Mustard Algae-A Possible Pain in the Neck and How to Get Rid of It  

by Pool Builders on 02-14-2013 in Articles

Mustard algae can be an easy situation or a season long pain in the neck. A very common way this algae gets into the pool's water is bringing it back from the beach in your bathing suits. We find that when customers take a vacation to the beach and do not wash their swimming suits after their return, the mustard algae that flourishes in the ocean attaches itself to the swimming suit and gets into the homeowner's pool when they return. For this reason, I strongly suggest you to thoroughly wash out your swimming suits before entering your pool after a beach vacation.
The first thing that every customer that experiences mustard algae thinks when they see it in the water is that it is sand on the pool's floor from their sand filter. Why? Because that's exactly what it looks like. If you have never seen mustard algae before, you would think that it was and on the floor and here is how you tell if it is your sand filter or mustard algae:
€ Try to vacuum it up. If the sandy looking substance "poofs up" within the water as the vacuum head approaches it, then you have mustard algae. Mustard algae is a very fine algae and it settles together on the pool floor. When you try to pick it up with the vacuum, the vacuum mixes the algae out of its settling clump and breaks it up within the water, making you think that you picked it up with the vacuum, but by tomorrow morning it settles right back on the pool floor.
€ Try to pick the substance up with your hand. If you can, then it is sand. If you cannot catch it, because it dissolves within the water, then you have mustard algae.
Mustard algae can be a tricky algae to remove from the water because it has very small pores and the chlorine has a difficult time getting in the pores of the algae to kill it. An algaecide MUST be used and it MUST be a good heavy duty algaecide. I even recommend a copper based algaecide.
Let the algaecide circulate in the water for a few hours and then give the pool a good strong shocking with chlorine. If you have a Nature2 or Frog mineral system, then remove the cartridge for a few days as the copper in the algaecide is bad for the mineral system. Let your pump run 24 hours a day for a few days to allow the circulation and chlorine to do its job.

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