How to treat
and prevent pool discoloration problems?
Problems, with swimming pool water discoloration
and staining, are usually caused by the
oxidation of heavy metals, the existence of
algae or the result of organic components of
leaves and other debris. Heavy metals, such as
iron, copper, cobalt or manganese can cause a
variety of colored pool water problems
including: yellow-amber, rusty, brown-black,
purple, blue and green. These pool discoloration
problems usually commence with the oxidation of
the dissolved heavy metals, upon the addition of
chlorine, shock or other oxidizers. METALTRAP
Products can help remove these heavy metals and
the stains associated with their presence. It is
important to have the source water tested to
better understand the origins of a problem and
to allow for early preventative treatment.
This is especially important, if well water is
going to be used to fill or top off the pool.
Algae usually discolors the water by imparting a
murky, green color and this type of problem is
usually associated with a lack of Free Chlorine
and a visible presence. High levels of calcium
hardness can lead to cloudy conditions, which
can alter the appearance of the water and
complicate the determination of the cause of the
colored pool water. By itself, calcium is not
associated with stains or discoloration
problems. Water analysis is always a good
starting point, whenever a mineral problem is
suspected or the pool water color is a problem.
If problems arise, refer to the
Page, as a source of problem-solving
information, broken down into various
categories. Scroll down the page and click on the linked
or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product..
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Problem-Solving Information, in a question and
► Crystal Clear
Green Pool Water?
Alan, I had written you a couple of
days ago and I am in need of more assistance. My pool water
has a green color. The water is clear. I thought it was an
algae problem since the water was clear. I was told my the
local pool place that I should add a copper algaecide (1 1/2
oz for a max of 3 days). I did so and my pool looks the
same. I don't know if the algae is dead or not. I tried to
vacuum it and nothing came out of the waste. The side of the
pool is not slimy either. All of my levels are perfect. I
shocked the pool with 2 bags yesterday and still it looks
the same. Should I still shock it everyday and hope it turns
blue? If so, how much shock should I use? I am stumped
because I thought one of the things I tried would do
something. My return skimmer has a strong current, my water
is circulating great and all of my baskets are clean. My
pressure is below 10 on the pump. The pump is brand new.
Please help me! Thank you.
It doesn't seem that the problem is algae and adding more
shock is not likely to change things. Instances of crystal
clear green-colored swimming pool water are not all that
uncommon. It is probably being caused by the presence of
highly colored metallic colloidal particles. Water testing
will probably, but not always, point to a cause. I suggest
that you do the following: add a dose of a phosphate-free,
Liquid MetalTrap, filter for a few hours and then add a
Nano-Stick Clarifier. Hopefully, this will turn blue, within
a few days. This has been a very successful treatment over
the years. I hope that it all works out for you.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/5/2014
With Discolored Water?
I have a vinyl pool with the ring top
it is an 18' x 48" and I am just hysterical about the green
colored water. I have done just about everything I can do or
at least know how to do. I have cleaned the filter a dozen
times, added algaecide and clarifier, more chlorine tabs and
shocked it twice and nothing is happening all except the
free chlorine level has risen to 10 and the pH balance is
very low. I am about to give up on my pool I am just so
disgusted about the situation that has occurred with the
pool. I am spending a lot of money just trying to clear it
up. Please help me. I have vacuumed the bottom out cleaned
down the sides if this is helpful info.
No Name, 8/19/2012
With a Free Chlorine reading of 10 PPM and the possibility
of a low pH, it is extremely unlikely that the problem is
algae. Much more probable is the presence of iron or other
minerals. Iron can cause amber-colored pool water, that will
appear as green against the blue pool liner. I suggest that
you have the water tested for iron and copper. Their
presence will require the addition of a quality,
phosphate-free, metal chelating agent such as
METALTRAP. If this is the problem, the addition of
sufficient product will help to decolorize the water.
Afterwards, adjust the water chemistry and add another dose
of clarifier. Treating iron staining and discoloration, with
some chemicals, leaves the door open for a return of the
problem, with or without the addition of new water. Using
the METALTRAP Filter to recirculate the pool water, will
help to permanently remove the metallic ions and, if used to
filter new water, it will prevent new metals from getting
into the pool. Just attach to a garden hose and you can be
ready to go. To recirculate, just add a small submersible or
cover pump. I hope that this information will prove
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/19/2012
I have some
evidence of metal corrosion in my pool. I have been
using liquid chlorine and acid, for years, and have been
able to maintain good pH and chlorine levels. I have
also had some tea colored staining. Is there an
obvious reason or something that I can do about this?
