Not in Rio for the Summer 2016 Olympics? Neither are we, but after seeing these photos – we’re not exactly green with envy that we aren’t there. It looks like something weird has definitely happened to the Olympic diving pool in Rio – virtually overnight divers find themselves competing in water that had turned from crystal clear blue into an all too familiar shade of green. Trust me, there is no one lining up to jump into a green pool with a serious algae problem.
What are the consequences of swimming in a green pool?
Aside from that slimy feeling one gets, the algae itself promotes rapid bacteria growth – swallowing, breathing or coming into contact with these germs can lead to many illnesses such as E. Coli, Giardia, and skin rashes. While we’re certain that a little E. Coli wouldn’t deter the likes of Michael Phelps, we can be happy that all is right in his pool. Although after winning 2 gold medals, you’d think he’d look a little happier.
We asked Vice President of Premier Pools & Spas, Brian Porter:
“What could they do in Rio to keep an Olympic sized pool free from algae?” and he said, “I don’t think the problem is related to algae – the water looks clear – just green, which leads me to believe that it’s a problem due to oxidized copper”. Well, just how does oxidized copper turn a pool green? “Think of the Statue of Liberty’s patina.” said Brian. “When copper is exposed to water it begins to rapidly oxidize. I’m willing to wager it’s an issue with copper piping and not algae”.
To answer the question: How does one keep an Olympic sized pool free from algae? The secret, according to Porter, “Keep the water moving! Salt Chlorine generators do a great job at preventing algae growth in the first place.” and finally “Adding an algaecide weekly could also help you prevent algae from building up in your pool” said Brian.