Is it safe to swim in a pool that has algae in it?

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The Algae won't hurt you. But if the chlorine isn't killing the algae, then other microorganisms might be present also. But then, we grew up swimming in ponds and streams. After shocking the pool, the algae will take longer to dissipate, so I'd let the kids in 24 hours after shocking, even if the water is green.

No it is not!!!!!! We just returned from a trip to Mexico and stayed at a high end Resort. The pool was beautiful but on three of the days there we saw algae in the pool. It was cleaned out with manual sweeping and I suppose chlorinated or shocked. When we got home I had this horrible itching that was unbearable. Nothing could be seen on the skin, but it was so intense I could not not stand it even to sleep. The doctor prescribed a cortisone cream and said it had caused a severe dermatitis that may lie dormant and will be activated by heat, hot water, and WAS caused by the unsanitary conditions that let the bacteria and such grow in this pool. Do not swim in algae filled pools  

Is there a mycologist in the house???
Greetings! I read this letter and replies quite closely as Oregons Willamette valley gets hit with the worst algae outbreak in recent memory .
This is the first I've heard of algae causing dermatitis related problems. I remember coming out of streams and ponds covered with it down in S.C. Perhaps a strain that won't survive this far north?
Allergic reaction I could understand. But those are immuno-specific and tied to the patient, not the organism present in the pool.
But I am a lot more inclined to cast the questioning eye toward the sparkling water and filtration of the pool.  

The definitive answer is "it depends."
Europeans swim in pools that have algae on the walls, yet also have a high ORP (oxidation reduction potential- as measured in millivolts of conductivity).
The high ORP is usually due to the use of ozone, which kills viruses, bacteria and pathogens, and oxidizes bather waste (urea - sweat, urine & cosmetics - suntan lotion, hair gels, cream rinse, etc.). The short half life of the ozone does not allow the ozone to remain in the vessel (pool/spa) long enough to kill the algae. Thus their pools are sanitary & safe to swim in (no pathogens and sparkling clear), yet they have algae.
The reader who got sick probably swam in a pool which had bacteria, viruses, and algae due to poor water chemistry maintenance.
The best piece of advice that I can recommend... carry your own pool water test strips when you travel, and perform a test before swimming. I do this when ever I travel, and especially when using a public spa/hot tub.
2 rules to remember:
  1. 1: If your eyes burn after swimming, it's not due to TOO MUCH chlorine, it's from too little (chlorimines). (Or improper pool water pH).
  2. 2: If you smell "chlorine" when you approach the pool or spa, turn around & go golfing. What you smell are chloramines (chlorine that's combined with bather waste, aka. combined chlorine), and that is an indication that there is not enough chlorine in the pool!! A high level of chlorine in a pool (even as high as 10 ppm) barely has a smell. And yes 10 ppm is safe to swim in - only hyper-sensitive folks might itch and cheap fabrics may bleach/fade.

Remember: Most water chemistry problems, eye irritation complaints, and murky water are a result of too little chlorine!


If it's a public pool and it's green, I wouldn't dip my finger in it. If it's your private pool, then it depends, I am not going to repeat the valid points above..
If you are a pool owner and looking for a solution to the algae problem, please check out my web site
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How soon after shocking the pool is it safe to swim?

Answer . In my opinion, there is no Safe Zone after shocking a pool! You must wait at least 24 hours. treatment technologies like Ultraviolet would aleviate the need to ever shock your pool again.\n. \nJon

Is it safe to swim in your green pool?

Answer . No, that's bacteria and you could get swimmers ear or an infection. If its only a little green around the bottom edge, yes, scrub the green parts then get out and shock and chlorine vacumm the pool, back wash the filter and then go swimming.

How soon can you swim in a pool after using an algae bomb or algaecide?

Answer . According to many labels on most algicides, you don't have to wait. Actually from the pool guy at the pool store, it will help to mix in the algicide.\n. \nJust be sure to take a shower when you are done swimming, and make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients before you swim.

Is black algae in a swimming pool dangerous?

\n. \n Black Algae \n. \nYes, indirectly.\n. \nCommon pool algae are not directly harmful, but algae convert sunlight into food and release waste products that can feed harmful bacteria and other micro-organisms.\n. \nBlack algae can be quite difficult to eliminate, particularly in plaster pools. Any item that has been exposed to the algae should be treated along with the pool water. All pool toys, nets, hoses, brushes, etc. need to be thrown into the pool and treated. The sides of the pool will often need to be scraped or brushed. Probably the best algaecide is copper (II) sulfate. After the treatment is complete, you may then need to use Pool Magnet to remove the copper from the water.