Joel L., Coral
Springs, FL 11/1/2014
pH, can play a role, but you seem to have ruled that out.
High total dissolved solids (TDS) can
cause problems, if two dissimilar metals are in immediate
proximity to one another. As you can liquid chlorine
or any chlorine, for that matter, the dissolved salt level
will increase. Electrolysis, due to improper bonding
and grounding could play a role, as well. The addition
of a sacrificial zinc anode
could help product the underwater metal parts. It is
plumbed in-line and a ground line is attached to the pump's
grounding line. Installation is simple and there are
no power lines or controls to set. As water passes
over the zinc anode, it will preferentially dissolve before
metals in heaters, pumps, ladders, rails, rights, etc.
The zinc sacrifices itself and protects the other metals.
I hope that this information will be a problem-solver.
The Whole Pool?
It would seem that the filters (Metal
Trap and Pure Start) are expected to be used when adding water
to a pool. Do you see them being used with some sort of pump
to circulate the whole pool water thru them, to filter out
the metals or is this just out of the question? Thanks, as
always, in advance.
Neil B., 7/20/2013
That is exactly how it can be used!!! You can use a small
submersible pump with garden hose fittings. The longer it
recirculates, the more metals are permanently removed. And,
of course, it should be used to treat all new water. The
manufacturer even suggest a seasonal recirculating to stay
ahead of problems. Why "treat" a metals problem with
chemicals and have it return, when you can physically remove
the metals and the problem? This approach makes sense and
be combined with a chemical treatment, to remove stains, if
present. Once the stains are removed, you can use the
METALTRAP Filter to remove the metals that have now been
removed from the stained surfaces. No more stains, no more
metals and less possibility of a return of the problem, if
the chemistry is properly maintained. I hope that this
information will clear things up.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/20/2013
I have a 22 x 41.6 inground vinyl
liner pool. I can't seem to get it clear! It has had a dirty
greenish tint to the water and my steps are a
yellowish-orange color that won't rub off. I have put
granulated chlorine in it twice in the past four days(18
cups). We have had to backwash just about every day and the
waste water is yellow. I am really concerned about my steps
that were once WHITE. Can you help me?? And do you know what
I can do to clear my water? Thanks.
Tanya from MS, 4/13/2009
It sounds like you could have a problem with iron. Did you
use well water to top the pool off? That would explain the
yellowish color on the steps and in the water. Against the
blue background, it could appear greenish. Have the pool and
tap water tested for iron. Try this! Shut off the filter and
slowly pour about 1/2 pound of pH reducer onto the top step.
Let the water become still. After about 30 minutes, use a
nylon bristle brush on the steps. If it made a difference,
the problem is definitely iron. Treat elsewhere as needed.
You should add a double dose of phosphate-free Liquid
MetalTrap now and whenever, new water is added. The water
clarity could be related or due to normal pool opening
problems. Raise the Free Chlorine level to 5 PPM and keep it
there until at least 1-3 PPM remains, after an overnight
period. Make sure that the pH is 7.2-7.6. Check out the
filter and make sure that it is being operated continuously,
until the water is clear. Backwash only when the pressure is
too high! Adding a Nano-Stick Clarifier can help improve the
filter efficiency and can last up to 6-months. I hope that
this information will help clear things up.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/13/2009
Smell and Discoloration?
I am having an inground pool built and
I know that the water that will be used to fill it has some
sulfur in it and probably other organic decomposition
products, as well. Can I treat the water, as the pool is
being filled? Thanks for any help, you can offer.
Bill T, Cody, WY, 5/26/2009
Planning ahead is the best thing you could have done. The
PURESTART Pre-Filter will remove sulfur and organic
contamination, as the water passes through this
cartridge-like filter. It simply attaches to the hose, that
will be used to fill the pool, and removes sulfur and
organic contamination, as water passes through the media
inside. If you use it to treat all the water used to fill
the pool and to top it off, in the future, you will keep
these offensive materials out of the pool. It should make
getting the pool into chemical balance a lot easier and less
expensive, as well. Good luck with the pool and I hope the
information is helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/27/2009
► Green From
Why does my pool water turn a green
color, after it rains? Please be specific! Thank you.
