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Pool Water Discoloration Problems

Discolorations and stains can be prevented and/or removed.
The Pool and Spa Informational Website or

Causes, Solutions, Treatments and Suggestions.
Rusty, Green, Brown and Black Pool Water.



Scroll down to browse through some archived SWIMMING POOL questions and answers.  Please click the Pool Problems Link, on top of every page, to access a complete listing of Pool Problem subjects, an alphabetized Website Table of Contents, Pool Equipment Information, About Alan Biographic Material and a Pool Glossary. Use the other links to access additional subject information. More information about some new and unique products, for pools and spas, can be found by visiting The Website Store. You'll never know what you'll find and that's always fun. Be better prepared and avoid costly problems!


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Adding new water - better to test and be sure!!!

If there is a possibility that new water additions will contain sediments, dissolved metals or contaminants, you should consider using something to pre-filter the new water.  Test your source water for iron, copper and manganese, to determine, if dissolved metals present a potential problem.  It is better to avoid a problem, than to try and treat it, after the water has been added to the pool.  The products below can remove sediments, metals such as iron, copper and manganese and contaminates such as sulfur.  The MetalTrap Filter attaches to the garden hose and removes dissolved iron, copper and manganese.  The MetalTrap 1-Micron Filter removes ultra-fine contaminants, including sulfur.  The MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter attaches to a garden hose and removes dissolved heavy metals and sediments.  One cartridge is washable and reusable and the other is replaceable.
MetalTrap Filters - 3 sizes 1-Micron Pre-Filter - 2 sizes Dual-Cartridge MetalTrap Filters
MetalTrap Fiters 1-Micron Pre-Filters. MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter, for pool and spa use.
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information

If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
Scroll down to read through some Question & Answer information.

Removing Stains and Discoloring Metals, from the water!!!
Look for the presence of rusty, tan, blue, green, purple, gray, brown or black stains.  These are typically due to the presence of heavy metals, such as iron, copper or manganese.  Even if there is no obvious staining, the presence of heavy metals will cause water discoloration and possible staining, after chlorine or bromine are added or the pH is raised.  Depending upon the severity of the problem, the products below can help you eliminate the problem.  The Stain Reversal Kit contains everything needed to remove the metal stains, eliminate the heavy metals and help prevent a recurrence, of the problem. The Stain Remover removes iron copper and manganese stains. Pool Refresh-Total Trap helps eliminate heavy metals and phosphates, by filter or vacuuming them out of the pool water.
Stain Reversal Kit, for Pools and Spas Removes Metal Stains Removes Dissolved Metals & Phosphates
MetalTrap Stain Reversal Kit, for pools and spas MetalTrap Stain Remover Pool Refresh TotalTrap removes phosphates and metals.
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information

If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
Scroll down to read through some Question & Answer information.

Optimizing the water chemistry and improving pool water clarity!!!
If iron, copper or manganese are present, the water should be treated, with the appropriate treatments, before adding other chemicals.  Test the water chemistry and adjust the pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness and cyanuric acid.  A ColorQ, All-Digital Tester can perform all of the common pool water tests and eliminates the color-matching and guesswork.  Some models, such as the #2067 ColorQ PRO 9-Plus, also test for copper and iron.  Reliable water testing will help get the pool swimming-ready.  Better Circulation helps make everything work more effectively. The Circulator is a return jet replacement fitting, that improves filtration, eliminates dead zones that promote algae growth, improves sanitizer distribution and improves heat dispersion. The NEW ColorQ 2X Testers are Bluetooth and available, in a range of models.
ColorQ 2X All-Digital Water Testers The Pool Circulator Boosts Circulation ColorQ 2X All-Digital Tester
#2094 ColorQ 2X PRO 7-Plus 2nd Generation model. The Ciruclater replacement return jet fitting improves pool water circulation. ColorQ 2X Testers are Bluetooth and can be used with the FREE WaterLink Solutions HOME App.
Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information Product and Ordering Information

If you have a pool or spa water testing need, we should have the product.
Scroll down to read through some Question & Answer information.

