Tips, News, & Safety Guidelines
Mustard Algae... Feisty Algae, You Can Conquer!
Be prepared, stay consistent and you will succeed!
What Is Mustard Algae?
Mustard algae, also known as yellow algae, is not rare for the South. Knowing how to identify early signs of these stubborn algae is key. It is important to act quickly in order to prevent fighting algae all summer long.
Mustard algae are often mistaken for sand, dirt, or a stain in the pool. It will attach itself to pool walls and other items but is not slimy to touch nor does it have a grainy texture like sand. In fact it's hard to grasp. A good indication that it is in fact mustard algae is it poofs up and away when you try to touch or brush it.
The reason mustard algae are so difficult to remove from the water is because it is very chlorine-resistant. In fact, when battling mustard algae you will not only want to focus on sanitizing the water but all other objects that have come in contact with the algae. This includes, pool equipment, toys, floats, and bathing suits.
Tips for defeating Mustard Algae:
- Machine wash your swim suits. Make sure to dry in the dryer.
- Disinfect all toys and floats with a chlorine based solution.
- Gather all maintenance equipment, including hoses and poles and put them in the pool. This will allow them to be sanitized when you treat the pool with shock.
- Fill up the pool to the maximum capacity. Use your manual vacuum cleaner and turn the filter to waste.
- Have the water tested and properly balance the pool water.
- Brush the entire pool including corners, walls floors, the main drain and stairs.
- Triple Shock the Pool! 3 pounds per 10,000 gallons of water should do it. For example if the pool is 30,000 gallons you should use at least 9 pounds of shock. Keep the system continuously running until the algae are completely gone.
- Brush, Brush, Brush! Keep brushing at least two times a day.
- To be safe, Shock the pool again after 48 hours.
- Check and Repeat. After the final shock treatment, bring in a water sample have it tested. This process may need to be repeated. Be presistent and consistent!
Swimming Pool & Spa Safety Guidelines
When planning your outdoor lifestyle, safety needs to be planned as well. Scientific evidence available has taught us that 1.2 million people around the world die by drowning every year. That statistic shows more than two people per minute die in drowning accidents. From that more than 50 percent are children. Preventing swimming pool accidents is the single most important part of being a swimming pool owner. When a pool is built in your back yard, remember to follow your county guidelines for placing a compliant fence and gate as a barrier around your pool and spa. Also, make sure the fences and gates are self-closing and self latching. Also, make sure the latches are out of reach of small children. As well, remember if your home is a barrier on one side of the pool, doors leading from the house to the pool should be protected by alarms that sound when the doors are unexpectedly opened. Also, it is very important to monitor all swimmers in your pool at all times, especially children and those with special needs. If a swimmer is missing, look first all over the pool and spa. Remember that every second a person is under water counts. Make sure to keep a life ring, life hook, and a phone by the pool area at your home. Remember, knowing how to swim does not make a person drown-proof. Accidents and entrapments can happen at any time. It is very important as an owner of a swimming pool to make sure you are trained in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
As well, over the years, an increase in drowning has occurred due to swimmers becoming entrapped underwater from the suction of drains in swimming pools and spas. That is why the United States Government passed a federal law, The Virginia-Graeme Baker Safety Law (VGB). The Safety Law became effective December 20th 2008, all commercial swimming pools and spas are to be compliant with the Virginia-Graeme Baker safety law. This is a federal mandatory requirement for the installation of anti-entrapment drain covers and other devises administered by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Currently the law applies to all existing and new commercial swimming pools, wading pools and spas in hotels, apartment complexes, and fitness clubs as well as on public property. These pools and spas must have drain covers and other devices or systems that meet anti-entrapment standards set by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers or ASME and the American National Standards Institute or ANSI.
When using a swimming pool or spa, whether a commercial or residential body of water, it is important to remember the following safety facts to avoid entrapment by a drain.
- Never use a pool/spa with a missing or broken drain cover. Be sure a newer, safer VGB compliant drain cover is in place. The new VGB drain covers are usually domed-shaped instead of the previous flat drain covers.
- Make sure to know if you are at a commercial pool, if they have a Release System (SVRS) in place. This device will automatically shut off a pump if a blockage is detected.
- It is important to have a professional regularly inspect your pool or spa for entrapment or entanglement hazards.
- If someone is entrapped against a drain, cut off the pump immediately. Instead of trying to pull the person away from the powerful suction, pry a hand between the drain and the person’s body to break the seal. Also, it is important to keep a pair of scissors in your first aid kit out by the swimming and spa area, if hair becomes entangled in the drain, cut the hair as quickly as possible.
