How To Get Nitrates Out Of Pool Water? [Ultimate Guide!]

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Do you ever wonder what that yellowish film on your pool water is all about? You are not alone: Many people have been asking this question for years. The truth is, there are many different causes for pool water discoloration, but most of them can be prevented with some routine pool cleaning. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common causes of pool water discoloration, give some practical tips on how to prevent them, and help you get back your pool’s original beautiful blue color.

The Most Common Causes Of Pool Water Discoloration

There are many different reasons why your pool water might become discolored over time. If you are curious about this strange phenomenon, then this article is for you. Here are the most common causes of pool water discoloration:

Chemical Reasons

While there are some exceptions, most commonly, people are just not used to chemical changes in water. This is why many pools never develop a green tinge or murky appearance even when there are many chemicals floating around in the water. The chemical changes occurring in the water are subtle and not easily noticed by the naked eye. However, for decades, scientists have been conducting extensive research on this subject and have determined that the different chemicals in water have different effects on the water’s appearance. Below, we will discuss some of these chemicals:


Chlorine is very commonly found in pool water and is among the most significant contributing factors to its discoloration. It is a strong oxidizing agent and, when left uncontrolled, will turn your pool water an unpleasant yellowish color. Fortunately, there are simple ways to prevent this and restore your pool’s original crystal clear blue. The best way to do this is by adding chlorine removing chemicals to your pool water. The most effective of these chemicals are those that contain iodine (e.g. Crystal iodine, Iodophor, or Iodine crystals). If you notice, some of the abovementioned chemicals are also used to treat water for human consumption, so it is highly recommended that you avoid ingesting any of these chemicals. When taken internally, they can cause damage to your thyroid gland, resulting in serious health complications. In addition to preventing discoloration, these chemicals help maintain healthy algae growth in your pool, so make sure you add plenty of them!


These are the inorganic compounds used to manufacture the popularly available antifreeze liquids (e.g. methyl bromide, methyl fluoride, or propylene glycol). While not absolutely harmful, ingesting these chemicals can result in tooth decay, skeletal abnormalities, liver damage, and even death. Fortunately, your pool water will not discolor even if you pour antifreeze liquids directly into it, so make sure you keep out of reach of children and pets! In addition, these chemicals reduce algae growth in your pool, so they are not entirely bad for your pool’s ecosystem either. The best thing you can do for your pool is to stay away from these inorganic chemicals and use only organics (e.g. sodium fluoride, potassium bromide, or plain water). These chemicals should not be confused with fertilizers which are used to keep your pool’s plant life healthy and thriving.


Whether you realize it or not, your pool water will get discolored if there is too much iron in it. This is mainly because iron forms very stable complexes with certain organic molecules (e.g. humic acids), which contribute to the water’s murky appearance. Sometimes, pool water can look very nasty if there is too much iron in it. To prevent this, make sure you add some iron removing chemicals to your pool water. The most effective way to do this is by using iron-chelating agents. Some of the abovementioned chemicals also have the ability to remove iron from your pool water, so be sure you add them!


Nitrates are another compound that can cause your pool water to become discolored. Nitrates occur naturally in soil and are the result of organic matter decomposition. However, they are extremely common in city water sources and are generally considered to be very bad for the environment. Nitrates gradually decompose into nitrites, which are even more harmful. Nitrates can be removed from your pool water by using a pool vacuum and filtering it through activated charcoal or sand. Some people alternatively advise using chemicals to eliminate nitrates from pool water, but these chemicals can be very damaging to your pool’s ecosystem. If possible, it is best to avoid these as well and let your pool water filter naturally through the earth and pool vacuum itself. Nitrates will accumulate quickly if this process is not regularly repeated!


Sulfates are inorganic compounds with a fairly high solubility in water. Sulfuric acid is probably the most famous compound that occurs naturally as a sulfate. These chemicals are extremely stable and do not decompose easily, which is why many pools never develop a greenish tinge even after years of exposure to sunlight. Sulfuric acid is also a common contributor to pool water discoloration, so make sure you add some chemicals to help remove this compound from your pool’s water! Some people add a small amount of calcium hypochlorite to their pool water to combat the ill effects of sulfuric acid. However, hypochlorite is toxic in large quantities and will eventually cause algae blooms and biological oxygen demand (BOD) proliferation. The best way to remove sulfates from your pool is by using a pool vacuum with a HEPA filter.


Pesticides are chemicals that are used to control or destroy living organisms, such as insects or algae. While not life-threatening, pesticides can cause a variety of problems, including cancer. Unfortunately, some people use pesticides to combat algae growth in their pool, causing further health complications. In general, these chemicals are not recommended for use around water bodies, as they may eventually find their way into the water, causing untold damage. For this reason, make sure you avoid using any pesticides around or in your pool! If you do decide to use them, then it is advisable to add certain nutrients to the water to promote healthy plant life.


This is a relatively new compound used in many different types of cleaners and insecticides. Although it has many advantages, it is extremely toxic to both humans and the environment. If spilled or ingested, it can cause liver damage and even death. Trichloris will discolor your pool water if it is not removed quickly. The compounds in this chemical are very stable and do not break down easily, making it extremely difficult to remove from water. In most cases, people are simply unaware of these chemicals’ existence, which is why they have not found a place in the marketplace as of yet. Luckily, there are simple ways to remove it from your pool. First, you should try using chlorinated water to clean your pool. If this is not possible, then you can use a professional pool vacuum to remove it quickly. Some people alternatively suggest adding a couple of drops of bleach per day to their pool water to combat the ill effects of trichloris!

Hopefully, this article has convinced you that keeping your pool clean is not that difficult. All you need are a few simple tools and some know-how. In addition, you should regularly monitor the quality of your pool’s water to make sure there are no signs of contamination. If you are curious about how your pool water looks like right now, then take a quick guess at what it is made of and how it is changing over time. In most cases, it is safe to assume that your pool’s water is made up of iron, calcium, and magnesium, with smaller amounts of sodium and sulfates. Sometimes, nitrates and pesticides will sneak their way into your pool’s water, causing it to become less clear. If you keep all of the abovementioned chemicals out of your pool and use only those recommended for pool maintenance, then you will be able to keep the original beautiful blue color of your pool for years to come!

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