Have a pool that looks like your lawn? That uninviting green water is caused by algae, a small micro-organism that grows rapidly in warm water.

Don’t be too alarmed – with a bit of care you will have the family swimming again in a healthy blue pool in no time at all.

You will need the following items to treat your pool:

Chlorine and a pH test kit
Pool shock: 2-4 cups depending on the size of your pool and the colour of the water
Liquid pool algaecide

A chlorine shock gets rid of algae

A swimming pool with 3ppm (parts per million) of chlorine will inhibit algae from growing. You can test the level using a chorine test kit. However, if the chlorine level drops below 1 or 2ppm, you might be left with an algae outbreak that can turn your water green in a very short space of time.

Fortunately, chlorine can also destroy algae. You just need to add a higher dose to boost the levels. The fastest way is to use chlorine pool shock with a main active ingredient of calcium hypochlorite.

There are different concentrations of chlorine on the market, so choose one with 70% available chlorine, which is enough to handle tough algae and bacteria.

Applying the chlorine shock

Wait until dusk or night to effectively shock your pool. Since the chlorine in the shock is unstabilised, the sun will burn off this chlorine much faster than regular stabilised chlorine. Shocking during the day will be costly and will not be as effective.

Remember these chemicals are hazardous. Keep them out of reach of children!

Always pre-dissolve shock in water before adding it to your swimming pool. This ensures that the shock will be properly distributed throughout the water and reduce the risk of bleaching your liner, if you have one. Be careful to add chlorine to a bucket of water and don’t add the water to chlorine.

First, you need to determine how much algae is in your water by looking at the colour:

Light green pool water

Two cups of shock treats up to 50,000 litres of pool water and each bag should be pre-dissolved in its own 10 litre bucket of water (warm water works better to dissolve). Remember to always fill the bucket of water first and then add the shock. Also, keep the pool filter and pump running for at least 10 hours during and after you shock.

Dark green pool water

Three cups of shock treats up to 50,000 litres of pool water and each bag should be pre-dissolved in its own 10 litre bucket of water (warm water works better to dissolve). Remember to always fill the bucket of water first and then add the shock. Also, keep the pool filter and pump running for at least 10 hours during and after you shock.

Black green pool water

Four cups of shock treats up to 50,000 litres of pool water and each bag should be pre-dissolved in its own 10 litre bucket of water (warm water works better to dissolve). Remember to always fill the bucket of water first and then add the shock. Also, keep the pool filter and pump running for at least 10 hours during and after you shock.

The water might look cloudy or dirty when you add the shock, but as the water runs through the filter it will begin to clean up.

As the algae dies it falls to the bottom of the pool or is trapped in the filter. Keep your filter clean during the 10 hour filtering period. You will need to do a thorough vacuum after the 10 hours and clean the filter again after vacuuming.

Once the chlorine level drops below 5ppm, you should add an algaecide to your pool to keep any new infestations at bay while you balance your pool water for comfortable healthy swimming conditions.

Balance the water after a shock treatment

The large dose of shock and the dead algae will change the pH of your water. The most comfortable pH level is 7.2 (the pH of your eye is 7.3). As well as keeping the water comfortable for swimming, it’s the best use of your chlorine as it works less efficiently at a higher pH level.

Maintaining your clean and comfortable pool water

During swimming season, keep your chlorine level at 3ppm and your pH level at 7.2. Add a cup of chlorine shock weekly to a 50,000 litre pool to keep the build-up of suntan lotions, debris and body oils from becoming a problem.

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