Algae a safety concern at local pool

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- A metro pool shuts down after finding a form of algae in the water.

It's an issue health officials say happens frequently this time of year.

The Greens Country Club had three pools up and running this summer; last week they had to shut down their family pool.

They noticed the water was foggy and tinted green.

After much testing, it appears the culprit was a type of mustard algae.

Greens General Manager Jim Cowan said, "They speculated the algae was brought in on a swimming suit or a floating device from another pool or a lake, some other type of water source."

Swim suits, floaties and other fun pool items can carry bacteria, even algae, from one body of water to another.

While the pool's chemicals will kill most bacteria, it's not uncommon for algae to appear.

Here at The Greens they now ask visitors to wash themselves and scrub down those floaties before putting them in the pool.

It's something we should all do before entering any backyard or public pool.

Phil Maytubby, with the City-County Health Department, said, "You always want things to be as clean as possible before you go in a public pool."

The algae that was found in the pool at The Greens was not necessarily a health concern but a safety concern.

In a pool that serves so many people, you need to be able to see clearly to the bottom of the deep end to make sure every swimmer is safe.

If the water is foggy, lifeguards would not be able to see if someone needed help at the bottom.

Cowan said, "We treated it all week with different chemicals. We did what's called 'shocking it.'"

The pool was shut down for six days.

They even drained it to make sure it was as clean as possible before refilling, retesting and reopening the pool.

Cowan said, "We were a little over cautious but when you are a country club and you have a pool and the members look forward to it, you have to be overcautious when you're dealing with an algae."

Health officials said the threat of blue-green algae being found in a swimming pool is very low.

Blue-green algae is typically found in stagnant water.

Health officials said the chemicals used in a pool typically would kill that type of algae or at least prevent it from growing.

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