Phosphates in Pool Water

What Causes Phosphates in Pool Water and How to Remove Them Easily

Let's take you through the occurrence of phosphates in pool water and what one is to do about them. Continue reading for more information.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Jul 31, 2018
Phosphates can give rise to growth of algae and moss and make any pool dangerous to use. Even a small amount or a low concentration of phosphates in the water can lead to the growth of algae, which not only makes the pool slippery, but can also give rise to the growth of several organisms, thereby making the swimming pool unhygienic and unsafe to swim in.
Public Swimming Pool
It is therefore important to understand how to eliminate phosphates from the pool water so that there is no impending threat to one's health. In the sections that follow we will study some such ways in which we can dispel the phosphates from pool water.
Causes Of Phosphates in Water
How do phosphates develop and cause algae growth? Reasons are:
  • Dirty pool water
  • Decaying plant matter, dead skin cells
  • Acid rain
  • Fertilizers, Mineral treatment chemicals
  • Ground water runoff
  • Bird wastes, Bodily waste (urine and sweat)
  • Bather waste
  • Contaminated well water and soil
  • Sprays
Any of these factors could lead to the development of phosphates and lend the pool a very cloudy appearance with algae that is either green algae, mustard, or brownish in color. Along with that, the pool bottom and sides will be slippery and extremely slimy to touch. It will also mean that the water will have to be changed faster.
Kid Having A Good Time In The Pool
Not only are conditions like these difficult to swim in, but are also dangerous and a virtual threat, especially for children, that's why there is a need for eliminating these phosphates.
Removing the Phosphates
Chlorine/Bromine Levels
Chlorine has always formed a very important part of pool water cleaning and maintaining the sanitation of the pool. Maintaining high levels of bromine or chlorine is therefore known to prevent the onset of algae.
If the algae already exists and the phosphates are to be removed, there is a need to carry out a pool shock treatment to rid the pool algaeā€•it means a sudden and large dose of chlorine/bromine will be added to the pool water which will help to clear out the phosphates. This is done once every week to oxidize environmental and organic wastes.
Maintaining Pool Specifics
Maintaining a good pH and water balance will prevent the growth of phosphates. For this, the calcium hardness should be 200-250 ppm, the alkalinity of the pool should be 125-150 ppm and the pH balance should be 7.4-7.6.
Aluminum/Lanthanum Compounds
These are added to the swimming pool filter media or cartridge and they form a film over the filter media. Such that every time the phosphates pass over it, they club together and can therefore be easily removed.
Along with these methods, it is also important to maintain high levels of hygiene and sanitation both in the pool and before entering it. Therefore taking a shower before and after a swim becomes extremely important.
Phosphates in pool water can cause tremendous problems and discomfort, not to mention the threat that they lead to. Therefore there is a need to clean the pool and rid it of the phosphate content.