Swimming in Odd-Colored Water

If everything was fun and games with owning a pool, it would be perfect. Alas, there are a lot of responsibilities that fall upon the shoulders of a pool owner, responsibilities which you cannot evade if you care for your health as swimming in dirty, unsafe water does have repercussions. One of the issues which might arise as a result of poor pool maintenance or because of diverse environmental factors is odd-colored pool water. In this article, we will take an in-depth look at what causes the water in your pool to turn into a certain color, and how your health will be affected if you do not tend to the issue as it emerges.

What Issues You Might Encounter

There are five different types of pool water discolorations you might be confronted with at one point or another – blue water, green water, yellow water, orange water, or black water. Each of these odd colors indicates an unsanitary environment has been formed, so your first reaction should be to tend to fix the issue and leave swimming and relaxing in the pool for another time when everything returns back to normal.

Why Is the Pool Oddly Colored? – Causes of Algae Formation

Now that you know what are the odd colors you might encounter, let’s find out what exactly causes them. Know right from the start that algae formation is the root of all problems, but check out the following lines to learn more about each type of situation:

  • Green or Blue Water

    Obviously, green algae cause the water to turn green, and blue algae cause it to turn blue. Regardless if the pool is blue or green, the causes for the odd color and the apparition of the algae is easy to find – poor chlorination and water filtration. Fortunately, it is easy to get rid of these two types of algae as all that you have to do is eliminate the algae with a robotic vacuum or skimmer, brush off the algae on the walls and the steps of the pool, and use liquid chlorine to shock the pool.

  • Yellow or Orange Water

    If the water inside the swimming pool is yellow or orange, you are definitely dealing with mustard or yellow algae. The texture of the algae is sticky, so it gets on the walls of the pool easily. It arises in pools where the walls do not receive enough sunlight. Unfortunately, it is chlorine-resistant, so it is not easy to get rid of. What you have to do is deeply shock the pool and any affected equipment, using a huge dose of chlorine or algaecide.

  • Black Water

    Although black algae which cause the pool to get filled with black stuff is not a common and likely encounter, you could still be a victim of this issue. Woefully, the defense mechanism of black algae is impressive, to say the least, its deep roots making it the toughest to get rid of. When the black stains appear on the pool walls, what you should do is thoroughly brush the walls and steps of the pool, vacuum it in its entirety, and super chlorinate the water. If necessary, repeat the procedure before entering the pool.

How Your Health Is Affected by This Water Quality Issue

Regardless of the type of algae agent you are dealing with, whether it is black, blue, green, mustard, or yellow, one thing is for sure – swimming in the pool at this point puts your health in great danger. First of all, you can get a nasty skin or eye infection which will require treatment from the doctor. Obviously, if you end up ingesting the water, you can fall victim to more serious health issues – if there are black algae in the pool and it has harbored E. coli, the organism will cause immediate illness. One aspect you might not have taken into consideration is the fact that the steps become slippery when algae deposits on them. Thus, you are at risk of severely hurting yourself or even drowning. What you must take away from this is the fact that odd-colored pool water is no laughing matter, and you should tend to fix the issue rather than use the pool while the water still looks this way.

Useful Tips to Prevent Algae from Reappearing

Obviously, pool owner negligence is the main reason why the algae grow. Thus, you must be more disciplined when it comes to how you handle pool maintenance. In this section of the article, we will walk you through the procedures you must tend to in order to prevent the algae which cause odd pool water color from reappearing.

  • Clean the pool regularly: No matter if you take the skimmer and a brush and tend to clean the pool on your own, or you let a robot pool cleaning device tend to this chore, it is essential to clean the pool about 2 times per week if you are using it on a daily basis. As you are swimming in it, oils and dirt are left behind, and contamination could occur due to exterior environmental factors as well. Thus, the water is bound to require a thorough cleaning session on a regular basis.
  • Make sure chlorine levels are optimal: Free chlorine is the agent which keeps bacteria at bay, so you have to make sure that the free chlorine level is kept at approximately 3 ppm for the environment to be 100% healthy to swim in.
  • Preserve water pH balance: The pH level of the water should be kept between 7.4 and 7.8 at all times, your goal being to preserve it at 7.6. To control the pH and make sure the water inside the pool is safe to swim in, test the pH level once per week and add a muriatic if the pH is low or soda ash if the pH is too high.
  • Check the filtration system: The pool filtration system plays one of the most important roles when it comes to preserving the water clean. Therefore, you must remind yourself to regularly check that the filtration system is working properly, or dirty, stagnant water will become an issue and algae will appear.

Frequently Asked Questions

1 What causes black algae in a swimming pool?
To get rid of black algae is quite difficult as it has a defense mechanism that will make it quite hard to remove. You cannot get rid of it with a small amount of chlorine. You just need to brush, vacuum and chlorinate very hard your pool.

2 What is the recommended level of chlorine in a pool?
The chlorine level should always be below 0.5 ppm or at 0.0 ppm.

3 What is the recommended pH level?
The correct pH level in a swimming pool should always be between 7.4 and 7.8.

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