If you have a pool, you know how important it is to precisely maintain your pool water's chemical balance. Failure to check your water chemistry and add pool chemicals accordingly can result in slimy, disgusting water that no one wants to swim in. In addition to allowing crud to build up on the sides and bottom of your pool, improper chemical balances can make your water take on some surprising colors, such as green, amber and purple. Your pool water may also change colors if a foreign substance is introduced to it, such as copper or cobalt.

Following are three surprising colors your pool water can turn and what they mean:

Green or Murky Water

Perhaps the most common unwanted color, green usually indicates that there is an algae problem in the water. This is most often caused by low free chlorine levels. Algae can also start to grow in your pool water if you use products that contain a great deal of phosphates and nitrates. At first, algae causes the water to appear murky and greenish in color. However, if not treated, algae can coat the sides and bottom of the pool.

In most cases, algae is easily treated with the addition of free chlorine.

Amber or Brown Water

Amber or brown water is usually indicative of iron contamination. If you fill your pool from a water source that is high in iron, may turn brown. You can also introduce iron into your pool water through the use of certain chemicals, such as algae removers, which can be high in copper.

Brown or tea-colored water can also be caused by the presence of several heavy metals, which may be introduced to your pool by foreign objects or certain types of chemicals. Fortunately, iron can be removed from the water with mineral treatment products.

Purple or Blue Water

Purple and blue water is also caused by mineral deposits, such as manganese. This mineral usually gets introduced to a pool when it is filled. For example, if you filled your pool using well or spring water, it may contain manganese. It can also be caused by stainless steel corrosion.

For this reason, it's important to keep anything that's not made for pool use out of your pool water. Mineral deposits are treated the same way as heavy metal contamination. 

If you have any doubts as to what's causing your water troubles, take a water sample to your pool store. They will test the water, tell you what's wrong with it, and advise you about the products that are available to treat your particular issue. To learn more, contact a company like Oasis Pool Service LLC with any questions or concerns.

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