The swimming pool service contractors from Express Pool Care in Phoenix, Arizona are asked all the time, “are phosphates harmful to pool water?” It’s a debate that ranges among pool owners and pool service professionals alike.

The bottom line is that phosphates aren’t truly harmful to the pool water. Pool contractors know that if you remove the phosphates from the pool water you can control algae growth because phosphates are delicious food for algae spores. The more phosphates in the pool water, the higher the food source for the algae spores and the faster algae will grow.

Are phosphates harmful to pool water?

Even if you remove the food source — aka phosphates — you may not be able to completely remove or address the problem of algae growth. If you use a phosphate removal chemical you will remove phosphates, but that doesn’t necessarily mean algae will never make its home in your pool water.

Phosphates aren’t harmful or toxic to you. The best way to address the levels of phosphates in the pool water is to maintain proper chlorine levels and to use an algaecide to remove algae bloom. Shocking the pool will also help address any potential algae growth. Phosphates are chemical compounds that contain phosphorous. Phosphorous is a naturally occuring non metal element; phosphates contain oxygen and hydrogen.

Pool water ecosystem

Phosphates can upset the delicate balance of the chemicals in your water and in the environment. Phosphates, when stored in algae, help to sustain the algae. Once the algae dies, it sinks to the bottom of the pool and the phosphates are released to serve as food for another algae spore. This cycle continues until an excess of algae has bloomed.

If your pool contractor adds an algacide into the pool water, he is also effectively killing off phosphates. Using a phosphate remover may cause more harm than good because phosphate removers typically contain soft metals. Soft metals may be toxic to humans and other plant and organic life sources.

 The bottom line

Your pool contractor will likely tell you that your pool water doesn’t need a phosphate remover because he is keeping the chemical levels balanced, is using an algaecide and is shocking the pool water regularly.

If you have questions on phosphates and on pool cleaning and service in general, give us a call!