Dealing with a green algae infestation can be a real chore. If the pool chemistry is not right, algae can thrive, despite the addition of expensive shock and algaecide. Follow these steps to correct the pool chemistry and get rid of green algae.
How to Clean a Pool Infested with Algae
An algae infestation can be a big problem for pool owners. Once algae takes hold, it multiplies quickly, resulting in slimy green water and an unusable pool. Once it is established, you’ll need to be conscientious in cleaning and treating your pool until all the algae is gone and your pool water is sparkling clean. Follow these steps to get rid of green algae, then begin a regular pool cleaning and sanitation program to keep algae from returning.
Step 1. Adjust the pH
Turn on your pool pump and filtration system. Adjust your pool water pH to the 7.2 to 7.6 range. Adjusting the pH is an important first step because the sanitation chemicals work best in this range. A too high or too low pH will not allow the chemicals to do their job. You can use a pH test kit to get an initial reading, or you can take a bottle of water to your local pool supply store. Most will test it for free and tell you exactly which chemicals and how much to add for your pool size.
In most cases you will add muriatic acid if your pH is too high, or soda ash for low readings. You can also buy a commercial adjusting solution. Allow the water to circulate for a few hours and test it again. When the pH is in the desired 7.2 to 7.6 range you can move to the next step.
Step 2. Shock with Chlorine
Shock the pool with a chlorine-based shock product following the label directions. For heavy infestations, double the recommended dosage. Keep the pump and filter running.
Step 3. Clean and Vacuum the Pool
While the shock circulates, brush the pool walls and bottom to loosen the algae. Allow the shock to circulate for 12 hours and check the pool again. The algae should turn white or gray and fall to the bottom of the pool. If any green remains, repeat the pH adjustment, shock, and scrubbing until all green color is gone. Serious infestations may require multiple doses.
Once all the green color is gone, turn your pool pump to waste and vacuum up the debris on the bottom of the pool. Clean your pool filter.
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