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IMPACT OF PHOSPHATES IN SWIMMING POOL WATER

Having high levels of phosphates increase the likelihood of algae growth in swimming pool water and can enter the water from such sources as: decaying plant matter, fertilizers, mineral treatment chemicals, contaminated well water, acid rain, contamination with soil, ground water runoff, bird droppings, bather wastes, urine and sweat. Phosphates are vital plant nutrients and the presence in swimming pool water, even at low concentrations, can cause accelerated algae growth in unbalanced water situations and poorly maintained pools. Pools, that are properly maintained, usually do not have unexpected difficulty controlling algae, even in the presence of abnormal phosphate levels. Higher levels of phosphates can make algae control more difficult and increase the amount of sanitizer required to maintain satisfactory control of algae. It is possible to remove modest levels of phosphates, by treating the pool water with a phosphate eliminating product, such as POOL REFRESH, PHOS-FREE or Orb-3. Very high levels may require so much of the precipitating compound, as to render this approach impractical, unless there is no option of water replacement. In order for phosphate reducing products to work the concentration of phosphates must be reduced to extremely low levels. Adding phosphate eliminating products add another layer of protection against algae growth. Proper pool water maintenance should always be the first line of defense. Even though phosphate testing is not always a suggested test one might do, in cases where algae control is proving difficult even with proper pool chemistry, phosphate and nitrate monitoring and control might be advantageous.

Phosphate eliminators are based on chemical compounds that cause the phosphates to precipitate from the water. These products reduces the phosphate concentration from parts per million to parts per billion.  Phosphates are a necessary nutrient for algae growth and their nearly total removal from the water can impede their growth. The phosphate eliminators can be used with chlorine, algaecides and most pool chemicals. They must be added periodically to keep the phosphate levels depressed, because swimmers and their associated wastes are a source of new phosphates. Doing a periodic phosphate test and treating with phosphate eliminators, will improve all the chemical performance in your pool water.

Wells must be treated for phosphate levels more frequently especially if the water contains iron and/or other heavy metals. A metal trap filter is always a good choice when feeding a pool with well water. This filter will remove iron, copper and other heavy metals during the refill cycles.

All this sounds great, but as long as you have people in swimming pools, there will be phosphates added in some quantity. For this reason the phosphate eliminator has to be added on a periodic basis. As additional assurance against algae growth, it is a good idea to maintain the normal additions of algaecide. The product is a worthwhile addition to the anti-algae arsenal. The only downside is that its initial addition will result in a precipitate that has to be removed by filtration and/or vacuuming.