If you are beginning to notice a pink or light red growth developing on the liner of your pool, you are most likely dealing with pink algae. If you have ever had the misfortune of touching it then you know how slimy it is. Many pool owners wonder what this mysterious growth is and how to get rid of it.
In reality, pink algae is not an algae at all. It’s a type of bacteria that forms in bodies of water that don’t receive a lot of direct sunlight. The bacteria forms a slimy protective layer over it, hence the gooey texture. If you are seeing this in your pool, you probably have a lot of questions about it.
Chief among them is probably, how to get rid of pink algae in pool? Read on to find out the answer to this and other important questions regarding this invasive bacteria.
Is it Safe?
One of the first questions you will have is, “is it safe to swim in pool with pink algae?” This is a valid question especially if you have kids who like to swim. The short answer is yes, swimming in a pool where this bacteria is present will not adversely affect your health or that of your kids.
This type of bacteria is non-pathogenic which means it doesn’t pose any health risk. The long answer is no, swimming in a pool with this type of growth is not safe because it presents a slipping hazard. Pink algae will develop a slimy residue over the surface of your pool liner and fixtures.
This creates a slippery surface that may be dangerous to traverse when the water level is low or if the pool is empty. So while pink algae may not harm your health, it is still important to get rid of it as soon as possible.
What Causes Pink Algae
The best way to get rid of pink algae is to keep it from ever growing in your pool. To do that, you have to know what causes it. This type of bacterial growth can be caused by a number of things including:
- Poor Water Circulation – Algae and bacteria form more readily in stagnant or near-stagnant water. If your pool’s pump isn’t generating enough circulation, bacteria and algae may begin to form.
- Lack of Sunlight – Lack of direct sunlight is also a factor. If your pool or sections of it aren’t getting at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, the risk for bacterial growth is increased.
- Rainwater – If you don’t cover your pool when it rains, the imbalance of chemistry from the rainwater may make congenial conditions for this type of growth.
What to do if you Have Pink Algae
While pink algae may be a nuisance, the good news is that there are multiple ways to prevent and get rid of it. Here are a few tips for getting rid of pink algae:
- Spot it Early – If you are noticing pink slime in swimming pool, you may be able to clean it off with a brush if you spot it early enough. Using a simple pool brush to scrub it away and then shocking your pool may be enough to keep it from getting any worse.
- Kill It – Sometimes, you may not catch it in its early stages. You may have to use an algaecide. Luckily they make algaecides that are specific to pink algae. One such product is called Pink Treat Algaecide. You can find it at your local pool supply store and buy it online.
- Shocking and Filtration – Shocking your pool alone may get rid of the pink algae. Sometimes you will have to shock your pool after you use an algaecide or after you brush the slime away. In any case, after you shock your pool it is a good idea to run the filter for about 24 hours. This will help circulate chemicals so any bacterial remnants are killed.
- If the Pool is Drained – If you have opted to drain your pool, you can treat algae growth a couple of different ways. Many people ask “what kills pink slime in pool?” and the answer is a few things. You can scrib it away with warm water and vinegar. Any cleanser with chlorine or bleach should also work.
The best way to handle pink algae is to maintain your pool zealously. Test your chemicals on a regular basis, empty your skimmer baskets and make sure that your pump is circulating water properly.
In the winter it may be tempting to keep your pool cover on 24/7.But every once in a while you should take the cover off on a sunny day to let the sun oxidize bacteria. Stay vigilant and of course, happy swimming!