Linda A., 2/21/2005
Most likely the green color is caused by the early onset of
algae problems. If you free chlorine level was on the low
side, the rainfall could have introduced materials and
debris that depleted the free chlorine, thus allowing algae
to start growing. This is why it is commonly recommended
that a pool be shocked after heavy rainfall. I hope that the
mystery will clear up and that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/21/2005
► Pool Turned
We added a lot of water to our
inground 18x36 pool. It turned a green color. The chlorine
wasn't holding so we added 2 containers of
conditioner/stabilizer. The pool and liner turned light
brown. We tested and found the pH is low. We have added 15
bags of super shock and it has not changed. Any suggestions?
Emily H., 5/3/2008
Most likely this is a pool opening. The chlorine wasn't
"holding" because the chlorine demand of the water was so
high. That's why you added 15 bags of super shock. You add
stabilizer only when the level is too low. Too much can
reduce the effectiveness of chlorine. The brown color could
have due to metals, iron is the most likely, in the makeup
water. What you need to do is get your ducks in a row. Have
the water tested for Free Chlorine, pH, chlorine stabilizer
total alkalinity, calcium hardness and iron. This will give
you the proper basis for making corrections that are
necessary. You don't want to throw the wrong chemicals at
the problem. Make sure that the filter is operating
properly. If there are metal present, add a double dose of
phosphate-free Liquid MetalTrap. Taking control of your own
water testing, with the
all-digital ColorQ Water Analyzers,
can help you understand and solve the problem. No
color-matching or guesswork is involved. I hope that this
information proves helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/3/2008
Pool Water Color?
Hello Alan, I've had my 20 x 40
inground pool for about 7 years. I have a 1-1/2 hp pump,
sand Filter 26" diameter and an automatic pool vacuum. This
season has been the worst with algae. I'm usually able to
shock it out. This time, I've had to drain the pool level
about one foot above the shallow end twice to reduce the
buildup of cyanuric acid to 30-50 ppm. It never really
cleared up this season. Now, the pool water is Turquoise
colored. I still can't see the bottom. My wife "cried all
season". My wife says she read on the web that the Laterals
may be cracked. Unless I take out all the sand from the
filter, how do I inspect the filter for cracked laterals?
Alan, any information that you can share with me would be
most helpful. It may even help my marriage! Thank you.
Coleman L., 9/17/2010
It is not unusual, from my perspective, for a sand filter to
fail to remove dead algae. It can pass right through. I
suspect that this is, in part, a filtration problem. Are the
laterals cracked? No way for me to tell. Poor filtration can
result from channeling or backwashing too frequently. I
suggest that you start with a clean slate. Empty the filter
and clean it out. If there are parts in need of replacement,
you can make the necessary repairs. Fill it up with the
proper type of filter sand. Once running, add 1/2 pound of
D.E. This will act as "clean dirt" and get the filter
pressure up and increase the effectiveness of the filter.
Once the water is clear, backwash to waste. Reapply the DE
and, thereafter, backwash only when the pressure is too
high. As long as you are emptying the sand filter, there is
another option. Instead of refilling the filter with sand,
use ZeobriteXtreme: a sand replacement filter media that is
capable of removing dead algae and producing better water
clarity. The discoloration could be caused by a trace metal.
Add a dose of phosphate-free Liquid MetalTrap. Have the
water tested for iron and copper, as a means of confirming
this possibility. I hope that this information will prove
helpful. It has worked for lots of pool owners.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 9/17/2010
► Sand Storm
I am a new owner of a saltwater pool.
We had a sand storm here last Friday and two days later my
pool water color turned green. How do I take care of this
problem? Add more salt?
B. M., 4/7/2004
The only time you need to add more salt is to replace any
lost through pump out, splash out, leakage or backwashing
the filter. Check the salt level! Most likely the sand storm
introduced a cocktail of minerals and organic debris. This
probably resulted in the depletion of the chlorine level
and, perhaps, allowed algae to bloom. Check the Free
Chlorine level! If low, turn up the chlorinator dial and/or
add some quick dissolving shock. Make sure that the pH is
7.2-7.8. Once a stable Free Chlorine level has been
established, the green water should disappear. I hope that I
have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/7/2004
► Green Pool
Water From The Start?
