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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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8y ago
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16y ago

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.

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16y ago

In and of itself, I don't think "green pool algae" is bad for one's health. However, The presense, growth, survival, and "bloom" of green pool algae IS AN INDICATOR of inadequate sanitation and balance of the pool chemistry, which COULD allow for the presense of "bad actors" of the bacterial world. For safety's sake, it is strongly recommended that one NOTswim in, or contact such water, until AFTER it has been properly treated by someone who is qualified to do so.jlh.

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11y ago

Not usually.

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Q: Is it safe to swim in a pool that has algae in it?
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No. That would be a bad choice.

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It is only safe to swim in a pool when a dead rat is found if it has been drained and sanitized. You risk dying if you enter before the pool has been 100 percent sanitized.

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Read the label, but usually it is safe. Pool Masters

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Shock your pool at sundown and you can swim in it the next morning.

I need a cna class online. I live in Cumming Ga?

Your pool is probably green because it has algae. You need to go to a swimming pool supply company like Leslie's or Niagra and buy some algae destroyer. There are also other items you will need for a safe swim such as chlorine tablets, and to run your pump and filter, etc.

Is it safe to swim in a pool if the circulation pump is not working?

no you would have to do something about it

Can you swim with high levels of phosphates?

In a word, Yes. Phosphates are really a non issue. Phosphates are an algae food but IF YOU ARE MAINTAINING PROPER FREE CHLORINE LEVELS for the CYA level in your pool they are a non issue and you will not get algae. Phosphates are also often not the limiting factor in algae growth. Nitrates are also algae food and the only way to remove nitrates from pool water is by water change. There is not a nitrate remover that a pool store can sell you so nitrates are not normally tested. Phosphate removers have become big business and big profits for pool stores and chemical distributors but they are an entirely unnecessary product 99% of the time if proper pool maintenance is followed. High phosphate water is perfectly safe to swim in.

Is it safe to swim in a swimming pool that has to much algecide in it?

It is not recommended to swim in water that is being treated with most algaecides.