What Causes Pink Algae In Swimming Pool And How to Get Rid Of Them(2020)

Having a swimming pool at home is such a joy; you are footsteps away from relaxation and exercising during a hot afternoon.

You can always have a fun time with family and friends in the pool during weekends and free time.

However, your joy can be short-lived by the presence of invaders in your swimming pool, like pink algae.

It is not a sight to behold and will leave you wondering what has gone wrong with your pool.

No, someone has not poured pink dye in your pool during your absence, but it is something you need to address.

You need to pay close attention to any slight changes in the water, including the presence of foreign substances.

It is an indication that there is a problem with your swimming pool.

What is Pink Algae?

Contrary to popular belief, pink algae do not belong to the class of algae; instead, it is a bacterium.

Pink algae are also called pink slime.

The pigments found in its cells are responsible for the pink color, while the surrounding slime is its natural way of defending itself from external threats.

Pink algae is not a new phenomenon; it naturally occurs where there is water.

When you have pink slime in your pool, it may occur in pink or red streaks.

White water mold also likes growing alongside it.

Pink algae tend to grow on PVC surfaces, which occupy a significant part of your swimming pool.

Often, you will find it growing in areas that don’t get enough sunlight.

If your pool does not have any water movement, be ready for an invasion of pink algae.

What causes pink algae to grow? 

You are wondering what happened for you to have pink algae growing.

Here are some of the causes.

Stagnant water and lack of proper pool maintenance heavily contribute to the growth of pink algae in your pool.

Secondly, pool areas that receive little direct sunlight in a day are also prone to be infested.

Furthermore, if your pool gets contaminated with rainwater whenever it rains, it is at a high risk of having pink algae.

Also, improper chemical compositions will also allow pink algae to infest swimming pools.

For instance, low alkalinity, extremely low or a high chlorine level, and imbalanced water pH are significant factors in pink algae growth in swimming pools.

A faulty pump is also something to watch out for as a critical contributor to the infestation of your pool by this pink bacteria.

Failure to change the sand filter as per the recommended interval also leads to the growth of pink algae.

Generally, a rise in temperatures during warm seasons and winter contribute to the growth of pink algae in swimming pools.

How to treat pink algae

Should you spot pink algae in your pool, don’t stress, there are ways to deal with it.

You can treat your pool to get rid of pink algae by doing the following:

Balancing and testing the white water mold chemistry

To keep your pool free from pink bacteria, the optimal water chemistry should be balanced and maintained while continuously testing your water.

A good test kit should show you the current pH and chlorine levels in your pool.

Go for test kits instead of test strips for more effective test results.

Should the pH levels of your pool drop below the recommended figure, add sodium carbonate to bring it to 7.8.

On the other hand, if your chlorine level drops below 1 ppm, add sodium bisulfate to bring it to the recommended level of above 1 ppm.

Effective pump use

When your pool is undergoing chlorine treatment, your pump needs to filter continuously for 24 hours a day.

Turning on the pump will ensure that water does not stagnate in your pool, denying the pink bacteria a chance to grow again.

Removal of debris

Before carrying out any chlorine treatment, any floating debris in your pool should be removed with the aid of a net. You can get one from your local pool store.

The use of any tools available should also remove any floating leaves and algae should you not have a net.

Always ensure that your pool does not have any floating foreign objects.

Brushing your pool to get rid of pink alge

Brushing your pool is an essential tactic in getting rid of any pink slime.

The choice of brush for this task should be appropriate for the pool surface.

If your pool is made of plaster or concrete, go for a stiff pool brush or a wire one.

While at it, ensure that all surfaces are properly scrubbed, including the corners of the pool, the steps, and below the ladders.

Vacuuming your pool

During the brushing of your pool, some debris could become loose and sink in your pool.

Thoroughly vacuum the surface of your pool to get rid of any pink slime and loose debris.

Ensure that you vacuum the walls of the pool, the steps, and under the stairs.

There are robot pool cleaner options on the market that can help you clean your pool, although cleaning it manually achieves effective results.

Vacuuming should be carried out before you test for chlorine levels or apply other water treatments such as Pink Treat.

Ensure your filters are clean and avoid pink algae in pools

The filter system of your pool is essential to its general functioning.

The filter helps to remove pink slime in your pool.

You need to take the filters out, clean, and thoroughly rinse them.

While at it, ensure that sand filters are backwashed, and cartridge filters are also thoroughly cleaned.

Shock to reduce white algae in pool

Shocking your pool essentially means treating it with recommended levels of chlorine to destroy any living organisms that are not needed in the pool.

Ideally, you should shock your pool with chlorine every week.

If your pool has been neglected for a while, you will require more treatment than the weekly interval.

Calcium hypochlorite is ideal to shock your pool.

Have protective clothing like gloves on during the shocking exercise since calcium hypochlorite will have a bleaching effect when it comes into contact with your clothes.

You can opt for a liquid or powder form of calcium hypochlorite.

The treatment comes with the manufacturer’s guide on how to use it; follow it to the letter.

Usually, you’ll need about two pounds of shock per 10,000 gallons.