What causes black algae in swimming pools?

I have been in the pool business for about 20 years now. From my best knowledge it seems to come from lakes or pond. It get transfered into your pool from dog in the lake/pond into the pool or bathing suits that have been to the lake/pond and then into the pool. Just remember to keep your lake suits separate from your pool suits. I always keep extra suits at my house for friends that come over to swim or have them leave there suits here so I know they do not get lake water into the pool. I know a lot of you are saying that "I wash my suits after we get home from the lake"..... this does not matter black algie does not die from a machine wash and dry.. My wife and I are the only users of our pool and we've never been to the lake or river so I'd like to know how black algae got into my pool? - ttwotees

Is it safe for dogs to swim in a swimming pool?

Well, MY dog goes swimming all the time. So do all my friends' dogs. If your dog is really little though, I wouldn't recommend it. My dog is six pounds. The safe way to let any dog swim in any water is with a dog life jacket on and under supervision. Swimming pools do however, present danger to dogs, as does any water but swimming pools are dangerous to dogs because unless there is a special ramp for them to get in and out alone (or shallow end with access to dry land) they should not ever be left alone with access to the pool even with a dog life jacket to protect them. Too many dogs die by drowning every year, many of them in swimming pools and certainly if they had been wearing a dog life vest, they would probably still be with us.

Can you swim in pool with slight algae stains on sides?

Answer . It depends. Can you swim? If so, you can swim in a pool with slight algae stains on the side. Just like you can swim in a pool with MAJOR algae stains on the side. Or a lake. Or a river. Or a sewer pond. Or a toxic liquid waste dump. Or a pool of acid.. The question you should be asking is "SHOULD you swim in a pool with slight algae stains on the side?". And you need to ask your doctor about that. Generally, I would say that a little bit of algae is not going to hurt you. I grew up swimming in creeks and lakes, which have plenty of algae, and it never made me sick. But you might have health issues that make you more susceptible to the harmful effects of algae.. But, if you're worried about it, or even if you just think it looks gross, just clean the algae off the sides of your pool.

Is it safe to swim in a swimming pool that doesn't have chlorine?

Answer . Totally.. um, ever heard of unsanitary water. Someone could have just peed in the pool. Someone who recently had diahrea who is or was in the pool - lethal. Many, many other diseases to numerous to mention. Even if the water looks clear - you can't see germs. - it is not a safe practice!

Is green pool water safe for swimming?

NO NO A LITTLE BIT of algae isn't going to hurt you. If you ever swim in a lake, river or ocean, there's algae present there. You probably even carry the algae home on your swimsuit. But the pool needs to be treated as soon as you notice it, since a pool doesn't have the properties of moving natural water to keep the algae under control. It's an ongoing battle to keep enough chlorine in the water to avoid algae, while not putting to much chlorine. The EPA states the limit of chlorine exposure to humans should be no more than 4 parts per million. So don't just dump load and loads of chlorine in to solve your problem. A retail pool store can test your water and advise how much chlorine and/or algaecide is needed to get rid of it. You may need to get the chlorine up to 5 ppm to kill the algae. Just wait until the level drops below 4 ppm before you swim again.

How do you control Algae in your salt water swimming pools?

The same as in any chlorine pool toss a bit of extra chlorine in for starters, if this does not help get some algaecide from your pool shop. Not be careful that you use the right kind of algaecide as metal based products don't necessarily agree with salt water chlorinators.

How do you treat black or brown algae in a plaster swimming pool?

Black Algae is the toughest of all to get rid of The best thing to do wit it is scrub it so that the waxy surface of it is thoughtfully damaged then shock the pool and hit it with a strong algaecide. A pool shop will be able to recommend the right product to do this.

Is it safe to swim in cloudy pool water?

no its probably not safe to swim in cloudy pool water. reason number 1 is because you might not know how deep the pool water is and you could endanger yourself.

Is it safe to swim in foamy pool water?

The safety of a person swimming in foamy pool water is related tothe reason the water is foamy. Chemicals in the pool may not besafe when treating for a time period after added to the water. Itis best to ask a person who manages the pool, identify why foam ispresent, and read all chemical warnings.

