Depending on where you live, pollen season can last anywhere from 3 to 8 months, and wreak havoc on allergy sufferers.
As it floats effortlessly through the air, another thing that can be affected is your swimming pool.
The good news when it comes to pollen in your pool, is that it’s fairly easy to treat, and if you keep reading, you’ll find out how.
Wait, Are You Sure It’s Pollen?
The yellow color of pollen changes the look of your pool water, as it mixes with the blue water to create a green biohazard-like haze in the pool. But the big thing you have to determine is if the cause of the problem is actually pollen.
Green algae and mustard algae (yellow algae) will both add the same sickly green tint to the water. This is the worst culprit of green pool water, and you’ll have to do some serious work to not only destroy all the algae, but restore the water to a healthy state.
When filling your swimming pool, some water (such as well water) can have higher levels of copper in it. If this is the case, your pool will turn green the first time you add chlorine to it.
That’s because copper turns green when chlorine oxidizes it. To fix this issue you’ll need to do so with the addition of chemicals like calcium chloride to help neutralize the existing metals in the pool water.
Pollen on the other hand, can be seen by the naked eye and will float around in your water, stick to walls at the waterline, build up in your skimmer, or be blown off the surface to a localized corner of the pool. Cleaning it out is pretty straightforward, making it the best case scenario of a green pool.
Why Pollen In Your Pool Is Bad News
This isn’t to say pollen can’t hurt your pool.
If it’s left long enough, pollen can clog up your filtration system and will also upset your pool water chemistry. This will require you to rebalance the pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels as pollen contains bacteria, phosphates, and other organic pollutants.
How To Remove Pollen From Your Pool
Removing pollen from your pool water can be done in a few short steps. Follow these instructions and your pollen problems will be virtually non-existent.
Step 1. Run The Filter
A big reason why there’s a pollen build-up is because you aren’t running your pool filter long enough.
This means the pool water is staying stagnant for too long, allowing pollen lots of time to settle in. So first things first, you need to start running your filter on a more frequent basis. If it’s clogged, you’re gonna have to clean it out.
Step 2. Skim The Surface
Skimming the water surface will pick up a lot of pollen. You may say, “But, I skim every day!”, to which I’ll reply, “But, are you using a fine mesh skimmer?”
Pollen is very small, and while some of it will get picked up by a regular mesh skimmer, a lot won’t because of its size. You’ll need to get a fine mesh skimmer to clean up most of what has settled on the surface.
Step 3. Chemical Reaction
Some pollen is so tiny that even the finest of mesh skimmers won’t do jack. For this reason, you’ll need to add a flocculant to the water like aluminum sulfate.
This chemical works by binding to the pollen and clumping it together. You can then remove the clumps using the skimmer.
Step 4. Bring Out The Vacuum
If you have any remaining pollen, and you’re fond of manual labor, you can break out the pool vacuum.
The downside to this step is that you’re electricity and water bills will go up. Also, after you’ve vacuumed, the depleted water level will need to be refilled, retested, and rebalanced. But hey, no more pollen!
Step 5. Shock If You Must
There’s conflicting information on whether shocking your pool is necessary, as it doesn’t actually get rid of pollen.
However, what it will do is remove any other contaminants that may have taken up residence in the water during this heavily pollinated time.
As with anytime you shock, do it overnight so the chlorine has lots of time to kill off pollutants before the sun comes out and destroys it.
Let’s Talk Prevention
The easiest way to get rid of pollen is to prevent it from polluting your swimming pool in the first place.
A few pro tips:
- Keep your backyard clean. From trees, to grass, to weeds and ragweed, your backyard is a pollen paradise. Keeping it well-maintained will go a long way in reducing the amount of pollen that enters the pool.
- Say on top of pool maintenance. Stick to a regular pool cleaning schedule. This will help curb any issues before they get out of hand, leading to less time and money spent on rectifying them.
- Keep the water balanced. By staying on top of water testing and balancing, it makes it easier to spot potential issues with the water. This applies to anything pool care related, but it’s worth mentioning.
- Keen an eye on your equipment. Properly working equipment is crucial for the operation and circulation of your pool. Be sure to check everything from your pump lids to your drains and even your pressure gauge.
- Skim, circulate and filter. Skim daily. Skim frequently during pollen season. Same goes for your filter and circulation. Letting the water stagnate is a surefire way for it to go sideways.
- Consider specialized equipment. A skimmer sock fits your skimmer basket to catch even more debris passing through, and it’s pretty good at picking up pollen. Using a pool cover when not using the pool doesn’t hurt either.
Stop Pollen Your Hair Out!
At the end of the day, if you have pollen in your pool, it’s not the end of the world, and it’s actually one of the easier issues to resolve.
By following the steps outlined above, you can keep your water clean so that you’ll be swimming in a pollen-free pool year-round.