While these are simple safety tips, these are not guaranteed to save lives. The best way to prevent an accident is to practice safety in all the ways mentioned in these guidelines. Remember, if you have safety questions, AquaRama Pools & Spas is a Certified Pool Operator and we do offer classes to train your family or business to become a Certified Pool Operator. Again, please be safer than sorry when dealing with your swimming pool and spa.
"Gross! What is That?" Guide to the Top 5 Pool Issues
There’s nothing more eye-catching—and enticing—than a crystal clear pool. But no one wants to jump into a pool that’s green with algae and other contaminants.
Climate conditions, water chemistry imbalance and bacteria can subject pool water to the most unsightly of maladies, all of which should be treated as soon as possible. By familiarizing yourself with common pool issues, you’ll be able to spot problems, treat them effectively and prevent them from coming back.
Here’s how to recognize and treat the five most common pool problems:
1. Green algae
From a lack of sanitizer to rainy weather conditions, many factors can make pool water more prone to green algae growth, a common pool contaminant. Algae spores enter your pool from the surrounding environment, such as nearby plants, trees or ponds. Green algae will make your water hazy, and if left untreated, a green substance will begin clinging to walls and then floating on the water.
Solution: Weekly sanitizer maintenance and regular shock are the key to keeping algae at bay. Out-of-balance water chemistry levels may make chlorine less effective, but biguanide sanitizers are not affected by these imbalances. If you have any sort of algae, you need to bring a water sample to your Authorized ClearCare™ dealer for testing. “The first step is to make sure your water is balanced so your chlorine products will work most effectively,” says Carole Hicks, Customer Care Center manager for Arch Chemicals, Inc.
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2. Black algae
Black algae, which may first appear as small black or brown spots, is more difficult to remove because it bonds tightly to the plaster. This means it will continue to reappear unless it’s completely destroyed. If you have a fiberglass pool, black algae shouldn’t be a problem—it tends to grow on Gunite pools, says Brooke Rossi, general manager at DesRochers Backyard Pools and Spas in Wilmington, Ill. It can also appear on vinyl liners, according to Hicks.
Solution: Whether the algae are green or black, the best way to get rid of the problem is to stop it from forming in the first place, Hicks says. That means weekly brushing, vacuuming and shocking. Once you have algae in your pool, there are a number of effective algaecides on the market.
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3. Pink slime & water mold
Pink slime is a biofilm that first appears as spots or streaks in your pool’s corners and crevices. Although it is more prevalent in pools that use a biguanide system, it can happen with any system. It typically begins as a water mold that colonizes in unseen places, such as plumbing lines or filters. If left untreated, a pink slimy substance will form on the pool’s surfaces and in the water.
Solution: If you use a biguanide system and the problem is severe enough, Hicks recommends temporarily converting to chlorine. But you should talk to your Authorized ClearCare pool dealer first to make sure you’re following all the right steps. Pink slime usually responds well to chlorine, and double shocking the pool will generally take care of the problem. To completely remove this biofilm, be sure to chemically clean the circulation lines and filter, as well.
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4. Cloudy water
Cloudy pool water can be caused by poor filtration and circulation, low sanitizer levels or a high pH level. If you have cloudy water, Rossi suggests you make sure your filter is clean and running properly. You also need to maintain proper sanitizer levels and balance your water.
Solution: The first step is to bring a water sample to your Authorized ClearCare dealer to test if your water chemistry is out of balance. That way, you know what is causing your cloudy water. “You need to get to the root of the problem if you want to solve it,” Hicks says. Once your water is in balance, clarifiers and flocculants—sequestering agents that pull particles together so they can be removed through the filtering system—can help remove any remaining fine particles.
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Metals in your water can cause an array of discoloration. Well water is usually the most common source of the problem, according to Hicks. Iron produces reddish or brown, and sometimes green, water; copper looks blue-green; and manganese looks purple or black. If left untreated, metals can cause stains on your pool surface.
Solution: “You need to take a sample of your pool water to a dealer to see what is causing your problem because test strips won’t test for metal,” Hicks says. Once you’ve gotten to the root of the problem, start by adding metal removers, which are sequestering agents. Chlorine will oxidize the metals, so you need to make sure all metals are removed before you shock with chlorine or add chlorine sanitizers.
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When your pool water becomes unsightly, don’t avert your eyes. Take a water sample to your Authorized ClearCare dealer for a professional analysis and recommendations. You’ll quickly learn to take the appropriate measures so whatever plagues your pool doesn’t return.