What To Do If You Get Black Algae in Your Pool

Black algae in your vinyl pool is a significant health hazard. You should know how to spot it, ban the use of the pool immediately, and take the necessary steps to get rid of it! Black algae can make your family, friends, and your pets sick by just swimming in water that is infected. But, the probability and the severity of illness is increased if you accidentally drink the infected water. Killing black algae is more difficult than killing other forms of algae because it isn’t technically algae–it is bacteria! If you think you may have black algae, it is a good idea to call experienced pool technicians at Prestige Pools to help you eliminate it.

What Is Black Algae?

Black algae are actually cyanbacteria and look like mold. When you see a group of tiny black dots or what appears to be big clumps of mold on the surfaces of your pool, you may have black algae. Black algae love porous surfaces like concrete, plaster, and gunite rather than the smooth surface of fiberglass and vinyl liners. When black algae begin forming, it develops specialized cells that affix deep into the pores of pool surfaces and it is difficult to kill. Chlorine alone won’t get deep enough into the pores of the pool.

How Does Black Algae Get in Your Pool?

Black algae can get into your pool by a carrier like a person, animal, or inanimate object. If someone in your pool has been in a natural body of water like a river, pond, lake, or the ocean and didn’t wash their swimwear afterward, then wore the swimwear into your pool, black algae can be transmitted into the pool. Or, if an innertube that was in the river or lake isn’t washed before it ends up in your pool, you can get black algae. Very seldom is black algae from airborne spores.

How Do You Kill Black Algae?

When black alga begins to attach itself to the pool surface, the propagating colony produces a waxy coat that prevents chlorine or algaecides from penetrating it. This makes it more difficult to eliminate than other common algae. You need to use an algaecide that contains a penetrating agent, which will get into the pores of the surface to cut through the waxy coat. These are the steps you should take to kill this menace:

1. Clean or Replace the Filter

You can backwash the pool filter or rinse the filter cartridge if there is only a small amount of algae. But, if the alga is plentiful, you will need either a filter cleaner or replace the filter.

2. Brush the Pool

You need to use a very stiff pool brush and scrub with as much “elbow grease” as you can muster. This breaks down the waxy protective layer of the algae.

3. Use Chlorine Tablets

Break a chlorine tablet and rub it directly onto the area with the algae. This gets to the roots and prevents it from coming back.

4. Shock Your Pool

Because the black algae are so difficult to kill, you need to use a much stronger dose of pool shock than normal. You can multiply the manufacturer’s recommended dose by four times. Some pool experts recommend using a calcium hypochlorite shock for killing black algae. It is a good idea to get advice from a specialist like Prestige Pools for suggestions on the amount of shock to use for your pool’s size.

5. Run the Pump

Running the pump disperses the shock in order to kill all the black algae. Run the pump for 24 hours. This will take the dead algae out, but unfortunately back into the filter.

6. Brush the Pool (Again)

While the chlorine level is high, during the 24 hours after the shock, brush the surfaces at least two more times. You can’t brush too much because this is what is getting the algae off the walls and floor.

7. Clean the Filter and Shock Again, If Necessary

By cleaning the filter a second time, you are removing the dying or already dead algae. This time, either backwashing or rinsing the filter should be sufficient, but continue to use a filter cleaner. If you still see remnants of black algae, shock the pool again. This time use a double dose of shock.

8. Brush the Pool Another Time (Or Two)

We can’t stress enough the importance of brushing the pool surfaces several times throughout this entire process. It is the only way to eliminate all of the bacteria. Black algae are more difficult to remove than any other type of algae, mold, or bacteria. So, brush, brush, and brush again like there is no tomorrow!

9. Test and Balance the Pool Water

Be sure to test and balance the water in the pool so you can keep the appropriate chemistry and prevent future outbreaks of black algae.

Contact Us To Get Rid of Black Algae!

As you can tell from this article, having black algae in your pool is not something to mess around with! Getting help from our experts at Prestige Pools can save you a lot of time and worry. Let us take care of the problem and give you peace of mind for the health of your family, friends, and pets. Call us at 919-779-1033 or contact us through our easy-to-use form below.