Do the shocking early in the morning before the sun comes out, to maintain the water chemistry of your pool.

Do not be worried when the water turns cloudy after the treatment; give the filters of your pool a day or two to clear up the cloudy effect.

During the treatment, nobody should enter the pool, wait for the water to be completely clear, and do a test of the chlorine levels.

The chlorine level should be below 3 ppm after the treatment before using the pool.

Additionally, avoid using chlorine that has been stabilized for pool treatment; it ends up blocking your sanitizer, which won’t work effectively.

Flocking white water mold in pool

When you treat your pool with chlorine, there are some particles and small pores that are not removed during the process.

The remnants are what necessitate the flocking process.

Buy a pool flocculent and dilute it following the instructions of the manufacturer. Typically, it’s one bottle per 20,000 gallons.

Before starting the exercise, make sure that the pH level of your pool is at its optimum, 7.0.

Pour the diluted flocculant in your pool, focusing on the edges that have been covered by pool water.

Switch on your pump for between four to five hours and then switch it off for eight hours.

By so doing, sediment will be collected at the bottom of the pool for easy removal.

Use of algaecide

You can also go to your local pool store and buy an algaecide, like Pink Treat, to get rid of pink slime and other bacteria in your pool.

Using all the above methodologies will ensure that pink algae, bacteria, and other water mold are removed from your pool, and the water chemistry is stabilized.

Your pool should be safe for use.

What do I do to avoid pink algae from growing in my pool?

As the adage says, prevention is better than cure.

The time and money spent to get rid of pink algae from your pool make the whole exercise cumbersome.

Aren’t you better off if you just prevent the pink algae from growing in your pool?

The answer is a definite yes, and you can undertake the following measures to keep pink algae away from your pool.

  • Cleaning and brushing your pool surfaces should be done every week.

Be thorough and focus on hidden areas like beneath ladder steps and rails.

  • Make sure that your pool surfaces are exposed to direct sunlight since the ultraviolet rays naturally oxidize your pool water.

Remove anything that may block the sun’s rays from reaching your pool surfaces.

  • The lid of your pool skimmer should be removed for several hours a day to allow the sun to reach the basket of your pool and neutralize bacteria.

Exercise the utmost caution if you have an inground pool as you can easily fall into the basket when the skimmer is open.

  • Clean your filter continuously and purge it by adding oxidizing chemicals into the skimmer regularly.
  • Any toys and floats used in the pool should be cleaned regularly so that they don’t end up contaminating the swimming pool.
  • The solar blanket of your pool should be kept clean through regular cleaning.
  • Your pool filter should be cleaned with the appropriate chemicals at an interval of four to six weeks.
  • You should maintain your pool regularly by adding Pink Treat algicide and shockers in appropriate dosages.
  • Dead spots are not ideal for your pool and should be averted by running your filter continuously for at least twelve hours daily.
  • All the tools and equipment used to clean the pool like vacuums, hoses, and brushes should be cleaned and rinsed thoroughly to avoid reinfection of the pool. The tools should be exposed to direct sunlight for natural oxidation.
  • The chemistry of your pool water should always be at its optimum level.

Pink slime in pools – Frequently Asked Questions

Are pink algae dangerous?

Even though pink algae are a nuisance and an eyesore in your swimming pool, they are not dangerous.

Even though it is not hazardous to humans, its excessive growth in a swimming pool can create a breeding ground for other harmful bacteria and water mold.

Furthermore, its presence in a swimming pool makes surfaces slippery, which can lead to accidents for those using the swimming pool.

Will bleach kill pink algae?

Yes, bleach can be used to kill pink algae even though it is not as effective as chlorine or Pink Treat.

You need to use bleach in large portions and allow it to soak on algae for longer for it to work, making it cumbersome. Running the pool filter continuously will also help.

What causes red algae in pools?

Red algae can be caused by foreign elements being introduced in a pool.

For instance, users of pools may have bacteria on their skin and leave it in the pool after use.

Besides, imbalanced chemicals used to treat the pool can create a conducive environment for the growth of red algae in a pool.

Rainwater infested by bacteria gaining its way into your pool will also contribute to the growth of red algae in the pool.

Moreover, when you use your garden hose to fill your pool, you are exposing the pool to the risk of red algae.

What causes pink slime in the water?

Pink slime in water is caused by bacteria that are airborne, called Serratia marcescens.

It is more of contamination of the quality of air and has a tendency of accumulation on damp surfaces.

It’s best treated with a product like Pink Treat to get rid of all the bacteria.

Pink slime in pool – Conclusion

The presence of pink algae in a swimming pool can disrupt an otherwise healthy exercising and relaxing habit at home.

It is much easier to prevent its growth in a pool by using products like Pink Treat than dedicating effort to eradicate it once it finds its way into your pool.

Hiring a professional pool cleaner to do regular maintenance and maintaining high standards of hygiene are essential in keeping pink algae, bacteria, and water mold at bay. Alternatively, you can visit your pool store and stock up on chlorine, Pink Treat, and any other cleaning and maintenance products you need.