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My private pool turns green every summer – what to do?

Your private pool is symbolic of your high-end lifestyle, but not when the water in it has turned greenish and smells terrible — especially during the warmer months when your pool has a high rate of occupancy.

This happens due to algae, which, over time, progressively develops mainly when the level of chlorine in the water is low.

Are you too facing this difficulty? Don’t worry; we’ve created a step-by-step guide on how to eliminate dreaded green water without hiring a pool maintenance specialist. Plus, you don’t need any professional equipment.

Five steps to clean a green pool

  • Determine the pH balance
  • Pumping and filtering
  • Shocking your pool water
  • Brushing and filtration
  • Maintaining your pool

Step 1: Determine the pH balance

Firstly, if your pool water is green, it’s obvious that it has little to no chlorine. The best method is shocking your pool (detailed explanation in step three). It involves adding a lot of chlorine to the water; therefore, pH testing is indispensable.

If the pH is on the higher side, pool water will become cloudy post the shock pool cleaning treatment.

To find out the pH value, you need a high-end test kit for a precise reading; instead, readily available test strips will give you a clear-cut idea of whether your pool water pH is high or low.

Keep it below the mark of 7.2.  When the pH value comes out to be over 7.2, add one-gallon muriatic acid — also known as hydrochloric acid.

After shocking treatment, test the pH again.

Step 2: Pumping and filtering process

First, know what type of filter you have, as we’ve categorized the pumping and filtering process based on it.

Diatomaceous earth filter:

If you have a DE filter, backwash it. Add fresh diatomaceous earth filter powder, then, shock your pool as explained above, and run the pump for at least twenty-four hours. Backwash at least once a month.

Make sure the leaves or dry rubbish are not obstructing the drain of the pool, while pumping is being done. If your pool is so green that even the drain is not visible, just run through the brush to the specific area of the main drain at the pool’s deep end.

Sand filter:

Similar to a diatomaceous earth filter, expect the backwash time to be nearly five minutes. We recommend it to backwash at least once every two weeks.

Cartridge filter:

It is necessary to make sure that the filter is in good condition and completely rinsed. Clean this filter once every three to four weeks. However, if you come across spots of algae in your pool, clean it more often. You can also soak the CE filter in trisodium phosphate once in every three months.

Step 3: Shocking your pool

Once pH value is 7.2 or below, we’re going to start with shocking the pool with the use of calcium hypochlorite — also known as granular chlorine. It is suggested that you buy a calcium hypochlorite 25-pound container, and not have one-pound individual bags.

This way, you’ll end up saving a great deal of money. Plus, you’ll have chlorine in your storeroom for future small doses, from time to time.

You can either use ten gallons of liquid chlorine or five pounds calcium hypochlorite. Be sure about the quality of the chemical for better results. Further, you can add a few hours of pool circulation after shocking to completely get rid of green water. Don’t forget to add a floccing agent or chemical to prevent the dead algae particles from clumping together.

Step 4: Brushing and filtration

After twenty-four hours of adding chemicals to your pool water and circulation, you’ll see an incredible transformation. Now, your pool is green no more, but it will be somewhat cloudy, that’s why it requires a lot of brushing and filtration for the next couple of days.

After all the efforts, your pool can still turn into an unhygienic and uninviting place. So, what’s the solution? A pool enclosure keeps insects, leaves, and debris at bay.

Step 5: Maintaining your pool

  • You must have a reliable chlorination system; it can be a salt, floater, or in-line system. Make sure chlorine is always there in your pool. Instead of jugs of chlorine liquid, a simple chlorine tablet is way more effective. Make use of a water clarification solution.
  • Clean your filter. The DE filters are mostly recommended filters to have.  Although they have a high initial cost, it saves you both money and time in the long run.


Remember, you can prevent all of this by getting a swimming pool cover according to your pool size and shape. And, not to mention, add algaecide to your pool at least once a week.

Share your tips to keep the swimming pool clean in the comments section below.

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