An above ground pool can be the envy of your neighborhood during the heat of the summer months, but not if it turns into a petri dish of algae and pond scum. Regular pool maintenance can be done cheaply with the right tools and the right attitude.
Get all the pool cleaning supplies and maintenance products you'll need to have a clean swimming pool. Make a list to buy chlorine, filter cartridges or medium, a pool vacuum, pool cover, surface skimmer, and make sure you have a garden hose to drain the pool occasionally.
Know how to operate the pool filter correctly. If you use the floating chlorine canisters, just replace them when the chlorine runs out. If you use another system, check the chlorine levels daily and add more when the level is too low.
If you are absent for a long period of time, add a large amount of chlorinator to 'shock' the ecosystem that has started to flourish in your pool.
Skim the surface daily with a rake, net, or other device to pick leaves twigs, and scum off of the pool surface.
It is inevitable that dirt will accumulate on the bottom of the pool. Wind blows sand and soil, which land on your pool and sink to the bottom. Use a pool vacuum or special hose attachment to clean the bottom.
Drain some of the water and replenish it with fresh water once a month or once every two weeks. To do this, use the garden hose syphon trick: put one end of the hose on the bottom of the pool and hook up the other end to the spigot. Let the faucet run for a minute, then pinch the hose near the spigot and unscrew it. Take that end of the hose and place it in a low-elevation area where you can let the water drain.
Water will then flow out of the pool because of the syphoning effect.
Always place a cover on the pool at night to keep out bugs and plant debris.
One last step to keep your above ground pool in good condition: drain it completely at the end of the season. Even if it won't freeze over winter in your climate, it's more sanitary to start the summer season with a fresh pool each year.