Of the many different problems a swimming pool can develop over the course of its life, few are as frustratingly resilient as black algae. This simple plant organism can seemingly appear out of nowhere to taint your swimming pool and appear very unsightly. Sadly, removing black algae is actually very difficult, because unlike its green cousin black algae is resistant to chemicals and scrubbing doesn’t actually kill it, simply remove the bit you can see. There are however a few things that can be done, but it might help to understand what is actually happening to your pool a little bit more first.
Black algae growth
Black algae, as mentioned above, is a very simple type of plant. The organism can travel via spores in the air and it seeks a wet environment to grow in, such a your swimming pool. The black algae needs to find a small imperfection in the surface of the pool wall so it can start growing and this will result in the roots penetrating into the crack on the surface of the wall. Once it has established itself the algae will start to bloom, this is the large black head of the plant that you can see as black spots on your pool. Unfortunately, wiping the black off only removes the bloom, the roots are still inside your pool wall and will rapidly regrow.
Whilst black algae itself does not pose a risk to human health, you still should not swim in a pool infected with this organism. The black algae blooms can play host to all manner of other organisms that are far less benign and include many diseases such as e-coli, so it is best to keep your distance until the pool has been thoroughly treated.
There are a number of treatment options open to you if you have a black algae problem, the simplest is a chlorine tab which should kill the algae. This means that you have to scrub every inch of the pool after removing all of the black spots with the chlorine tab and this should prevent regrowth. If you have a bigger problem or are experiencing repeated regrowth regardless, then it may be because your pool walls are starting to break down. This can occur because they were of poor construction initially or simply due to age. The problem is that there is no real way to battle against this problem and you should call in a professional pool company such as Perth Pool Co. to get your pool relined.
As with many things, prevention is a far better strategy than treatment when dealing with black algae. Ensuring that your pool filters are cleaned and replaced regularly as well as keeping the pH balance of your pool water correct can go a long way to preventing black algae from taking hold in the first place. Of course there is nothing you can do in the long term to prevent pools from degrading with age, but if you do see signs of this, it is best to act sooner rather than later so that you get your pool back to its former glory as quickly as possible.