Can Toxic Algae Grow in my Pool?

Many parts of the Unites States are currently experiencing higher than normal amounts of algae growth. These toxic algae blooms are prominent in many water bodies around the coasts of Florida. They are a threat to human life, animal life, and even local economies. With toxic algae blooms on the rise, many are worried about their pools. Why? Well, in Florida, the warm weather and increased rain of the season encourages algae growth in treated pools and fountains. So, can toxic algae grow in your pool? In short, the answer is yes.

Black algae, also known as blue-green algae, is a type of dangerous cyanobacteria that can grow in pools. While this is not technically a plant like green algae, this bacteria is often called an algae because of its appearance. However, it is important to distinguish cyanobacteria from green algae because cyanobacteria can release dangerous toxins. In areas like Florida, it is a more common threat because swimsuits that have been in ocean water can contaminate a pool. This makes it a specific threat to Floridians.

Black algae can grow in properly filtered and chemically treated pools. Unfortunately, it is both dangerous and hard to eradicate. It has a root structure that grows into the cracks and crevices of a pool. Even if you get rid of the visible spot, it can bloom again if the root structure isn’t properly treated. Furthermore, the “head” can surround itself in a film that protects it from chemicals.

One of the best ways to prevent black algae is to wash your swimsuits prior to getting into a pool. If you’ve spent the day at the beach, don’t use your pool to rinse off. Proper treatment and upkeep can help, but if you have a black algae bloom, you will need to shock your pool and be prepared to scrub the visibly affected areas. It’s also important to clean your filters to prevent continued contamination.

Be sure to stay on top of any possible black algae contamination in your pool. Toxic algae can affect breathing and cause itchy eyes in adults. Continued exposer can lead to organ failure. Furthermore, toxic algae can be fatal to children and small animals. So, while it can be controlled, it is important to educate yourself about the threat and ramifications of a contaminated pool. With proper upkeep, there’s every reason to enjoy your pool, not fear it.