Your Pool’s True Colors

The colors you see in your pool can reveal a lot about it. Many think that pool water is blue, but that is just an optical illusion that has to do with the color of your pool surface. Ultimately, we want our pool to be crystal clear. Still, there are many other colors that can show up in your pool. And when those true colors do show, there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

Out of the Blue

One of the most common coloring or stains we see in our pools is blue-green which is from copper. Copper can get into our water from our fill water if it has a high mineral content or if you are filling off well water. Copper can also get into water from metal components on our pool system such as the heater or piping from chemical erosion when the water is unbalanced. It can also be purposely introduced in the form of specialty chemicals like in some algaecides. However, the metal is getting into to the pool, we need to treat it to eliminate and prevent surface staining. If your fill water has a high metal content, you can consider having balanced water delivered. You can also try using a filter on your garden hose when adding fresh water. There are also chelating and sequestering agents which are chemicals that can be used to help remove them.

Seeing Red

If you see red-brown water, this is a result of iron or manganese in the water. Manganese can also appear as brownish-black. The introduction of this mineral is the same as copper. The treatment is the same as well. In both cases, you can use your filter to aid in the removal. The pool water should be tested for minerals prior to and after treatment.

Green With Envy

No one envies your pool when it is green. That usually means you have algae. Algae comes in many different colors including yellow (aka mustard), black, and pink. Green is the most common form and the most easily controlled. Black algae tends to show up in areas of poor circulation such as corners, steps, and behind ladders and handrails. Yellow is a special kind of algae that requires a specially formulated chemical to treat it. When there is a yellow algae bloom in a certain geographical area, you sometimes see your friends and neighbor’s pools having the same problem. To prevent algae, maintaining proper sanitizer levels and brushing is key. If you have developed algae, diligent brushing and an algaecide treatment are often necessary.

White as a Ghost

When you have white on your pool walls and floors, it is calcification. Calcification is the formation of calcium carbonate due to the precipitation of calcium carbonate. If you have a high calcium level in your fill water, scale may be a problem for you. The scaling can also appear on and within the circulation system which can actually affect your water flow and pool clarity. You can also see calcification forming on your pool tiles and in areas with a lot of aeration such as spas and waterfalls.

Pass with Flying Colors

Now that you know of these potential color culprits that can show up in your pool, you can take the necessary steps to prevent them from showing. It is recommended to get your fill water tested to determine its mineral and calcium contents. This can be simply done with a test strip or a water testing kit from one of your local home stores. You also want to maintain proper water balance and brush often in between your regularly scheduled visits. Taking the necessary precautions will help to keep your pool in the clear!

*This information is obtained from the Certified Pool and Spa Operator Handbook. This information may not be applicable to your pool based on your pool type and location. One should reference all applicable regulations and standards for your facility.

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