What causes green algae in swimming pools?

Green algae can be caused by a number of things. You may not be paying enough attention to filters and to water testing. Clean or renew filters first, test the water, then establish a proper Ph ( 7.0 -7.2 ) Then chlorinate. That should do it for a start.

How do you get rid of algae in swimming pools?

You shouldn't have algae in your pool if your chemicals are correct. I would suggest NOT swimming in it until you have had it maintained. You will probably need to do a chlorine shock to it to kill off the algae, then stabilize it. If the algae is too bad, then draining the pool and cleaning it would seem in order (Disclaimer: I am NOT a pool person... just a guy who knows a little bit about them)

Preventing the growth of algae in swimming pools?

Hi One way to prevent the growth of algae is to use a swimming pool cover that does not allow algae to grow. There is a product called EnergyGuard that has been proven to stop algae growth, as well as saving time, money, water and energy usage. The pool cover is unique with its dark blue top surface and a black underside. This means that the cover absorbs the sun's heat while blocking the sunlight from entering the water, therefore stopping photosynthesis and algae growth. A UK test lasting two months established that a pool with an EnergyGuard cover remained clear of algae without chemical treatment. In a winter test from October 2008 to April 2009, a UK pool was covered with an EnergyGuard cover and a woven mesh debris cover. No winter pool chemicals were used. The water was clear of algae after the 6 month winter period. Hope that is useful Thanks Emma

Why do you get algae in swimming pools?

Algae is a plant, and wants to grow in your pool for the samereason it grows in ponds, lakes, streams and oceans. Water is it'snatural habitat. Although in its simplest form, algae is not ahealth issue, it will lead to potential problems when it startattracting mosquitos, bacteria, etc. So the trick is to prevent itin the first place, or get rid of it as soon as you see it.Adequate (but not too much) chlorine will generally prevent algaegrowth, with some exceptions. One of those exceptions is thepresence of high levels of phosphates. Phosphates are biologicalssuch as skin cells, decomposition of leaves, dirt or fertilizerblowing into pool, etc. This becomes food for the algae and allowsthe algae to fight off the killing power of chlorine. The advisebelow is assuming you have just a small bit of algae: Shock thepool with chlorine. Brush the algae off the walls and floor as bestyou can. Run your filter 24 hours. Brush the pool again to removeany algae missed the day before. Run your filter another 24 hours.Thoroughly clean your filters. Use chlorine neutralizer to bringchlorine level blow 5 ppm before swimming. Have your water tested for phosphates. Treat if levels are between250 ppb and 2000 ppb. Higher levels will require partial draining.Your local pool store can give you additional advise on shock,phosphates and tell you if it is safe to partially drain a pool inyour location. Never totally drain your pool unless you know thegeological stability of the ground below your pool.

What temperature will algae stop growing in swim pools?

Algae will grow in temperatures from approx 5 to 40 degrees Celsius(approx 40 to 100 Fahrenheit). It does depend on which specifictypes of algae, as well as the colony size, but this is the generaltemperature tolerance for growth of algae.

How do you treat Black algae in swimming pools?

Finding Black algae in the pool is bad news for any pool owner. This stuff needs to be handled as quickly as possible, because if you wait it will turn into a major disaster. Getting rid of Black algae requires some hard work because it has a waxy coating that protects it against chlorine and algaecide. There is no easy way to get rid of black algae. It will take manual work , the right chemicals and vacuuming to eliminate this stuff. To handle black algae spots you will need: a stiff pool brush, chlorine tablets and algaecide. These directions are not for a vinyl-lined pool. Do not swim in your pool during the black algae spot treatment.. Shutting of the pool pump will help in preventing the further spread of the Algae during treatment,. Each black algae spot needs to be brushed with a stiff brush in order to break the protective waxy surface.. Use a chlorine tablet spot treats the black algae spot (not on vinyl lined pools). Then pour concentrated all-purpose algaecide on the spots. Leave the dissolved algaecide and chlorine on the black algae spot over night. If you would rather use chlorine granules just get some old socks to put it in and place it on the spots instead. On the following day loosen the dead algae spots and vacuum to waste. Do not put it through your filter, as there is no guarantee you killed all of it.. Repeat the procedure for any further spots you see it because you need to stay on top of this stuff if you have been blessed with it.. If there are still some black algae spots you should repeat the process.. After vacuuming to waste set to rinse, rinse for a minute or so and then to filter start filter pump for circulation.. Adjust pH. And keep the chlorine level adjusted to 7.2 - 7.6) to prevent it from happening again. Keep your chlorine residual at 1.0-3.0ppm.