I recently setup and filled a 15'
diameter by 3' deep pool for my children. I filled the pool
yesterday with water from our hose and it looked fine. This
morning the pool water has a green tint to it. The water
temp is at 65 deg. I shocked the pool, but I wonder if I
need some other treatment for the green colored water. I
checked the filter and it did have brown deposits that
easily hosed off. Any direction would be greatly
appreciated. Thank you,
It is not likely that algae is responsible for the
green-colored tint in the pool water. It is just too quick.
Rather, the pool water color problem is, most likely, caused
by trace amounts of iron. That would explain the brown
deposits. The green tint could be an amber caste against a
blue background. I suggest that you add a double dose of a
quality mineral treatment, such as phosphate-free
MetalTrap, ASAP. This should help complex the mineral and
allow for better pool water color and quality. Get the
swimming pool and tap water tested for iron, if possible.
Refer to the archives under iron for more information. I
hope that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 7/3/2010
Hi Alan, thanks for your help in
advance. My problem is, every time I add chlorine, the pool
turns green for a couple of days. It is crystal clear blue
before I add the chlorine, and then I add the chlorine and
it almost turns green before my eyes! What the hay?
Pools that turns color after chlorine has been added usually
have a metals problem. This can be very common with well
water. ASAP add at least a double dose of a phosphate-free
Liquid MetalTrap. This product does not degrade to
ortho-phosphate and is still effective at a pH over 7.8.
This might help avoid the discoloration and possible
staining and should make an improvement. Bring in a water
sample to a local dealer and have the water tested for iron,
copper and other parameters. I suggest adding a dose of the
metal treatment for each 0.5 PPM of metals. Add another dose
prior to adding new water or use a MetalTrap Filter,
attached to a garden to remove metals, from all new water. A
monthly dose is an additional safeguard against a recurring
problem. I hope that this information proves helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 10/20/2008
Chlorine And Pool Turned Rusty Color?
We had a 18' pool installed and it
took more than a day to fill the pool. Everything was OK,
until I added some chlorine. The pool turned an rusty-brown
color. We have a well and added a bottle of some metal
treatment, as the pool was being filled, as per the dealer's
advice. Can we solve this problem?
Janice H., North Haven, CT, 6/5/2009
Pools that turn amber to rusty, brown or blackish, after
addition of chlorine or pH raising chemicals, usually have
iron and other heavy metals present. This is especially
true, when well water is used. Whatever you added was not
enough. If you had filtered the well water, used to fill the
pool, through a METALTRAP Filter, the heavy metals would
have been permanently removed. When the pool needed to be
topped off, all the new well water could have been passed
through the METALTRAP Filter, to prevent new additions of
metals. Removing metals, as the pool fills is the best
insurance against future problems. There are chemicals
means to treat metal problems and/or remove the stains they
cause. Not all of these chemicals are equally effective,
some are ineffective at higher pH levels and others contain
phosphates, which can lead to other problems.
METALTRAP is phosphate free and works over the full pool pH
range and beyond. Adding this chemical can help avoid
staining and/or discoloration. If staining has occurred, it
can be removed with METALTRAP Stain Remover. This product helps to reduce and solubilize heavy
metals, so that Liquid METALTRAP can keep them in solution
in a chelated state, which is less colored and more stable.
Following up with a recirculating treatment, using the
METALTRAP Filter can permanently eliminate the metals. All
you need is a garden hose and a small pump to do the
recirculation. Good luck and I hope that I've been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/5/2009
► Ugly Color
And A Bad Sulfur Smell?
We just filled our above ground pool,
about 10,000 gallons, I believe, with well water. It stinks
to say the least. Sulfur odors and an ugly color. Where do I
Greg N., Reading, PA, 6/30/2009
I guess you should bring in a water sample to a local
dealer. He won't be able to test for all that is wrong. From
the smell of things, you are going to need some real help. I
suggest using a PURESTART Pre-Filter and a small
submersible, along with a garden hose to recirculate the
water. Keep the pool filter running. The PURESTART should be
able to remove the offensive smelling sulfur and other
organic contamination. Get the chemistry right and a free
chlorine of 5 PPM and see what it looks like. As the water
passes through the PURESTART, it should improve. In the
future, always use the PURESTART Pre-Filter, when adding
water to top off the pool. I hope this helps make a
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/30/2009
Green Pool Water Color?
I don't know if you answer these
personally or not but here goes. We purchased a above ground
15' vinyl pool with a blow up top ring. It has a round
filter that can be washed out. The pool also came with no
instructions about chemicals, or how to use them. So I
started with chlorine pucks. I inserted one puck into my
cute little duck chlorine holder and thought I was off to
the races. This worked for about 2-3 weeks, then we went
away for a few days and came home to this disgusting green
pool. I forbid the kids to enter and put in 2 more pucks.
