Are phosphates a problem for my pool?

Phosphates can reach the pool water in various ways, either by weather conditions such as wind or rain, by the use of certain chemicals, or because our garden has been enriched with phosphates to improve grass growth or the plants. Regardless of how it happens, if phosphates are allowed to remain in pool water, they will be reduced to orthophosphates in one of this three ways:

1. Oxidation (converting compounds into oxides)
2. Hydrolysis (decomposition by water)
3. Enzymatic digestion
 Phosphates are compounds of the nonmetallic element phosphorous and, when they are broken down into orthophosphates,  becomes a primary food source for all types of algae . This means that the more phosphates in the water, the more yummy food there is for algae to consume, and the faster the algae will grow.

Light microscopic image of Pediastrum boryanum green alge.

Most pool owners in Lighthouse Point are unaware of this fact and when eliminating the algae from the pool they do not take it into account, prolonging the problem and increasing the expense in chemical products.

But this is only half the story. Phosphates are not toxic or harmful, and removing them as a remedy to the formation and proliferation of algae is ineffective. Your best bet is to maintain proper chlorine levels, regularly use an algaecide to prevent algae from blooming in your pool, and occasionally shock your pool to give it a really good sanitizing whammy.

The challenge with phosphates is that they are constantly being introduced into your swimming pool water, so you should keep them under control. Levels less than 250ppb are considered low. 250-500ppb should be considered when balancing the rest of the chemicals, and 500ppb+ should be addressed directly because algae become increasingly resistant to sanitizers, including chlorine shock. It is good practice to have your pool’s phosphate levels checked at least monthly.

The preventative measure of limiting phosphate exposure is taken by:

  • Remove leaves and organic material from the water as soon as possible
  • Vacuum and clean filters and pump baskets regularly
  • Be aware of the phosphate content of cleaners and chemicals used in and around the swimming pool
  • Don’t allow drainage from plants or the lawn to enter the pool

It is important to know that phosphate removers do not kill existing algae. Once bloomed, only superchlorination and/or an algaecide will do the job.

Also, keep in main that In order for  any phosphate removal agent to be effective, it must be added to a clean, properly balanced, algae-free swimming pool with a clean filter media.

To deal with  phosphates in your pool hire a Broward County and Miami Dade Pool Cleaning Services for the job.  Choose Urban Pool Services. For many years, our  workers  have earned a reputation in our area for integrity, excellence, and service that meets the highest standards in our industry.

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