How do you remove heavy algae from swimming pool?

Having a swimming pool at home can be an amazing addition and agreat source of fun during the summer. It is important that youkeep the pool well maintained. To remove heavy algae from the poolit is a multiple step process that begins with scrubbing the sidesof the pool. After scrubbing the walls, it is important to checkthe PH level of the water. Shock the pool then scrub again. Checkthe filter, balance the chemicals, and get back to enjoying thepool.

What does black algae look like in a swimming pool?

When black algae appear in a swimming pool, it can look like ablack discoloration or black spots on the sides or the bottom ofthe pool. This occurs when there is not enough chlorine in thepool, so treatment is necessary to get rid of this algae.

Is it safe to swim in a pool after rain?

In pools with automatic treatment and chlorination, yes. Other pools should be checked and treated after heavy rain, which could affect the level of microorganisms in the water.

Is algae a health risk in swimming pools?

Not TOO much for humans... I mean, we swim in ponds/lakes/and oceans all the time, don't we? But the effect of it getting inside of us would be. Those are living icky things! And who knows what's in a water that grows algae. =/ . For pools, it can clog the filter system and make it work harder and just ruin your equipment. So even if it doesn't bother us as much, it will to your pool system. And plus... all around that's kinda gross! For better answers and to help you think I suggest you Wikipedia or read a little up on Algae in good ole books or simply on Google answers. READ MORE than ONE source =D

How safe is it to have ducks swimming in the pool with you?

the first question one must ask himself is, does the duck have two legs? if so it will not be swimming erratically in circles, which can lead to endangerment of by swimmers in the close vicinity of the duck. in other words watch out for one legged ducks Seriously There is no immediate danger, ducks are not that aggressive and will likely leave when you enter the pool. The problem arises from feces and pathogens within it. The reality is that ducks void their bowels where they swim. There is the possibility of E. Coli or Salmonella contamination that inadequate chlorination might not address. These present a larger problem for smaller children and those with compromised immune systems than for the average adult. But you have to consider: do you want to swim where some other animal has attended to business? second opinion If you are swimming with your ducks, you also run the risk of swimmers itch by a parasite that the ducks excrete in their feces. If the pool is strictly for the ducks, you near a biological filter to keep the water clean and moving

Can you swim after pool is cleaned of algae?

After your pool is clear again, test the Ph of the water. You can purchase a test kit at your local pool or home and garden supply store. When the Ph of the water is at a safe level, you can dive in.

How long after shocking the pool is it safe to swim?

Four hours; eight hours for small children to avoid having their eyes hurt. Chlorine shoul drop to below 3ppm before entering a s a general guideline. Or, you could try using a non chlorine shock. ( potassium mono persulfate ) That's what we use on all our pools.

When is it safe to swim after increasing pH in a pool?

Roughly somewhere between 5 and 30 minutes, depending on how much and how effective the chemical(s) put into the pool are and whether or not they are safe to swim in immdiately after they're mixed with the pool water.

Is a pool safe to swim in if it looks dirty?

Well, if it looks dirty then you might come out dirty but its not necessarily unsafe to swim in. If you see a pool that looks dirty just ask a lifeguard or if its an pool at your house ask your mom or dad to clean it.

What makes alga grow in salt water swimming pools?

Algae reproduce by means of spores. The oceans are always releasing these spore into the air, and any exposed water is going to have spores fall into it, which can then grow into algae, as long as there is sunlight and some mineral content to provide the algae with the necessary ingredients for growth.

How do you prevent algae in a swimming pool?

Keep your PH at 7.0-7.4 and use adequate chlorine. PH is very important, because if it gets too high, the chlorine will not work. To lower PH, you will need to get Muriatic acid at your hardware store. Use it with caution.

How can one clean algae from a swimming pool?

Algae can be skimmed from the top of the water using a pool skimmer. It can be removed from the sides of the pool using a brush. To prevent algae from growing in the future, a chemical "shock" will be necessary.