Nothing happened except it was getting darker green. I went
to a feed store that had pool chemicals and the salesperson
had no idea on pools, so I got some pool clearer (it has no
chlorine, but it promises to brighten up your water) and
some pH down. (and a tester). After putting half a jug of pH
down and some brightener in, I noticed some slimy green
stuff floating to the top of the water, (it was disgusting)
and the water is now light green and very cloudy. I have
waited 2 days and I still don't have sparkling water. I
don't know if it is yellow algae, green, pink, or whatever,
but could you give me some advice soon. We are in Ontario,
and the weather will soon be turning. Thanks for any advice.
Dianne, Ontario, Canada, 8/8/2005
It sounds like you have algae. This is the result of
inadequate chlorination. The duck is cute, but you will have
to supplement it with a quick dissolving chlorine: liquid,
sodium dichlor, etc. This will be based on a water test. You
want to keep the Free Chlorine at 1-3 PPM. The clarifier
will not solve the problem. Nor, will the pH reducer. You
need the pH at 7.2-7.6. Your water is not likely to clear up
unless you boost the free chlorine to approximately 5 PPM
and keep it there, until the water clears up. If the clarity
problem is not solved, with a day or two, it may be that
your filter is not functioning effectively. You could try
adding a Nano-Stick Clarifier. This
nano-technology product can improve water clarity and can
last for your entire season. This should be looked into. It
doesn't sound like pools are a big thing in your part of
Ontario. There are certainly plenty of them in the Toronto
area. I suggest that you refer to the archives on a
pool water testing and
cloudy pool water. I hope that this information proves
helpful And, yes, I do answer the questions personally!
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/8/2005
► Green, But
Not With Envy?
We have an above ground 30 ft round
pool (6' in the middle to 52" outer rim). We currently have
a sand filter and were wondering if that is the best system
for this size pool? We have had the pool for 4 years and
change the sand every year. But last year we had a difficult
time keeping the pool water from turning a green color. We
did not have any algae on the sides and the water levels
were within limits. Yet the water keep turning green. Any
suggestions for a new filter? Thanks.
Pam D., 4/29/2010
Green algae is the most common type of swimming pool algae
and results in greenish water. Think of it as your pool's
way of telling you that you are not maintaining adequate
sanitizer levels and/or water chemistry. Algae will grow if
given the opportunity! It is important to keep the sanitizer
level, chlorine for example, at a consistent level. A Free
Chlorine level of 1-3 PPM is ideal. When a pool is used
heavily the Free Chlorine can deplete quickly. Are you
testing for Free Chlorine? Adding shock treatment can
quickly restore the level. Don't fall into the trap of
thinking that because the pool is not being used, you don't
have to add chemicals: algae doesn't follow these rules! It
is important, also, to operate the filter for adequate
periods of time and have good circulation in the pool.
However, filtration alone is not the solution! There is no
reason to believe that you need a new filter - just better
water management. If conditions had gotten a bit worse, you
might have seen algae growing on the walls. Replacing the
sand every year is a mistake, as the sand media becomes more
efficient, as it removes particles. A better option would be
to use ZeobriteXtreme, a sand filter replacement media. It
lasts longer, produces better water quality, weighs half as
much as sand and is modestly priced. You should consider
shocking the pool after periods of heavy bather usage, heavy
rainfall, loss of water clarity or anytime the chlorine
level falls to zero. Periodic use of an algaecide and/or a
phosphate eliminator can offer additional protection.
Chlorine becomes less effective as the pH rises above 7.6
and levels of chlorine stabilizer, above 150 PPM, can reduce
chlorine efficiency. Water testing is important! With no
color-matching or guesswork, the
all-digital ColorQ Water
Analyzer can easily provide the information, that you might
require. I hope that this information will help clear
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/29/2010
► Robin Egg
I have an inground pool 17 by 36,
approx 19000 gals, it has a liner. Opened it and water was
cloudy. Filled it with new water which was better than half
capacity. Town has wells for water source. Vacuumed dirt .