How to treat and prevent 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 Pool Problems Page, as a source of problem-solving information, broken down into various categories.  Scroll down the page and click on the linked keywords, catch phrases or images, in the archived answers below, to access additional information, on that topic or product.

Do you know what's in your water?  If you're having problems, with stains and discoloration, due to the presence of metals, you should be testing for iron and copper, to better understand the extent and cause of the problem.  This helps select the best treatment option.  Understanding the nature of the problem, should be step one.  For information about our full selection of testing options, visit our Test Equipment Store.  For information about treatment options, visit our Stain Treatments Store.

There are many causes of stains and discolorations, which can appear in a variety of colors.
The color can sometimes point to a cause and solution.  Water Testing can help verify the cause of the problem.

Stain or Discoloration Color Cause and Treatment
Green or Brown

Most likely, these are organic, in nature, and are due to algae and/or tannins, leaching from many common varieties of tree leaves.  This is more likely to happen, if the sanitizer (oxidizer) levels are low and/or if there is poor circulation, across the pool floor.  Superchlorination and improving circulation, are the best course of action.

Dark Blue, Green or Black Dark blue, green or black colors or mixtures are likely caused by copper. High calcium hardness levels tend to cause the stains to darker, in appearance.  The source could be corrosion of the copper heat exchanger, natural sources, over use of copper algaecides, ionizer or mineralizers.  This type of problem requires proper chemical treatment, such as provided by the MetalTrap Stain Reversal Kit.  If present in the source water, a MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter can be connected to the garden hose, used to add new water.  This will help prevent the addition of more metals, with each new water addition.
Green, Brown, Tea-Colored or Rusty-Red Green, Brown, Tea-Colored or Rusty-Red colors are usually indicative of an iron problem.  The most likely source is the water being used to fill the pool.  This is especially true, when well water is used.  While the use of a MetalTrap Stain Reversal Kit will help solve the problem, a MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter should be attached to the garden hose, in order to avoid future recurrences.
Brown, Black or Purple Brown, Black or Purple colors are usually an indication of manganese being present.  This most often occurs, when well water is being used.  A test of the source water should confirm the presence of manganese.  While the use of a MetalTrap Stain Reversal Kit will help solve the problem, a MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter should be attached to the garden hose, in order to avoid future recurrences.
Red or Blue Red or Blue Stains can be associated, with the presence of berries or vegetation.    This is more likely to happen, if the sanitizer (oxidizer) levels are low and/or if there is poor circulation, across the pool floor.  Superchlorination and improving circulation, are the best course of action.
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▼     Helpful, Problem-Solving Information, in a question and answer format.     ▼

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.

Kelley, 6/5/2017
MetalTrap Liquid Chelating Agent, for pools and spas.
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 liquid clarifier.  Hopefully, this will turn blue, within a few days. This has been a very successful treatment over the years.  If this website was helpful, in solving your problem, please consider joining our E-Letter Mailing List.  You'll receive E-Letters, with helpful information, new product updates, suggestions and sale announcements. I hope that I have provided the solution.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/5/2017

Disgusted 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, 8/19/2018

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
METALTRAP Filters remove iron, copper and manganese. 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 Liquid 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 helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/19/2018

Metal Corrosion?

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?  Thanks.

Joel L., Coral Springs, FL 11/1/2014

Chemistry, especially 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.  Poor quality stainless steel ladders and rails can be replaced by ones made of composite materials.  I hope that this information will be a problem-solver.

Sincerely.  Alan Schuster, 11/1/2014 

Should you be testing your water, for  Iron and Copper???

#2088 ColorQ 2X PRO 9 Copper test kit for pools and spas ColorQ PRO 9-Plus Digital Water Analyzer for pools and spas.
ColorQ 2X PRO 9 Copper Test Kit ColorQ PRO 9-Plus

Treating 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., 7/20/2016
METALTRAP Filters remove iron, copper and manganese.

