Mold in Swimming Pools—Is It Dangerous?
Updated: Jan 27
There’s nothing like a refreshing dip on a hot day, or a lazy Sunday afternoon spent floating on the surface of your swimming pool. But what are those pinkish stains around the tiles? Or that filmy white stuff that’s floating next to you? Or that patch of little black spots in the plaster? Is it mold? Is it harmful? The mold experts at My Pure Environment answer all of these questions below.
What is that pink slime in my pool?
It looks a lot like rusty mineral residue between your pool tiles, but pink slime is more than just an unsightly discoloration. Pink slime in pools is a type of bacteria that often gets mistaken for algae or mold. Serratia marcescens is a pathogenic bacteria, and it can cause infections if you swallow it or get it in your eyes. Your pool will need a good scrub, clean filters, and shock treatment.
Is white water mold in pools dangerous?
Do you have what looks like disintegrating tissue paper floating in your pool? This unsettling, gooey, whitish substance is commonly known as “white water mold.” However, it’s not actually a mold at all, and no, it’s not harmful to humans.
White water mold is a microorganism called Oomycota. It used to be classified as a fungus, but a recent study shows that it’s more closely related to algae and kelp. It is parasitic to fish and to some plants, however, It does not harm humans because it dies as soon as it leaves the water. All the same, you don’t ever want it in your pool, because it can clog your filters and ruin other pool equipment, so be sure to scoop it up when you notice it.
Can black mold grow in pools?
If there are black spots on your pool’s plaster or tiles, they're probably black algae. Everyone dreads finding toxic black mold, but black or blue-green algae can be just as dangerous. Classified as a bacteria, “black algae" often harbors other harmful bacteria like E. coli, which can be deadly. And because black algae is resistant to chlorine, getting rid of it before it can penetrate deeper into the plaster or grout is key to stopping its spread.
Where does mold grow in pools?
You probably won’t find any actual mold in your pool. Keeping your pool clean and pH-balanced will prevent the growth of the algae and bacteria that usually get mistaken for mold. However, mold does tend to grow near pools—it can grow underneath wooden pool decking, inside of pool toys, or on the cushions of patio furniture. And unfortunately, this mold is often the notorious “black mold” (stachybotrys chartarum) that produces mycotoxins.
Can mold spread from my pool to my house?
Black mold spores can easily travel into your house on towels, swimsuits, or sandals, and then take hold wherever they find suitable growing conditions. To prevent mold from spreading from your pool to your house, wash pool toys frequently with bleach, wash towels and swimwear on the hot water cycle, and always make sure they’re stored fully dry.
Mold Remediation in Santa Clara, California
If you have “mold” in your pool, you should call a pool cleaning professional. But if you have mold in your house, you need a mold remediation expert. Indoor mold can cause costly damage and serious health issues, so the sooner you get rid of it, the better. If you’ve spotted any warning signs of mold in your home, call My Pure Environment to schedule a free mold inspection today.
Photo by Dim Hou on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 8/22/2022.