Added one gallon shock. Using jumbo chlorine tablets for
sanitation. Water has turned robin egg blue about the color
of the blue bolsters used for the winter cover. At 3 ft.
depth the white stripe is hazy but visible. At the deep end
it is solid blue and the bottom is not visible. Checked
chlorine level and is higher than 1.0 PPM, pH over 7.4 and
might be a little high. Alkalinity is about 170. Have added
two pounds pH lower, but have not seen any difference. I am
running the filter consistently with no improvement. What
could be the problem?
Fred W., Westerly, RI, 5/16/2009
Most likely it is a mineral related problem. I suggest that
you have the water tested for copper. If present and, if you
have a heater, it is the result of corrosion due to
maintaining allow pH for extended periods of time, improper
placement of the chlorine feeder or lack of a check valve.
If there is no heater, it could be from the well water or a
copper algaecide. In either case, add a couple of dose of a
quality metal treatment, such as
Liquid MetalTrap. Keep the filter running. The next
day try adding a dose of a blue clarifier. Even better than
regular clarifiers, which are short acting, consider adding
a Nano-Stick Clarifier. It uses nano-technology to destroy
organic contamination requires no installation and lasts for
4-6 months. It will clearly improve the look and feel of the
water. If you have a sand filter, as I suspect, you might
consider replacing the sand with ZeobriteXtreme: a sand
filter replacement media that produces water quality that
rivals DE. Good luck and I hope that this information proves
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/17/2009
► Pool Water
Hi Alan, my pool water is turning
green! What is the quickest way to shock it? I have shock
products. However, those never seem to do an adequate job.
Someone suggested liquid chlorine. I have never used it.
Mainly use the 3" tabs after shocking. We are not in the
swim season, although I can't stand watching the pool turn
green. Please help. Thanks.
Cathie H., 2/20/2006
The pool water is turning a green color because of algae
growth. Just because you are not using the pool does not
mean that chlorine and filtration are not needed. You may be
able to get by with less, but you still must have enough
chlorine to control algae. You didn't provide any specifics,
which might have been helpful. Liquid chlorine should be
fine. Add a gallon for each 5,000 gallons of pool water.
Make sure the filter is operating. Test the water for Free
Chlorine and add more shock, until the level rises to 5 PPM
or there is at least 1-3 PPM present, after an overnight
period. Don't drag this out, as it will only increase the
amount of chlorine or shock treatment required. Once the
water is clear, you need to make sure that the chlorine
level is maintained. If you have a feeder, keep it filled
and test the water weekly. Better circulation can help solve
a host of problems, including this one. The
easily installs, in each return fitting, and will
dramatically improve circulation and eliminate dead zones,
with support algae growth. I hope that this information will
prove helpful. Spring is coming!
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 2/21/2006
► Purple Pool
I have never had this problem in the
past 12 years that I have had an in ground plaster pool. I
noticed in the winter when my husband was getting some of
the leaves out that the water had a purple hue to it, as
well as some stains. I thought my eyes had gone funny! I
pulled my pool cleaner out and there was purple on the white
tubing. My water is crystal clear and all of my chemicals
are correct, but I have a dust of purple in the bottom of
the pool. I have scrubbed the sides where it was also and
that has dislodged, but I am curious what it is. Thanks.
There are several possibilities. The purple color could be
due to trace metals, possibly forming a colored complex. I
suggest that you add a double dose of a quality metal
treatment and allow it to circulate for eight hours.
Afterwards, shock the pool. The metal treatment should help
complex the metals (iron, copper, etc.) and the shock
treatment should destroy any tannins that leached into the
pool water from the leaves. If you use the METALTRAP
regimen, you can remove the stain and remove the metals, as
well. You start by adding METALTRAP Stain Remover, as
directed. This helps dissolve the stain. Next
POOL REFRESH is added, to
precipitate the metals, in
order vacuum to filter them out. Next. you recirculate the
pool water and add Liquid METALTRAP to scavenge up and trace
metals remaining. If you plan on refinishing the
pool, ask the contractor to add water to the plaster, after
it has been run through the METALTRAP Filter. If might help
prevent the finish from slight discolorations. By all means,
when the pool is refilled, pass all the water through the
METALTRAP Filter. Removing metals, as the pool fills is the
nest insurance against future problems. Remember, always use
the METALTRAP to treat all new water. I hope that I have
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/10/2008
I saw your correspondence with the
lady who wrote in March about the purple pool water. We
started having trouble with this last fall and are still.
