Before we talk about Phosphates or Nitrates we need to talk about algae.
Algae is a known opponent for any pool owner. Like most living things, algae
only requires a few simple things to thrive and grow:
Since we can’t do a thing about oxygen, water or sunlight
we control what we can: their food supply. What is their food supply? All the
various forms of phosphates and nitrates floating around in your pool. See, phosphates
are often the neglected piece of the puzzle that is pool chemistry. A pool
owner may struggle with periodic algae blooms in spite of their consistent
chlorine and conditioner routines. Controlling phosphate levels in addition to
this is the key to combating the problem, grant forgiveness for occasional
chemistry neglect, and fight algae growth at its root.
What are Phosphates Exactly?
Yes phosphates are what the algae in your pool are feeding
on.The more food algae has the quicker
it is able to grow and multiply. Combine this with the right shade and weather
conditions and you will find yourself with rapid growth. Keeping all phosphates
out of your pool is nearly impossible, but here short list of Phosphates sources
As these phosphoric materials breakdown in your pool they
become digestible by the algae. Ideally you want to keep the phosphate levels
in your pool between 100-125ppb (parts per billion). The higher the phosphates
levels the more difficult it becomes to remove algae as it grows more and more
resistant to shock and sanitizers.
- Soil & Fertilizers that are usually blown in
by the wind or via your sprinkler system.
- Freshwater fed by your water leveler
- Any plant material like twigs and leaves.
- Soap, detergents and hygiene products on
- Chemicals containing phosphoric or phosphorous
based components. Usually this is found in metal removers and sequestering
What about Nitrates?
Nitrates are another food source for algae. Having nitrates
in your pool in less common but also much less treatable than phosphates. Unfortunately
there is not a chemical on the market that can remove nitrates from the water.
If levels get too high it will lock up the chlorine in your pool and pretty
soon there will be algae growing. When this happens the best course of action
is to drain and refill the pool. Draining is never a fun task so the old adage:
“an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is the key strategy against
this. A pool owners should do their best to avoid these common sources to keep nitrate
levels low and manageable:
Note that a nitrate is a plant nutrient and, though common
outdoors, is not going usually an issue unless your pool suffers excess
exposure to these sources.
- Fertilizer (the most common source)
- Birds (usually ducks) passing over or bathing in
- Rain spill off from trees hanging above the
- Human waste and sweat
What to do about Phosphates?
Since it is impossible to keep phosphates out, the best course of action is to get your pool on a program of phosphate removers. Such a program keeps the phosphates levels at a harmless range and kicks the legs right out from under algae.
|Pool Perfect + Phosfree
is the perfect tool to get your phosphate levels in check as well can keep your water clear.
Using this product is simple:
- First the pool should be CLEAR of algae growth (keep in mind this is NOT an algae remover but a prevention method). Use a regiment of shock to get the water cleared up.
- Test the water and ensure the sanitizer level in the pool is below 5ppm (parts per million)
- Backwash and or clean your filter to ensure effectiveness.
- Shake well
- Add to your skimmer while the pool is circulating. It is recommended to use one capful per 8,000 gallons of water in your pool.
- Test water and reapply Phosfree is the phosphate levels are still high.
Phosefree is able to remove up to 900ppb in one use. Once
the pool’s phosphates levels are in the proper range then a weekly or bi-weekly
maintenance course can begin. If you phosphate levels exceed 900ppb it is
recommended you use the commercial grade Phosfree.
Another option for combating is the Orenda Technologies
Phosphate Concentrate or Phosphate & Enzyme Remover. Orenda's potent concentrate can remove up to 10,000ppb per 10k gallons of water. This products application is similar to Phosfree and is also safe and non-toxic.
Regardless of what you use for your Phosphate maintenance it
is recommended you check phosphate levels weekly with a Phosphate Test Kit.
In end, getting your pool on a regiment of
phosphate treatment will help keep those algae blooms from ruining your swim
season and hopefully save the money you would otherwise need to spend on
additional shock and sanitizers!
If you have any questions about combating phosphate and nitrate growth, please give us a call at 888-836-6025 or email us with your questions.