15 Tips To Prevent Your Above Ground Pool From Turning Green

15 Amazing tips to prevent your above ground swimming pool from turning green

August 20, 2021

The above ground pool is green! But why? Is it algae or just leaves? Either way, you need to know how to fix the problem.

Listen, this happened to me within the first few weeks of having my above ground pool. In fact, this is the Actual Image of how horrible it can look.

15 Amazing tips to prevent your above ground swimming pool from turning green

Not a pretty sight at all.

In my case and knee-jerk reaction, I drained the pool and started over. Little did I know…

The first step in solving the mystery of your green swimming pool is figuring out what’s causing it:

Algae or leaves and other debris.

If you think it’s algae, skim through this article for some tips on getting rid of that pesky stuff. If not, then take a look at our section on leaf care below!

So, the question then beckons; why does my above ground pool keep turning green?

The main culprit in a green above ground pool is algae. Pools turn green when certain types of algae that naturally occur in the environment grow out of control. Some are faster-growing than others and some are more troublesome than others. Depending on which type of algae it is, there are different methods for eliminating it from your pool.

The key thing to remember about either situation is that prevention will go much further than treating the symptoms, so make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your water crystal clear. Once you’ve figured out the cause of your murky pond, you can implement some of these handy tips for maintaining clarity.

But before we share the tips, let’s just recap…you can skip this part if you already own an above ground pool.

What are the benefits of an above ground swimming pool?

The benefit of an above ground pool is that it’s a great alternative for those who don’t have enough space for a fully in-ground pool.

An above ground pool saves money and time with installation, as well as the cost of heating the water.

Other benefits are that it’s a great way to cool off in the summer, especially during heat waves, it’s an excellent form of exercise, and you also get to spend quality time with family and friends. And yes, you can exercise in an above ground pool. We have a category for this with some excellent resources.

Above ground pools are also easier to move than their in-ground counterparts because you don’t need to worry about breaking the foundation when moving it.

The water level and filter of an above ground pool can be adjusted easily and quickly. They usually last about 10 years. We have written an article explaining why above ground pools last longer than you think, so be sure to check it out here.

Despite these benefits, nothing’s perfect! Here are some of the common problems associated with above ground pools…

Problems With Above Ground Pools

With an above ground pool, you run the risk of leaking and other problems in the seams because they are not as secure as concrete pools.

The vinyl walls may crack over time or even pop out of place at the seams. By testing your water properly (see below) and maintaining the pool, you’ll be able to feel confident that your vinyl liner is secure.

This makes it a nightmare when trying to find the source of an algae problem.

Some above ground pools have floor issues too. This is usually caused by uneven walls or a improperly laid down floor: make sure that your pool is level and on a flat surface in order to prevent this sort of water problem.

Both the vinyl liner and pool floor may crack or tear, which can be a major headache for those without proper repair materials (which we strongly recommend keeping on hand).

Why do above ground pools turn green?

Many people are wondering what causes an above ground pool to turn green but the answer comes down to two likely causes:

1. Algae

Pools turn green when certain types of algae that naturally occur in the environment grow out of control.

Sure, there are many types, but they all contribute to this problem.

Some are faster-growing than others and some are more troublesome than others. Depending on which type of algae it is, there are different methods for eliminating it from your pool.

The important thing to remember is that prevention is better than treatment!

2. Debris

In short, debris spilling into your pool will also cause its color to change, turning it from clear blue to murky green.

As far as algae go, it’s pretty easy to notice when it’s present; for example, if the color isn’t as clear as usual, you’ll know that something is wrong and should take action accordingly.

Depending on the severity of the problem and your own preferences, you may need to remove a layer of water from time to time. Removing this top layer will help clear things up faster and prevent green tints from appearing as quickly.

Did you know? A properly maintained above ground swimming pool will last you approximately 10 years!

Now that you know why your pool turns green, it’s time to do something about it! Here are some simple tips that might help keep your swimming pool clean and clear.

15 Tips to Keep our Above Ground Pool From Turning Green

There is no quick fix for either of these problems; but if you follow these tips, you could eliminate the cause and keep your pool clean for years to come!

Tip 1 – Remove or Drain your Pool, then test, test, test

If algae are the culprit, either remove the green stuff with a net or drain the pool and add chlorine before refilling.

In both cases, make sure that you test your water regularly (at least every week) with a kit (Get a great Kit Here from Amazon) and adjust the chlorine levels accordingly and to ensure that all traces of algae are gone, because it will reappear quickly if you don’t maintain levels of chlorine.

If you don’t test often enough, it’s easy for chlorine levels to drop without you realizing it! If this does happen, add more chlorine.

Chemical balance is key too! Make sure the pH, chlorine, acidity and total alkalinity levels are all within range.

Tip 2 – Invest in an Automatic Chlorinator

Should algae growth be a persistent problem, perhaps consider investing in an automatic chlorinator to keep levels high. And yes, these are perfectly possible to add to an above ground pool. Amazon has some great specials – at the time of writing this article – so check it out here if you are considering one.

