Treatments for Pink Algae in Swimming Pools

Pink algae in your swimming pool is really a bacteria that coats itself with pink slime in order to protect itself and keep it from growing. While slimy and gross, pink algae is treatable. Most pool companies recommend prevention as the best treatment, but there are several ways to kill off the pink algae once it is present in your swimming pool.

Backyard swimming pool
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Prevention is the best treatment for pink algae in swimming pools.


Clean all pool surfaces at least once a week and make sure your pool receives as much sunlight as possible. Make sure your water is at the optimum pH level (7.4 to 7.6) and chemically clean your pool filter as prescribed. Regularly add maintenance doses of algaecide every to to four weeks. Keep your filter on for 12 or more hours per day.

Run The Filter

If your pool has been infiltrated with pink algae, run your pool filter continuously for several days. Do not let up until the algae has disappeared.

Shock Your Pool

Shocking your pool simply means adding a vast amount of chlorine to it in order to get rid of the bacteria. In this case, you'll want to add about 2 lb. per 2,000 gallons so that your chlorine is boosted to five to ten PPM. See Resources 1 for a brochure about shocking a pool.

Clean Out the Slime

Clean off the slime with a brush or similar tool. Make sure you get all areas where the slime is. Don't forget to clean the sides of the pool and the railings, steps and ladders.

Clean the Filter

Add chemicals (as recommended by your local pool supply store) to your filter, the same way you would normally do every four to six weeks.

Add Some Algaeicide

Purchase silver or polymer algaecide. Talk to your local pool supply store clerks about how much to use in your specific situation. While all of the tips in this article are important, this one is perhaps the most crucial. Algaecide is the formula that will kill the unsightly pink algae that's festering in your pool.

pH Balance

During this time, it is especially important that you maintain the correct pH balance. Check often while your pool is undergoing this "treatment."

Cleaning Up

Once you have successfully removed the algae from the pool, you may notice some cloudy debris, which is due to dead algae. Talk to your local pool supply clerk and ask him how much blue clarifier you need to use to get your pool back to its regular color.