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, 7/20/2016

Yellowish Color?

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 o
n 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! ShutMetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter, for pools and spas. 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!  You should have your source water tested for iron and copper.  If present, you should add a MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter, to remove dissolved metals and sediments, BEFORE new water is added, to the pool.  Avoiding a problem is better than treating the problem.  I hope that this information will help clear things up.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/13/2009

Sulfur 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
MetalTrap 1-Micron Pre-Filters, for Pools and Spas.

Planning ahead is the best thing you could have done. The MetalTrap 1-Micron 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 The Rain?

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 Green?

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
#2086 ColorQ 2X - 2nd Generation Pool/Spa Tester 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

Turquoise 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 frequTotalTrap Pool Refresh removes phosphates and heavy metalsently. 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. The discoloration could be caused by a trace metal. Add a dose of Pool Refresh can remove any iron or copper, as well as phosphates.  Follow with a dose of Liquid MetalTrap, to scavenge up any lingering traces of metals. 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 Problem?

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,

Mike, 7/3/2010

Liquid MetalTrap
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 Liquid 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

How to deal with metals, stains and discoloration.

These products remove metals and avoid future, recurrent problems.
Don't just treat stains . . . eliminate them and prevent their return!!!
Stain Reversal Kit. Liquid MetalTrap MetalTrap Stain Remover. TotalTrap Pool Refresh removes phosphates and heavy metals
Metals Stain Reversal Kit Liquid Metal
Chelating Agent
Stain Remover
Eliminates Metals and Phosphates
MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter, for pools and spas. MetalTrap Single-Cartridge 5-Micron Filter System, for pools and spas. MetalTrap Filters remove heavy metals. MetalTrap 1-Micron Pre-Filter, for Pools and Spas.
Dual-Cartridge Filter System 5-Micron Single Cartridge Filter System Filters for Heavy Metals Removal 1-Micron
Visit The Metals and Staining Treatment Store for complete information.

Re-Appearing Green?

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?

Rich. 10/19/2008

METALTRAP Filters remove iron, copper and manganese.
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

Added 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
MetalTrap Stain Reversal Kit, for pools and spas. 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. Liquid 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 start?

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 o
f things, you are going to need some real help. I suggest using a MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter and a small submersible, along with a garden hose to recirculate the water. Keep the pool filter running. This dual-cartridge filter should be able to remove the offensive smelling sulfur, contamination and heavy metals. Get the chemistry right and a free chlorine of 5 PPM and see what it looks like. As the water passes through the MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter, it should improve. In the future, always use the MetalTrap Dual-Cartridge Filter, when adding water to top off the pool. I hope this helps make a difference.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 6/30/2009

Disgusting 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, 8/8/2015

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 MegaChlor salt chlorine generator for spas, swim spas and pools up to 10,000 gallons.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 liquid clarifier.  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. You should give serious thought, to a salt chlorine generator.  It provides better control and results and the above ground model requires no installation.  It is plug and play ready.  I hope that this information proves helpful And, yes, I do answer the questions personally!

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 8/8/2015

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.
TotalTrap Pool Refresh removes phosphates and heavy metals 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. 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 things up.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/29/2010

Robin Egg Blue?

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

Liquid MetalTrap
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 heate
r, 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.  Good luck and I hope that this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 5/17/2009

Pool Water Turning Green?

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
The Circulator improves pool water circulation. 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 Pool Circulator 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 Water?

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.

Carol, 3/10/2008

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
MetalTrap Stain Reversal Kit, for pools and spas. 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 been helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 3/10/2008

Lavender Pool?

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 Pool Staining. Good luck and I hope that this information proves helpful.

Sincerely. Alan Schuster, 4/17/2013

I think you were right! It was metals! Thanks a million for your insight!

Susan, 4/27/2013

Blood Red Pool Water?

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
MetalTrap Stain Reversal Kit, for pools and spas. 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 MetalTrap 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

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