These products are easy and inexpensive and take the guesswork out of maintaining chlorine levels. It makes adding chlorine much easier than it used to be.

They will help your pool water stay safe for you and your family, and will help keep your swimming pool looking clear and clean all summer long.

Tip 3 – Keep the Leaves Out of your Above Ground Pool

It is important that you regularly clean your pool from any leaves, insects, or debris as we discussed earlier.

This can be done manually for the budget conscience (me included) or if you have some cash to invest you can get an automated leaf removal system like these from Amazon.

Tip 4 – Ensure your Above Ground Pool Pump is Working

Make sure the pump works properly.

Keep the circulation systems working properly to reduce algae as well as monitor the filter system for any buildup of dirt that could block the filter pores.

Lastly, change your filter as often as needed.

Tip 5 – Drain Your Pool for the Winter

Be sure to drain the swimming pool completely before storing it for the winter (you can find more information about that by checking out our articles on how to winterize an above ground pool and how to store an in-ground pool ).

Get rid of any standing water because this can build up additional algae and stain your lining.

Also, consider cleaning the pool thoroughly before opening it for the first time. Get the kids to help and make it a fun, family activity!

Tip 6 – Consider Convrting Your Above Ground Pool to a Saltwater System

If you live in a humid area, consider a saltwater system to help absorb extra moisture. Be sure to test your water frequently, and make any necessary adjustments

We have written an article explaining exactly how you can convert your pool to a saltwater system, read it here.

Tip 7 – Clean up after a swim

Make a point of cleaning up after yourself-don’t let trash or other objects fall into your swimming pool! Doing so is a sure-fire way to ensure that your above ground pool will turn green.

Tip 8 – Check Reularly for Algal Blooms

Watch out for algal blooms; if you begin to notice anything different about the color of your water, immediately add chlorine and call an outdoor cleaning service.

Tip 9 – Invest in an Above Ground Cover

If you have read any of our articles, you would know by now that this is our number one tip, suggestion or just command.

Cover up your above ground swimming pool when it’s not in use to protect your pool from the element.

Even from animals looking for shelter.

Covers not only protect the water from debris and leaves but also keep it warmer which will reduce algae growth.

Your above ground pool should never be left open for extended periods of time without a cover, especially if you live in an area with high humidity (or lots of rain). This will help prevent algae from forming.

A good quality cover will keep out leaves and other debris that could ruin your summer fun if they fall into your above ground pool – get these on special (at time of writing) from Amazon.

We are going to say it once more. Get a cover. It is the one investment that WILL save you hours of frustration.

Tip 10 – Regular Maintenance of Your Above Ground Pool

Keep your pool well-maintained and clean it regularly to avoid the need for in-depth cleaning later on.

When you see algae, don’t ignore it! Take action immediately by adding chlorine or other chemicals as necessary and performing a manual cleaning whenever possible.

Algae can work its way into the walls of your swimming pool and cause more extensive damage and even emit rotting odors.

Tip 11 – Get a Skimmer and Net

Keep a skimmer and net on hand – both are crucial for removing items (using caution to not scratch the walls) before they have a chance to sink to the bottom of the pool.

If you have kids or pets that spend a lot of time in or near your swimming pool, this is especially important. Securing an automatic cleaner can be another option (this type of cleaner is attached to the wall of your above ground pool and automatically cleans as you swim – Check these out for sale here)

Tip 12 – If the Water is Cloudy, Act Immediatly

Never ever wait on Algae.

Look for the signs and take action. So if your water start turning cloudy the act immediatly

No exceptions.

You will thank us later

Tip 13 – Check Your Above Ground Pool Fittings

Make sure that all of the fittings are well screwed in and don’t leak water back into the area where your pool filter is housed.

This can create a breeding ground for algae and could lead to a much larger problem later on!

Tip 14 – Shock It Baby!

Use pool shock only as a last resort.

It can be inefficient if you’re experiencing an issue with algae and is generally better suited for cloudy water or other issues.

It’s really only useful when you need to clean your above ground pool quickly.

Tip 15 – Use Phosphate Remover

Lastly, don’t forget to get rid of any excess nutrients in the water by using a phosphate remover or enzyme when needed!

Other Questions People Ask

Can I get Sick from Algae in a swimming pool?

In general, consuming a small dose of algae while swimming should not cause you or your children any harm. That said, there are instances where algae consumption can lead to diarrhea or skin conditions. So, if you are experiencing any such symptoms after swimming in a green algae-filled pool, seek medical attention.


Taking care of your above ground pool is unfortunately a must.

And why wouldn’t you?

It is after all meant for swimming enjoyment.

Algae is the main reason your above ground pool turns green. It looks awful and can be harmful in the long run.

That said it is 100% treatable. Use the handy tips in this article to prevent algae from forming and if they are there to blast them out of the proverbial water.

About Us

We're Wynand and Len and we're both passionate about our small above ground pools. This website is as much for us learning new things and sharing our findings and experiments.

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