace filter media or to clean the DE grids.

Test Your Pool Water

Once your pool is debris free, the water needs to be cleansed of impurities. The only way to know if the water is balanced is to test it on a regular basis. This is where testing systems come in with options such as test strips, digital test strips and wet chemistry kits.

Test strips are simple – just dip and compare the colors on a chart. Dip the strip for a specified number of seconds into the pool and then compare the colors given by the manufacture. A digital test strip reader goes a a bit further by displaying on a screen the water’s level of sanitizer (chlorine), pH and total alkalinity. For a more comprehesive test, you may want to look into a wet chemistry kit. By sampling the water and then adding chemical re-agents, you will see what you chemicals you need to add by the color change in the water sample. You can then compare, determine the correct levels and then choose a course of action of what chemicals you need to add.

Sanitize Your Pool

There are numerous products that keep water sanitized. Chlorine products are the most common because they are both effective and cost efficent. Chlorine also acts as an oxidizer or shock, meaning it eradicates organic material such as sweat, sunscreen and some cosmetics. Some homeowners choose to use a salt chlorine generator, which produces chlorine from salt. When using a salt chlorine generator, the water is smooth to the touch and prevents strong smelling chlorine odors.

Another option is bromine, which is gentle on skin and eyes, but burns off easily in sunlight. This makes bromine most suitable for spas because they are covered when not in use.

Safety for your Swimming pool

Pool Safety and Security Tips

With summer right around the corner, let’s talk about pool security and safety equipment available on today’s market.

Safety Covers

A high quality pool cover must meet all the standards of ASTM Pool-Safety-CoverInternational (American Society for Testing and Materials) in order to qualify as a swimming pool safety cover. One of the top standards is that the pool cover must support the weight of 485 pounds within a three-foot diameter.

Solid safety covers, which are typically made from vinyl, use an automatic pump to drain rainwater off the surface to prevent a drowning hazard. Tapered safety covers prevent water from pooling in the center and those with mesh panels permit water to drain through the cover. All swimming pool covers should be completely removed while using the pool so there’s no risk of a swimmer getting tangled or trapped beneath it.

Perimeter and Isolation Fences

Most cities require swimming pools to be installed in a fully fenced yard. While you are most likely to install a fence around your yard, the CDC notes that the only safety fence shown to be effective is a four-sided isolation fence with a self-closing, self-latching and child-proof gate. An isolation fence isolates the pool from the house and the rest of the yard on all sides of the swimming pool.

Pool-Isolation-FencesThe Consumer Product and Safety Commission recommends that a swimming pool fence be at least 48 inches high with openings no wider than four inches. To discourage children from climbing the fence, the fence should contain few horizontal bars and not be made of chain links.

Permanent isolation fences can be made of many materials: wood, metal, or wrought-iron and remain installed for a many years. Other isolation fences—made of plastic mesh or tightly woven material with poles that slide into multiple ground brackets placed around the pool. These types of fences are typically set up for the length of the pool season, then taken down and stored during the off season.

Pool Alarms

There are a wide variety of swimming pool alarm systems, including invisible fences and alarms for gates, doors and windows. For children, there are wearable alarms as well.

Invisible fences on today’s market use laser or infrared technology Pool-Alarm to detect when a child or an animal moves or emits body heat in a protected area. The “fence” is created by evenly spaced detectors that form a sensor beam when enabled. When the beam is broken, an alarm will sound. On many of these systems, you can adjust the height so ground-level activity will not trip the alarm.

Gate alarms attach to fence gates and utilize a magnetic connection that sounds an alarm when broken.

Other than gate alarms, you can consider installing in-pool alarms. Some alarms attach directly to the pool wall and others float on the water. Both utilize similar technology to warn homeowners when someone or something has entered the swimming pool. Most of these alarms detect motion in the water and are silenced after the user accesses the disarm button located in the control panel. The control panel must be opened with a key or code, making it hard to bypass.

For additional pool safety and security, consider adding alarms to your home windows and doors leading to the pool area.

Wearable Alarms

Wearable alarms attach to a child’s wrist or article of clothing and will sound an alarm if he/she becomes submersed in water or the alarm is taken too far from the main unit’s vicinity.

To provide a safe, fun environment for you and your family, always be sure to remain within an arm’s reach of children and use multiple forms of other safety devices for added protection.