A cloudy or green pool is not an attractive backyard feature.
That said, if you are throwing a party or it’s a super hot day and you want to use your pool for entertainment or for a quick cool down, you may be tempted to ignore the green or cloudy water, and swim in it anyway.
Depending on the cause of green or cloudy water, though, swimming in a green and cloudy pool may not be a good idea.
Before jump into a less-than-clear pool water, you should know why the water isn’t quite right.
This will help you make a good decision whether you want to jump in or wait a few days.
Knowing the cause of your cloudy or green water can also help you treat it properly so that your pool stays clean and clear for all of your summertime fun.
What Causes Green & Cloudy Pool Water?
Green and cloudy pool water can be signed to water quality issues in your pool.
It is important that you understand the causes of these conditions before you jump in and enjoy your pool. In some cases, there is no problem swimming in green or cloudy pool water.
However, there are times that cloudy pool water, especially, can indicate a condition in which you will want to avoid swimming in your pool until it is remedied.
Here are most common causes of cloudy or green pool water.
Algae can cause your pool water to be green, cloudy or green and cloudy, depending on the species of algae.
If algae are the cause of your pool problem, it is probably not a huge deal, but you probably aren’t going to want to swim in your pool until it’s been cleaned.
Most types of algae won’t cause you harm, but it can be a nuisance for pool owners and can be problematic when it comes to pool maintenance.
Algae can clog filters, and once you get algae in your pool, some species can be a real pain to get rid of.
Dirt, debris and pollen
These naturally occurring bothers to pool maintenance probably won’t cause your water to look cloudy on their own.
Although heavy pollen can leave a green or yellow scum on the water surface, they can clog up pool filters which can lead to a dirty pool.
If your pool filter is clogged with leaves, bugs, dirt or pollen, you are at risk for an algae bloom which can make your pool cloudy or green.
Imbalanced pool chemicals
Everything from too much chlorine, not enough ammonia, or off balanced pH can cause your pool to look cloudy and murky.
These problems are usually pretty easy to resolve, but they can create a pool environment that isn’t safe to swim in. Chlorine or ammonia that are too high can cause skin irritation.
The same is true with pH levels that are not correct. Your pool water should have the right balance of chlorine or ammonia and pH to keep algae from growing, but still not irritate your skin.
When these levels are off, you’ll know as soon as you get in the pool, and you probably want to stay out of the water until your chemical problems are resolved.
A worn out filter or a filter that has been clogged or damaged can also cause your pool to have cloudy water.
It is possible that your pool water just isn’t getting cleaned as well as it should be, and so you are going to want to check your filters before you take any other action to clean your pool.
Finally, it may just be that you’ve just taken off the pool cover after a long winter.
Changes in water quality during the winter, when your pool is covered and the air temperatures are cooler, can cause your pool chemicals to react differently.
These winter weather conditions may cause your pool to look cloudy. At this point it is probably a good idea to wait until you’ve rebalanced your pool water quality before jumping in.
How Do You Clean A Green or Cloudy Pool?
So, now you know what might be causing your cloudy or green pool, you need to fix the problem. You have a variety of options for resolving your problem, provided you know the cause.
If algae is your problem, you first want to do a good scrub of your pool’s underwater surfaces to remove the algae attached to pool walls and the pool floor. You can do this with a manual brush or use an automatic pool cleaner like a pool robot to do most of the job for you.
If you don’t get most of the algae scrubbed off, it will cause another algae bloom.
After you’ve scrubbed your pool surfaces clean, shock your pool with chlorine. This will kill remaining algae in the water so it won’t grow back.
Shocking your pool is going to make it a poor swimming environment, so wait a day or two before swimming to make sure that you don’t irritate your skin.
Finally, change your filters. They’ll be full of dead algae after all of that.
After you clean your filters, it is a good idea to make sure that your chemical balance is correct, and adjust as necessary.
Imbalanced pool chemicals is the fairly easy remedy to an algae problem. Make sure that you have the proper water testing kits for your pool.
These can be purchased online or at any pool maintenance store.
Pool water test kits show you what your water quality is, and how to properly treat your pool so that the chemical balance is correct.
Make sure that you read all of the instructions on chemical bottles and wear appropriate safety gear to protect your skin and eyes.
Getting your pool back into a proper chemical balance will clear up cloudy water in a day or two. Until then, you might want to stay out of the water, just to be safe.
How Do You Prevent Algae From Growing in Your Pool?
Some algae growth will occur in any body of still water – you just want to keep the number down.
Not only does algae make your pool water look gross, but it can mess with the water chemistry and make your pool surfaces slippery and slimy.
Algae is fairly easy to keep at bay if you maintain good water chemistry.
Proper levels of chlorine, salt and pH will make your pool’s water just right for you, but a less than a great place for algae to grow.
Algae can grow very quickly (overnight even) so it is important that if you are making the commitment to own a pool, that you are also committing to managing its water quality on a weekly basis at a minimum.
Keeping debris such as leaves and dirt out of your pool is also helpful for keeping algae away.
It’s also a good idea to keep your pool covered when you aren’t using it, even in the summer, to keep dirt, bugs, frogs and even birds out of your pool.
And since algae is a plant, it needs sunlight to grow efficiently – so keeping your pool covered when you aren’t using it is another easy way to keep algae growth at a minimum.
The pool can be great fun, but when the water quality goes wrong, they can go from a great looking backyard amenity to an eyesore.
With these easy steps and suggestions for keeping your pool water clean and beautiful, you won’t have to spend a day during the summer without your backyard pool.