Algae is the second major enemy of pools. These microscopic plants do not carry disease like bacteria. But they do multiply rapidly, and they can cause several problems:

There are three basic categories of pool algae: Green Algae, Mustard Algae, and Black (actually Blue-Green) Algae. But within these categories are literally hundreds of different species. Algae can be found in all areas of the world, from the ice-caps of the two poles to the most arid of deserts. The ease with which algae can adapt to a variety of environments is the very characteristic that makes algae control so important in a pool. If algae is allowed to get a good foot-hold in a pool, it can be a friend for life (well, a long time anyway). It can be a suitable companion for the bacteria as well. When algae respire (breathing in carbon dioxide and exhaling oxygen) the algae is actually feeding the bacteria (which breath in oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide). This relationship, between bacteria and algae, can rapidly get out of hand causing a pool to "turn on you" over night.

To fight back, you need products formulated to work together. The key is to prevent algae from growing to begin with. And that's what you get with the BioGuard 3-Step System. The first line of bacterial defense is the primary chlorine sanitizer, but in order for the Step 1 chlorine to do both jobs (killing bacteria and killing algae) the amount of Free Available Chlorine would have to be increased to at least 6 to 9 ppm FAC, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The "Shock" treatments in Step 2 also control algae growth (in addition to breaking down body oils, perspiration, urine and wind-blown debris), but those treatments are only performed once or twice every two weeks.

To fight the growth of algae effectively, you need the Step 3 Algae Inhibitors, to provide 'round-the-clock protection. In addition to inhibiting the growth of algae, the Step 3 products also have a surfactant capability. The word surfactant comes from its description: Surface Active Agent. It applies to any chemical compound that can decrease the surface tension of a liquid (water). When you add a surfactant to pool water, it helps the water penetrate the cracks and crevices where algae hide. And of course, the water brings the FAC and any other algae-killing chemicals with it. By adding an algae inhibitor on a regular schedule, you can control these microscopic plants before they cause problems. And that's the whole purpose of Step 3.

Note from Pool Emporium, Inc.: Just so you'll know... There is also another group of organisms which are sometimes incorrectly referred to as the fourth major strain of algae - Pink Slime. Of course BioGuard® has products and methods for dealing with this particular pest.

It's important for us to mention that it is easy to unknowingly "infect" your pool with organisms, bacteria, and/or algae. Ideally, you should not wear the same bathing suit in your pool that you wear to the beach, lake, pond, or any other similar body of water. If you can't have separate suits, make sure the one is thoroughly laundered after exposure to another body of water before being worn in the pool. Along those lines, you should not use the same toys (float, beach ball, etc.) in another body of water and then re-introduce them to the backyard pool. If this cannot be avoided, make sure to thoroughly clean them before tossing them back into the pool. And if you've just come home after being exposed to another body of water, do yourself and your pool a favor and rinse off before you take the plunge!

The information on this page has been provided courtesy of BioLab, Inc. ©1998