ABC Blog

Why Do I Have Mustard Algae in My Pool?

a pool with mustard algae growth

Summer is almost here, which means it is time to enjoy some sun in your backyard. However, if your pool water is cloudy, you may need to think twice before jumping in. The yellow-brown substance covering your pool may not be dirt or sand but mustard algae.

While it may not seem like a big deal, mustard algae in your pool can create a major headache for homeowners. It is particularly challenging for homeowners living in the warmest areas of the United States. Yet this menace can show up anywhere.

Yellow algae, another name for mustard algae, is bad for the water quality in your pool. Too much algae can lead to unhealthy levels of deadly bacteria like E. coli in your pool.

Spotting yellow algae does not need to spoil your summer, but you need to act fast to deal with this issue. If you have questions like how to clean algae from a pool or how to prevent algae in a pool, keep reading to learn how you can take back your pool from annoying algae.

The best way to deal with a problem like mustard algae in your pool is to contact a swimming pool service and repair expert. This is not the kind of challenge you want to deal with on your own, as yellow algae can be quite persistent. A certified pool professional is best equipped to help you clean your pool and prevent algae future issues.

Identifying Mustard Algae

Similar to the more recognizable green algae, mustard algae forms on the surface of your pool water. It may also latch on to other surfaces in or around your pool, like pool ladders, lights and walls.

This yellow-tinted or brown algae resembles pollen, sand or dirt. It can be slimy to the touch but also feel more like dirt. This unwelcome guest likes to hide out in the shady spots of your pool.

Mustard algae can stain your pool or spread from your pool onto other surfaces. It does not require the water from your pool to live. Yellow algae migrate from your pool to the outside world by collecting on your swimwear or pool toys.

The Causes of Mustard Algae In Pools

Like plants, algae are organisms that use photosynthesis to create their own energy from sunlight. They also consume dirt and dust in the air or debris that enters your pool.

Brought in from outside sources like the rain or wind, algae develop from spores that contaminate your pool. Algae spores can grow into full blooms in a short time.

Some factors influence how easily algae make their home in your pool. If your pool is not circulated well or if the cleaning or filtration is lacking, you may see algae soon. Other factors that lead to mustard algae in a pool include increased sunlight, carbon dioxide or water temperatures.

The Damaging Effects of Mustard Algae

You are not likely to have any guests swimming in your pool when it looks like a swamp. In addition to fostering unwanted bacteria like E. coli, a mustard algae bloom transforms the appearance and quality of the water in your pool.

Mustard algae in a pool decreases the power of your pool filtration system. Algae spores can leave your filter useless and in need of replacement. Once you have a mustard algae problem, it is likely that a bloom will happen again soon.

a pool professional measuring out chemicals to clean algae from the pool

How to Clean Algae from a Pool

Unfortunately, chlorine alone is often not effective at eliminating algae. This fact makes a yellow algae problem very difficult to treat. In fact, yellow algae is harder to get rid of than green algae; however, it’s less troublesome than black algae in your pool.

To attempt to remove mustard algae on your own, start by testing and balancing your pool’s chemical levels. Even though mustard algae is chlorine-resistant, you should still shock your pool with chlorine for regular pool maintenance.

Next, scrub away the yellow algae with a pool brush. This will require intense manual effort since yellow algae is so strong. After you’ve removed the algae from your pool’s surfaces, use a vacuum to remove the dead algae particles.

Finally, treat your pool with an algaecide. Let the water circulate and check it again after a full 24 hours. If there is still yellow algae in your pool, run the vacuum again to remove it. For stubborn cases, you may need to scrub down your pool’s surfaces again and use another round of algaecide. Follow the directions on your algaecide to make sure you aren’t applying it again too soon after the first round.

When the algae is finally gone, test your pool’s chemical levels again and balance them as needed before you resume using the pool. Since mustard algae attaches to anything it touches, you also need to thoroughly clean your pool toys and anything else the algae may have come into contact with, such as swim clothes, before using them again.

It can be very time-consuming to get rid of a mustard algae problem in your pool. Instead of trying to figure out a solution on your own, contact a professional pool service and repair company. Pool maintenance experts can save you time and money you do not want to waste on ineffective cleaning methods.

a clean swimming pool

How to Prevent Algae in a Pool

There is nothing homeowners can do to keep algae spores out of their pool. Algae spores hide out in every pool, even if you cannot see any evidence of a bloom. Thankfully, there are some weekly pool maintenance steps that homeowners can take to help prevent future algae blooms.

Your pool’s circulation system is your first line of defense in the fight against yellow algae. Performing routine check-ups on the condition of your pool pump strainer breaks and skimmer is crucial to keeping water flowing smoothly. Depending on the type of pool filter you use, you will need to backwash or clean your filter. Your filter is a place where algae spores often build up.

Prevent Mustard Algae With Routine Pool Maintenance

You will need to keep an eye on the pH balance of your pool. Test the water weekly or as needed, like after a storm. Adjusting your water’s pH keeps algae spores at bay.

Regularly brush your pool floors, steps, ladders, lights and walls. This process will wipe away yellow algae before it becomes too difficult to manage on your own. It is best to clean your pool surfaces at a minimum weekly. Find an appropriate pool brush to make sure that scrubbing your pool will not damage the pool walls.

A pool vacuum will remove dirt or algae spores at the bottom of your pool. A manual vacuum will be more effective than a robotic pool cleaner.

Managing the chlorine levels in your pool helps mustard algae from blooming. Homeowners should also shock their pool with cleaning chemicals on a regular. Using the right chemicals on your pool stops algae spores in their tracks. If you do not know which chemicals you should be using to clean your pool, consult a swimming pool services professional.

Monitoring your pool’s cleanliness and pH balance throughout the year is vital to keeping your pool water healthy. If you are concerned about mustard algae growing in your pool, you can use an algaecide as a preventative measure. In the summers, keep your pump and filter active for most of the day, especially if a lot of people use your pool.

Prevent Mustard Algae From Entering Your Pool Through Natural Bodies of Water

Algae can enter your pool by transferring off of toys or clothes. If you swim in a natural body of water during the summer, such as a lake or ocean, make sure you vigorously clean all of the pool toys and clothing that you used before putting them back in your pool.

To kill mustard algae spores, machine wash your swimming clothes and dry them in the dryer. Scrub all toys, floaties, and other pool items with a chlorine-based cleaner. Do not use bleach, as it can cause permanent damage to your clothing or other items.

These steps to preventing mustard algae in your pool may sound like a lot of work, but regular maintenance is nothing compared to the hassle of blooming mustard algae in your pool. Pool service and repair professionals can help if you have any additional questions.

ABC Can Keep Your Pool Clean

Contacting a professional pool cleaning and repair service is the best way to get rid of mustard algae in your pool and prevent it from coming back. You can try to get rid of it on your own, but it demands more time and effort than many homeowners have. The pool professionals at ABC Home & Commercial Services will effectively remove the mustard algae and will clear up your cloudy pool water. Save yourself time and hassle by contacting us as soon as mustard algae in your pool becomes a problem.

Learn More