How to Deal With Pink Algae in Pools

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Pink algae in pools can look unsightly and the idea of sliding into a murky pool that is covered in pink slime isn’t very appealing. This type of algae issue is pretty common in pools that have shading over them or under-roof pools and will without a doubt, impact the aesthetics of your garden spaces. 

Luckily for you, this type of algae is relatively easy to kill and clear from your pool. In this handy guide, we share the best tips to destroy pink algae and to keep this type of growth from resurfacing in the future. 

What is Pink Algae?

Pink algae isn’t really a true algae species at all. It is actually a form of bacteria called Methylobacterium. This bacteria appears reddish-pink and usually forms slimy streaks in the corners and crevices of your pool as well as around pipe fittings, return jets or light fixtures. Over time, the slime will keep spreading over your pool until the entire pool surface is covered in pin slime. 

What Causes Pink Algae in Pools?

No specific cause for pink algae is known thus far. Most people believe that pink algae are airborne bacteria that are carried into your swimming pool by the wind.

This type of bacteria tends to grow in pools with poor maintenance or pool water with poor water chemistry levels. The algae are also likely to appear in pools with very little water circulation and this bacteria flourishes in shady parts of the pool. 

Is it Safe to Swim in A Pool With Pink Slime?

Pink algae might be unsightly and very annoying to deal with but it doesn’t pose any danger to your health. This pathogen isn’t likely to cause any diseases, skin irritations, or infections. But the slimy substance can make your pool and pool fixtures slippery. These slippery surfaces can contribute to accidents that could be dangerous. 

Overall, it isn’t much fun to swim in a pool that looks icky or that is too slippery for pool games. It is much better to treat pink pool algae before taking a plunge.


How to Get Rid Of Pink Algae in Pools?

This type of bacterial growth is relatively easy to clear from pools compared to algae growth and other types of bacteria. Here is a quick look at the best way to kill pink bacterium in your pool.

Balance your pool chemical levels

The bacteria can be killed by adequate chlorine and alkalinity levels. The first thing you can do is to get a pool water test kit so you can test the alkalinity and pH levels of your pool. The normal ranges of chemical levels are as follows:

To restore your pool chemical levels, you will need to apply a chemical treatment like calcium hardness increaser, chlorine tablets, and alkaline granules. When your pool chemistry is sorted out, the pink coating will quickly start to die and you can notice discoloration. 

Brush the pool surfaces

The dead algae, slime, and other deposits need to be brushed from the pool surfaces so your pool filter can suck up these particles. If the dead pink algae aren’t cleared from the pool water it can result in murky pool water with a bad odor. 

Get a firm pool brush and start scrubbing the bottom, sides, and steps of your pool. You should pay close attention to the areas around pipe fittings and pool lights. 

Brushing the surfaces will bring the pink algae to the pool surface so the filtration system can clear out these deposits. 

Run the pool filter

Your pool pump needs to run so the water can circulate and so the filter can clear out the dead algae particles from your water. You can keep running the pool pump for about 9 hours a day. 

Cartridge filters should be properly washed three times a day and a sand filter should be continuously backwashed twice a day until the pool water is clear. 

Apply shock treatment

Pool shock treatment will kill the remaining bacteria particles in the water so the pink slime won’t regrow again. These treatments will also clear up murky pool water and can eliminate bad pool odors. A good pool shock treatment should raise your chlorine levels to 12 ppm which could burn your skin if you swim in it. Avoid swimming in your pool after applying shock treatment.

Avoid using anti-algae treatments or algaecides. These products are designed to kill algae and won’t have an impact on pink algae since it is a bacteria. If you don’t want to use a shock treatment then you can check your local pool store for treatments that are specifically designed to target pink algae. 

Vacuum the pool

Keep brushing the sides, floor, and steps of your pool every day so you can remove newly formed deposits. 

After brushing your pool, wait a bit for the dead particles to settle, and grab your pool vacuum so you can clear deposits from the pool floor. You can also use the vacuum to suck up slime or dead algae from the pool surface.

Keep filtering and brushing

Over the next few days, you should keep filtering and scrubbing the pool. Once the chlorine levels settle down to 1.0 – 3.0 ppm, it will be safe to swim in the pool again. 

How to Keep Pink Algae Out of Your Pool

Regular pool maintenance is essential for keeping your pool clean because pink algae will keep returning when the water chemistry levels are too low or if the pool has poor circulation.  Here is a quick look at the best pool maintenance schedule for preventing future pink algae infestation;

Daily task

Run the pool pump every day. The pump should run for about 12 hours a day for large pools. You should also scoop out dead leaves and deposits every day using a pool net.

Bi-weekly tasks

Skim and brush your pool twice a week, especially during windy seasons where a lot of sand and loose particles can blow into your pool.

You should keep an eye on the pH and alkaline levels of your pool. Buy a pool maintenance kit and add the right products twice a week. The regular dose of pool products can vary depending on the size of your pool. Alternatively, you can also invest in a chlorine floatation device that will automatically dispense chlorine into the pool water over time.

Weekly tasks

Your pool vacuum should run every week to remove debris and dirt from the pool floor and walls. Make sure that an automatic pool cleaner is doing its job. For manual pool vacuums, you will need to manually sweep the pool surfaces once a week.

If your pool is used often or if it gets dirty particularly fast then you can look into adding a shock treatment every week.

Test the pool water levels every week to ensure that your chemistry levels are spot on.

Monthly tasks

You can check your pool equipment like ladders and other accessories for pink algae on a monthly basis. Clean these pool accessories once a month to keep them in good condition. 

Final Thoughts

With this handy guide, we are quite sure that all the pink algae in pools will disappear in no time at all. If you are also struggling with other pool algae issues like green algae or black algae then you should have a look at some of our other guides. On Algalweb, we have the best tips to help you clean and maintain any type of waterobdy.

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How to Deal With Pink Algae in Pools

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