It’s springtime here in south Florida and the temperatures are starting to heat up. The rest of the country is starting to warm some, people are planting new flowers, and soon it will be swimming pool weather! This means it is time to take a look at our swimming pools. You are setting up for your BBQ at your house and friends are bringing over their swimsuits to take a dip. However, you notice the pool is green! What? Can you swim in a green pool? Well, it depends. If it is light green yes, but dark or black water, is a no and dangerous. Let’s take a look.
What Are The Types
Typically, you can see three variations of green in a swimming pool whose chemistry is not in alignment. Those colors are light green, dark green, and black-green, and they are associated with the levels and types of algae and bacteria that are thriving in your water.
- Light – typically arises in the early stages of chemical imbalance. It doesn’t take long for light algae to appear, however a simple cartridge clean, wall brushing, and chlorine boost can help reduce this problem.
- Dark – the darker the algae is getting, the longer it has been without the proper chemicals. This becomes very dangerous from a health and safety perspective. Also, it takes a lot more work to get rid of this algae. In some cases a special vacuuming must occur.
- Black – if your pool is this color, you will likely need to drain your pool water. Letting it get to this type of green is a very bad situation. Your local swimming pool technician will likely charge you a lot based on the labor and chemicals needed to fix this situation. This is the worst possible scenario for a pool.
Why Does It Turn Green
Swimming pools can turn green for various reasons. Chemical imbalance and pool equipment failure are typically the main reasons. Algae growth can occur in a pool due to a drop in chlorine, bromine, or other chemicals used to balance your pool water. Environmental factors such as rain, and surrounding shrubbery like leaves, pine-needles, and grass can begin the algae growth process in your pool.
Keep in mind that algae can be controlled with the proper amounts of acid, chlorine, and algaecides. However, cheap algaecides, incorrect acid levels and incorrect metal levels (copper or lead from nearby sprinklers) can lead to green water issues. The oxidation of metals from pool shock can also create a green pool.
The biggest proponent of a green algae pool is typically during high allergy season. That’s right, pollen! In the southern states we typically experience a huge pollen season and often times a yellow dusting shows up on our cars and the surface of our pool water. If the pool is not running properly to circulate this pollen dust out, you can likely end up with a small issue down the road.
What Might Happen To Me
Attempting to swim in a green pool is risky business. Although there are times when the algae have not completely taken over your pool and you are free to swim, however, it’s probably not the healthiest choice.
- Skin Problems – skin infections are common results of swimming in a green pool. The bacteria that is feasting on the green algae is what inevitably effects your skin. Other skin rashes have been known when your pH chemistry or chlorine levels are way off. It is best to consult a professional before swimming.
- Physical Injury – algae can cause some physical injury as it creates a slick surface on the vinyl liner or concrete walls of your pool. When you get out of the pool you could also slip on the pool deck and suffer severe injury. Your risk of drowning is increased as the slick surface makes it very difficult to stand up in a pool, even in the shallow end.
- Bacteria – when people swim, they can often do so with their mouths open. Swallowing bacteria as it relates to the green algae will cause immediate health issues. Most often, swimmers who ingest bacteria suffer from diarrhea, fever, nausea, eye infections, and other health related symptoms.
- Low visibility – cloudy or dark water limits the onlooker from noticing any struggling swimmer. Imagine a drowning accident has occurred and you cannot tell if your friend is still in the pool? Staying out of a cloudy or algae filled pool drastically reduces any drowning possibilities.
- Best Bet – have your pool maintained on a weekly basis by a professional swimming pool company. Proper chemistry and equipment upkeep is key to enjoying a pool for a very long time. This also protects you and your families health and safety.
Other Recommended Maintenance
After you are done solving your green pool water problem, go ahead and have your pool inspected. You won’t want to keep dumping chemicals into the pool. You could have other issues with your pool equipment. As you read above, there can be a few ways for your pool water to turn green. Take a preventative approach.
Walking around by the pool pump, you might notice it is leaking. This may be due to a seal breaking, there can be a problem with the pump housing or the drain plugs to name a few. Contact a pool technician to check it out for you if you aren’t able to find the problem.
Lastly, while you are getting your pool supplies from the garage, take a closer look at the door. If the garage door is having a hard time closing, make sure nothing is in the way of the door or blocking the sensors. Then, check the tracks and rollers. If you aren’t able to figure it out you may need to call a professional.
When Do I Call On A Professional
Anytime you are dealing with a swimming pool, you have two options. Take care of it yourself or hire a professional. Unfortunately, a lot of homeowners believe that they have the time and knowledge to maintain their own swimming pool. That is until something like green algae pops up!
If you are going to be a responsible pool owner, have your pool maintained by a professional. Hire your local home inspection team to come out and inspect the pool and pool equipment and or spa. They can provide you with the most reputable swimming pool maintenance professional in the area.
Don’t waste your money trying to troubleshoot your pool’s issues. The longer you wait to attack whatever problem arises, in this case, a green pool, the worse the pool chemistry can get. In this case, reach out to your local home inspection team. You may find out that the pool water chemistry is off due to equipment failures. Waypoint Property Inspection East will inspect your swimming pool system and recommend a professional pool service technician during your home inspection in South Florida and Boca Raton, FL.