Whether you have a pool at home or work, you’ll always want it to be pristine and looking its best. You may think that your pool needs to be disinfected and cleaned on a regular basis in order to keep its water clean – but that’s not true! There are various reasons as to why your pool may appear green. Here are some of the most common causes:
Too Much Chlorine
The first thing you should do if you’re using pool water for your garden is to test it for free chlorine. If your pool water is indeed green in color, this could mean that there’s too much chlorine in the water. Too much chlorine can cause all kinds of problems for your pool, including staining and scaling on the surface. While this is normally not a problem, it can quickly turn into one if you’re not careful. If your pool is still a bit fresh and you’re not sure how much chlorine is safe for your pool, consult with your local pool shop about installing an additional filter element in your pool. This will help greatly in reducing the amount of chlorine as it passes through the water and improves the clarity quickly.
Too Much Light
Another potential cause of bright green pool water is too much light. Too much light can result in plants and algae growing quickly in your pool, making it appear more green than usual. If you suspect that this may be the case, you can always lower the intensity of the light or turn off the pool lights completely during the day. This will cause the pool water to take on a more natural appearance and avoid any algae blooms or plant growth that may cause further problems. Always ensure that your pool light is not directly above the surface of the water so that the light does not scatter and create a foggy appearance that deceives you into thinking that the water is deeper than it really is!
Foul Matter At The Pump
Foul matter at the pump is another common cause of bright green pool water. This occurs when debris, such as food particles, grease, or even hair, gets caught in the suction of the pump, creating a grinding, scratching noise that can be extremely distracting and potentially damaging to your pool. In order to avoid this, it’s a good idea to either clean the suction area of your pump on a regular basis or replace it altogether with a newer model that does not have this problem. This can be particularly aggravating if you’re out swimming or enjoying a relaxing evening at the pool, so it’s worth thinking about in the future!
Too Much Iron
Another common cause of bright green pool water is too much iron. In order to clarify this point, let’s examine the chemical composition of ferric ions (Fe3+) and compare it to that of iron (Fe):
- Fe (Fe): Iron – one of the most abundant and most common elements in the earth’s crust. It is found in almost every living thing on the planet. It is necessary for several key processes, such as:
- DNA synthesis;
- Hormone production;
- Metabolic activity;
- Normal functioning of the immune system;
- Protein synthesis;
- Red Blood Cell formation;
- Sideroblastic Anemia treatment;
- Transport of oxygen throughout the body; and
- Activation of vitamin K.
- Fe3+: Ferric ions – similarly abundant and ubiquitous as iron itself, but considerably more dangerous. It can take many forms, such as:
- Ferrous Fe (Fe2+) – oxidized iron;
- Ferric Fe (Fe3+) – reduced iron; and
- Ferric-Iron Complexes – a form which can be especially toxic and which may cause several problems if it is not well-balanced with other elements in the body.
The point is that too much iron can take the form of both Fe2+ and Fe3+, while the body’s natural defense to this element is the enzyme, Ferrocyanide (Fe4+). Ferrocyanide is an enzyme that allows your body to neutralize some of the more dangerous forms of iron and keep them in check. But if you’re constantly exposed to these elements, the enzyme may eventually become depleted and the body’s defense will be compromised, resulting in numerous and often serious problems for the human body. If you suspect that your pool water is green due to too much iron content, simply test the water with a liquid meter. If you find that it exceeds the safe level of 50 parts per million (0.5 ppm), then you’ll need to contact your local pool shop about purchasing an additional filter element or replacing your existing one with a newer model that is designed to reduce the amount of iron in your pool water!
Dissolved Gas Can Also Be The Issue
Dissolved gases can also be a cause of bright green pool water. These are substances that occur naturally in water, but which don’t dissolve completely in it. Commonly found gases include:
- Arsenic Gas;
- Carbon Dioxide;
- Chlorine Gas;
- Hydrogen Disulfide;
- Nitrogen Gas; and
- Oxygen Gas.
If any of these substances are dissolved in your pool water, it can cause several problems. Arsenic gas isn’t harmful on its own, but when inhaled in high concentrations, it can be intensely irritating and potentially dangerous. Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to greenhouse gasses, which when inhaled in large quantities, can be toxic to the lungs. Chlorine gas is highly toxic and frequently used in large quantities to disinfect water. Nitrogen gas is typically found in the soil and air and is necessary for plant growth, however in high concentrations, it can be toxic to humans and other animals. Oxygen gas is necessary for life as we know it and is also used in swimming pools to keep the water oxygenated – but in high concentrations, it can be toxic to the human body as well! So keeping any of these gases away from your pool is imperative for your health and safety, and for the environment as a whole!
What About Pesticides?
Pesticides are chemicals that kill harmful insects and bugs. They are usually introduced into the environment as a liquid form, applied to the surface of plants and/or water. If you’re applying pesticides to your pool, they will accumulate at the surface and enter the water through surface evaporation. Pesticides can also remain in the environment and cause damage to both humans and other animals who consume them. While it may be tempting to use readily available pesticides to combat pests in and around your pool area, always remember that too much exposure to pesticides can be extremely dangerous and potentially deadly to your health. If you suspect that pesticides are the cause of your pool water’s bright green appearance, then contact your local pool shop and ask about purchasing a water treatment system that can remove these chemicals from your pool water!
Too Much Phosphorus
Phosphorus is another common element shown to cause damage to pools and other water sources. It’s fairly common for this element to accumulate in lakes and oceans because it’s a component of sediment and soil. When too much phosphorus enters your pool water, it will cause quick and massive algae growth, contributing additional green color and murky water. While algae doesn’t pose a direct threat to your health, it can clog your pool’s filtration system quickly if not removed on a regular basis. If you suspect that your pool is overloaded with phosphorus, then contact your local pool shop about purchasing an additional water treatment element to help remove it!
Too Much Nitrogen
Nitrogen is necessary for plant and human life. It helps give plants their color and can enhance the aroma of some foods. While it’s generally a benign element and doesn’t pose any serious threats to your health or the environment, it does accumulate in the soil and can cause serious damage to plants and crops if not removed on a regular basis. If you’re applying fertilizer to your pool, be careful not to overdo it and cause oversaturation of the soil! Too much nitrogen can also cause algae growth in your pool, making it appear more green than usual. Keep too much nitrogen out of your pool by monitoring how much fertilizer you’re applying and adjusting as needed.