Toward the end of the season last fall, all of the sudden
one day our pool water seemed lavender. We then noticed it
was really a bright lavender film that was all over
everything where the water was. I was able to brush it off
the sides of the vinyl liner, but it also was all over any
of the white tubing fixtures in the return wells, on the
stairs etc. It clogged our cartridge filters badly and could
not be gotten off of the filters, even with our power
washer. We ended up throwing them away. We closed the pool
with clear water and sides washed as best as possible. I
took the cover off of the pool just yesterday, and it seems
that over the winter, the purple stuff has grown back.
Thereís a new purple film all over everything. I asked our
local pool company about it, and they said it probably was a
metal problem. I donít think so. I think this is a new
bacteria or algae species that is so new that pool companies
donít know about it yet. Your thoughts are appreciated and
welcome. I really do not want to open this pool with this
problem and goop up our new filters. Thanks.
Susan in Indiana. 4/17/2013
Metals is still my first choice. Pool dealers would not know
one bacteria or algae from another - they are not
microbiologists! I suggest that you have the water tested
for iron, copper and, especially, manganese. If you have
been diligent with maintaining the free chlorine level,
algae is less likely. And algae can come in all sorts of
colors. Let's try this. Put 1/2 pound of pH reducer granules
in a white sock. Shut off the filter. Drop onto a stained
area and leave in place for 15 minutes. Move around with a
pole. If this helped, it is positively a metals problem. If
it did not work, try the same thing with MetalTrap Stain
Remover. If this works, the problem is metals. If not, it
could be algae. Let me know how the tests turn out and we'll
go on to the next steps. Or refer to the archives on
Staining. Good luck and I hope that this information proves
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/17/2013
I think you were right! It was metals!
Thanks a million for your insight!
► Blood Red
Right to the point. We have "BLOOD
RED" pool water! We use well water and after chlorine was
added the water turned! Please help us find an answer, if
not we'll be forced to use agricultural water and who knows
what problems that will bring! Thanks in advance. I HOPE!
Kelly O., Forest Grove Oregon, 6/11/2010
Your well water sounds like it is unfit to drink and
possible not suitable for a pool. The iron content seems
very high, as no one has ever described the water as being
blood red. Yes, you can add chemicals, but it will take a
lot. A better option would be to
have good quality water trucked in. What do you use for
household purposes? If you use a softener, that is how I
would fill the pool. If you want to press on, I suggest that
you have the water tested for iron, copper and manganese, to
get a baseline reading. Afterwards add
POOL REFRESH, as directed. This will
facilitate the removal of metals and minerals, by filtering
and vacuuming. Hopefully, this will eliminate most of the
problem. Once again, have the water tested for iron, copper
and manganese. At this point, you will have to add at least
one dose of, phosphate-free Liquid MetalTrap, for every 1.0
PPM or recirculate the pool water through a
Filter, until the metals level drops to a satisfactory level
of less than 0.3 PPM total. Now you should add a double dose
of Liquid Metal Trap. Using agricultural runoff will add
phosphates, nitrates and more. It is a really poor option,
but POOL REFRESH will remove phosphates. I hope that this
information will be helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/11/2010
► Foggy Brown
I have a problem with my pool. It is
15 X 30. I have a brown mist on the pool floor. I checked
with my test kit and everything seems to be fine. I check
the water and it is clear. I, then, tried to vacuum the pool
and the floor cleans up. The pool water gets hazy brown and
then comes morning time, the brown settles back to the pool
floor. What is it and what can I do? Please e-mail me.
Anthony P., Brooklyn, NY, 6/2/2007
What you are describing is silt: fine particles that settle
to the bottom. These particles can be minerals, dead algae,
debris, etc. Without a main drain, it can be difficult to
remove the silt. Make sure that you operate the filter
during periods of activity. That way, the filter will have a
chance to remove the particles that are lifted off the
bottom. Try adding a Nano-Stick Clarifier: a
product that helps remove fine particles, that can pass
right through some filters. The Nano-Stick is simply hung
from the ladder and can last as long as 6-months. This
product will help make particle-removal more efficient. Is
the filter operating properly and for long enough periods?
If you have a sand filter, do not backwash too frequently -
usually only if the pressure is too high. Try vacuuming
before the pool is used in the morning. An automatic pool
vacuum will easily remove and control the silt and help
solve the water clarity problem. Something to consider? When
I lived in Brooklyn (Bensonhurst) pools were rare, but there
were plenty of trees. I hope that I have been helpful.
Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/2/2007
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