Phosphates are a chemical compound that contains phosphorus - a naturally occurring element in nature. They are considered plant food, which is why it makes up most fertilisers and helps algae spread rapidly. Phosphates can enter your pool in many ways, such as heavy rainfall, using tank water top up/fill, organic matter including leaves, dirt and garden fertiliser, as well as scale and stain treatments.
Why are phosphates bad?
Phosphates are a great food source for algae. It can catalyse algae growth and make it difficult to treat mass growth. Phosphates can also cause the pool to appear cloudy, surfaces to become slippery and slimy and increase the cost chemicals as you attempt to balance the water again.
How do I treat phosphates?
Removing phosphates requires using a product specifically designed to remove phosphates. Regular chemicals such as chlorine and algaecide will not remove them. A phosphate remover binds with the phosphates and allows them to be captured by your filter. Two to three days after application, clean your filter by either backwashing and rinsing, or deep cleaning your cartridges. This will make sure the phosphates don’t end up back in your pool.
How do I prevent phosphates?
Although we can’t control the weather, there are a few ways you can prevent excessive phosphate levels:
Regularly empty baskets and clean your filter
Vacuum often or regularly use a robotic cleaner to prevent leaves or dirt etc. from staying in the pool for too long
Keep a pool cover on when not in use, it will help to minimise leaf litter entering the pool
Test your water chemistry regularly to nip phosphates in the bud as soon as they start