How To Manage Phosphates in Your Pool
Phosphates in your pool, something to worry about? Let’s face it, one of the more annoying things pool owners have to deal with is organic contamination in their pools. No one likes random things floating around in their pool, especially if they could cause a health problem if left there too long. One of the most hazardous of these organic contaminants is known as phosphates. This article is going to tell you a few helpful things about what phosphates are, how they end up in your pool, and how you can help prevent them.
What are Phosphates?
Let’s start from the top: what are phosphates? Phosphates are compounds that are created by oxygen and phosphorus molecules. They often come from dying leaves and plant matter and are an essential nutrient source for many microorganisms. They don’t sound very threatening, right? You’re right, they’re actually pretty important to our ecosystem and our bodies…but not for our pools. In high levels, they can cause algae to bloom in your pool, which can cause your water to go green and fuzzy looking, as well as possibly cause some damage and clogging to your filters.
However, there are other sources than just dead leaves for phosphates to find their way into your pool. Phosphates can be found in many other household items, such as makeup, laundry detergent, and sunscreen. It can also be found in fertilizer runoff, the city water supply, and even certain pool chemicals. This all makes it a little more challenging than just “cleaning out the leaves” for managing phosphates in your pool.
How can I get rid of Phosphates in Your Pool?
Now, on their own phosphates in your pool aren’t a bad thing. However, they aren’t something that you want a buildup of in your pool. If you have an elevated level of phosphates in your pool, you will have an elevated risk of algae growth clouding up your pool. This is due to the fact that algae feed on phosphates, along with the fact that this will unbalance all of the other chemicals in your pool if it isn’t addressed.
With phosphates taking as long as they do to build up, chances are that you won’t have to do this too often. These are the steps that you need to take in order to make sure your phosphate levels are being managed properly:
- Use a test strip weekly to see where the phosphate level is currently sitting. You can find these test strips at any pool supply store. This test will tell you how you should proceed, or if you even need to do anything.
- Make sure you take the time to regularly skim out the plant matter that can cause phosphates to appear. This includes the floating bit on the surface as well as whatever manages to sink down to the bottom of the pool.
- Use phosphate removers sparingly and as a last resort, as using too much or too often can cause health concerns. If you think a chemical method of removal is needed, consult a pro before doing anything. It would be better to spend that consultation money rather than waste time and money adding more chemicals to your pool.
Bottom line of this article? While phosphates are necessary to life both in nature and in the human body, phosphates in your pool cause problems in mass quantities. You probably will never get them to completely disappear, because they are everywhere in practically everything, but you should aim to keep them as low as possible for the prevention of algae and the longevity of your pool. Follow our suggestions, and don’t be afraid to hire a pro if you need help!
Now, that you will enjoy your clean pool, we want to make sure that you take all of the safety steps we’ve mentioned here before doing so! This will help keep your home, your family, and your investment in maintenance happy and safe. Whether you’re new to owning pools or an old pro, remember that each pool is different, and each pool has its own safety and care needs.
Don’t forget to install a Baby Barrier Safety Fence. These are specifically designed for each pool to keep your family, pets and guest safer, even when you are not watching your pool. Check out all the safety fence options and schedule your estimate today!
Now get out there and make a splash!