Question: I keep getting algae in my pool. How do I get rid of it and keep it away? Brian D.

Answer: One of the biggest menaces of owning a pool is the presence of algae. Algae removal/prevention is actually not a difficult process. Typically, folks are either given bad advice or read inaccurate information on the internet.

Before I answer the question, let’s start with an analogy.  Our body protects itself from bacteria, viruses, etc. with our immune system. When the immune system is weak, “things happen.” Chlorine in a pool is like our immune system. Little to no chlorine, and “things happen.”  Algae during summer months is common due to low chlorine levels.

Now let’s get to the answer. Balanced pool water makes all products work better, and more effective. Making sure the pool water’s alkalinity (125-150) and pH (7.4-7.6) are at the appropriate levels is hugely important to start.

Alkalinity is like the foundation of a house. In fact, alkalinity is a foundation of water balance. Using the same analogy, pH is like the house. Every house needs a firm foundation. Failing to address these two items first is where most pool owners miss the mark.

Next, the chlorine level must be driven “through the roof” before proceeding to the next step. This is done with pool shock. Use 2-3 times the amount recommended for your size pool and circulate for one hour.

After one hour add a pool algaecide and continue to circulate for 24-48 hours straight. After this process clean the pool filter. Depending on algae severity, the process may need to be repeated.

Algae prevention starts with balanced water. Try not to let the chlorine dip below 3 ppm and shock the pool weekly during warmer months. I hope this is helpful.

Ask the Pool & Spa Guy will be a regular feature of The Westside Express. If you have a pool/spa question, the guy is happy to answer it. Simply email