Also Known As: Algicide, Copper Algaecide

Algaecide is a chemical treatment designed to kill and prevent algae growth. While chlorine can help discourage algae growth, other factors – including water temperature, sunlight, pH and mineral content – can encourage algae growth. Rain, debris and even swimmers can introduce algae to pool water. Algaecides can help keep algae growth at bay.

There are two types of algaecide: metallic, including copper and silver, and the less-expensive quaternary ammonia. Copper-based algaecides will likely stain the pool and even discolor blonde hair. Quaternary ammonia can foam, creating suds in the pool water itself.

Most algaecides are effective against green algae. However, black algae is difficult to combat due to its waxy coating. Therefore, algaecides have been designed specifically to address this problem. The most effective algaecide will contain at least 30 percent active ingredient, either metal or ammonia. When using algaecide, package directions should be followed carefully. The pool should be treated on a sunny day, when algae is flourishing.

Vacuum the dead algae after treatment. In addition, clean filters and check chemical levels. Shocking the pool with chlorine can boost an algaecide’s effectiveness.

Regular use of algaecides can prolong the life of the water filtration system, by preventing plant material from clogging the filters and pump intakes. In addition, less chlorine may be necessary, providing a more pleasant experience for swimmers.