Keeping your pool water clean takes quite some work, and it requires following a routine maintenance schedule. Therefore, it can be disheartening to encounter a pink slime floating in the pool as it only means more work for you.
However, this pink slime is often a sign that you have a case of pink algae in the pool. Although it might look weird and feel like a massive problem to deal with, it is easier to fix than it might sound. That said, the first step is always to know what it is and why it forms in your pool.
What is Pink Algae?
Despite the name, pink algae are actually not algae. Pink algae, or pink slime as many pool owners also call it, is a type of bacteria, and its scientific name is Serratia marcescens.
It is also more common around the home as it forms in other moist places such as the toilet bowl’s water line and the shower curtains.
Given its appearance, it is easy to mistake for rust, but it is an airborne bacteria type that will thrive in shaded parts of the pool and in sections where there is not much water circulation.
Since this is a naturally occurring organism, it is not always easy to point out its specific source in your pool. However, the main reasons it will thrive are failure to maintain proper pool chemistry and poor sanitation practices.
How to Get Rid of Pink Algae in My Pool Fast
Step by Step Directions
Step 1: Clean the Filtration System
When you have a dirty filtration system or when the filter is not working correctly, mold grows within a short time. This mold creates a perfect habitat for pink slime to grow and thrive.
Therefore, cleaning your filter should always be the first step when dealing with pink slime. Backwashing your sand filter is often enough, but other types may require a filter cleaner.
Step 2: Balance Pool Chemistry
Next, you should check the pool chemistry to ensure that all the parameters are within the optimal level. Remember that off-balance pool chemistry is one of the main reasons the pink algae thrives in your pool.
That said, the most crucial parameter to balance when dealing with pink slime is the pH, and here you should aim to have it between 7.2 and 7.8. You can use a digital test kit like the AquaChek NP207 Trutest Digital Reader to ensure you get more accurate pH readings.
Step 3: Add Pool Shock
A pool shock treatment provides the best way to get rid of all kinds of troublesome contaminants. However, when dealing with most algae types, including pink slime, you need to up the dose significantly.
You require at least 3 pounds of pool shock for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. Also, make sure you use a type with a good concentration of available chlorine, such as calcium hypochlorite, as it is more effective.
Step 4: Give the Pool Some Thorough Brushing
After shocking the pool, you need to give it a thorough brushing to remove any pink slime that might still be sticking in the walls and on the floor.
Brushing the pool will require you to use some elbow grease for the best results. A stiff brush with some firm bristles that are still gentle enough not to damage the finish or liner is the best.
Step 5: Run the Pump Continuously for a Day
When you are satisfied that you have given the pool a good enough brush, you can now switch on the pump. Running the pump allows the water to circulate through the filter, which will then trap the loose pink algae you brushed off.
If your pink slime case was not very severe, leaving the pump running overnight should be enough. However, an even better idea is to run the pump for at least 24 hours to ensure all the water runs through the filter several times.
Step 6: Brush and Vacuum Pool Again
This step is optional because, at this point, your pool might already be free of the pink algae. However, if you have the time, you should brush the pool again to avoid missing any spots. After brushing, you can vacuum the molds and debris from the pool.
Step 7: Finish by Cleaning Filter and Balancing Water Chemistry Again
The last step is to clean the filter again to remove any pink algae it will trap when running your pump in the step above. Once the filter is clean, you should test your water chemistry again and balance anything that is off, and the swimming pool should now be ready for a swim.
How to Prevent Pink Algae in My Pool
1. Keep the water clean by ensuring you have adequate sanitizer levels and that your filters are clean and in good working condition.
2. Test your pool chemistry often and ensure you balance the pH, alkalinity, water hardness, and sanitizer levels.
3. Ensure the areas around your pool are always well-maintained and do not create a suitable habitat for the pink algae.
4. Regular brushing of the pool surfaces and all the nooks and crannies that can provide a shaded area for pink algae to hide ensures the pool is less conducive for them.
Pink algae look nasty and unsightly and will often come with other issues for your pool, such as clogging the filters. Therefore, it is crucial to deal with it as soon as possible.
The good news is that it is a reasonably easy problem to fix by cleaning your filters, giving the pool a thorough scrub, adding shock, and running the pump for a day. Also, you need to keep your pool chemistry in perfect balance to ensure it does not bloom again.