How to Prevent Algae at Spring Pool Opening

A warm or unseasonably mild winter is good for some things, but not for others.

Lower heating costs. Lower, maybe no, costs for snow plowing & removal. Less damage to our homes & property.

All of that was especially good considering the higher & continually rising gas prices, continued high unemployment and other economic concerns.

But with a warm winter and early spring comes some extra care for swimming pools. Although it’s been warm since mid March, many of us will still not open our swimming pools until we usually do: mid to late May.

What does all of that mean? Algae growth. And I don’t mean simple algae growth, I mean green, murky pools. Why? The reason is pretty simple.

Most of us closed our pools – whether inground or above ground – sometime last September or October. That was about 6 months ago. When we closed our pools, we added some type of winter or winterizing chemicals. Usually a shock treatment plus a good dose of a long-lasting winter algaecide (algaecide that is formulated to prevent algae growth in cooler or cold water). When the water in the pool freezes, the bulk of the chemical activity stops.

But then as the weather warms and the ice in the pool melts, the water warms as well (well, that’s a no-brainer). As the water warms, bacteria and algae begin to grow. Quickly, the growth of bacteria and algae overwhelm the leftover shock and algaecide and are quickly used up. Soon enough, bacteria & algae gain the upper hand and grow unchecked. The pool water is without sanitation or protection against algae build up.

And the longer your pool sits unprotected, the potentially greener & nastier the water is going to get if you wait too long to do something.

Do you have to open the pool and get it operating immediately? No. You don’t have to go through all of that. But here are a few basic steps you can take now, about 2 months prior to normal pool opening to help take the worry – and the expense – of opening to a green, yucky pool.

1. Add a full initial dose of a good quality algaecide. Good quality algaecides such as BioGuard Back Up or Algae All 60, become more active at preventing algae as the water warms. Simply pull up a couple of places of the winter cover and pour it in. Take your skimmer net and mix as best as possible.

Use this with pools normally treated with chlorine, bromine, ionizing systems (Nature2 or Pool Frog), and salt or Mineral Spring systems.

2. If you use Pristine Blue to treat your pool, start similarly with a starting top up dose of Pristine Blue bactericide. Pull back the cover in 3 or 4 places & pour a small amount in. Mix with a leaf skimmer as best as possible.

3. Add a dose of Pool Enzymes. Enzymes are great to begin naturally consuming or eating up build-ups of organic waste that accumulate in the pool water. Again, just pour it under the cover and mix. Some of the best enzyme pool products are from Natural Pool Products, Natural Chemistry and BioGuard. Add enzymes according to label instructions about 2 to 3 weeks before you open the pool for good results.

Spending a little money now on adding algaecide and enzymes will save you a LOT of money when compared to treating a green and algae laden pool. These additions also help preventing chlorine demand problems as well.

4. Consider at least attaching the pump & starting up the pool filter system. Running the filter system for several hours every day or at least every other day will put your pool water in fairly good & clean shape. Who knows, you may be able to jump right in as the cover comes off!

As regular opening time approaches, follow the rest of the Spring Opening steps. You’ll enjoy a long and fun swimming season.

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