How to tell: yellow algae or pollen?

samhorowitz

Bronze Supporter
Jan 28, 2020
22
FL
Northeast Florida, 3 months into being a pool owner after we bought a house in November.

A couple weeks ago we started getting yellow pollen everywhere. Cars are yellow, deck furniture is yellow, driveway is yellow. Everything is yellow. About that same time I started noticing bits of yellow piling up mostly in the deep end where the wall curves and meets the bottom. It’s an area where debris tends to collect as well.

I’ve been getting my water tested at Pinch a Penny (I know I should buy a kit etc). I mentioned this week when they asked how the pool looks that I’ve been brushing those areas to get the pollen up off the bottom so the filter will take care of it.

Note that there’s nothing on the walls except right at the water line (yellow pollen for sure). There does seem to be a fine layer of dust throughout the pool that’s only noticeable when I brush... It’s also been windy and breezy. And with all the construction here there is just a lot of dust and dirt in the air generally (find a house with white siding and it’s gray pretty quickly). The yellow and the gray dust brushes up very easily. The water is nice and clear and my levels are good.

Pinch a Penny insists that it’s pollen and I need to shock the pool. Guy I talked to yesterday’s stance is that pollen doesn’t sink, it only ever sits on top of the water. Anything yellow on the walls or bottom MUST be algae. That doesn’t seem right to me.

How do I know if it’s algae or pollen?
 

samhorowitz

Bronze Supporter
Jan 28, 2020
22
FL
I’ve read it (numerous times) and I understand that I ought to get a kit, but it’s not happening for at least a few weeks. Is the only way to tell by measuring overnight chlorine loss?
 

Newdude

Well-known member
Jun 16, 2019
2,566
NY
Welcome Sam. I have similar dust/pollen issues. Between that and algae it is darn near impossible to tell the difference without the proper test kit listed above by Marty. Once you can reliably test your water you will need to perform an Overnight Chlorine Loss Test. That will let you know which type of problem you have. Either way, ‘shocking’ the pool will not remove anything. The filter is what removes particles.