Too Much Algaecide And Got Burns

by Chris

My son recently got a very bad chemical burn from swimming in my in-laws pool.


They live on a lake and my father in-law is always worried about algae growth in his pool.

His pool was very slippery on the bottom. From what I have read this seems to be an algae problem.

I have seen him numerous time pour algaecide from a jug into the pool.

This past time when my son got burnt I noticed a lot of foam while we where swimming.

I asked him if his chlorine levels where in check and he said the where a little high (1.7, I think).

Is there any way to test how much algaecide is in the pool?

My son has never got a chemical burn from any other pool before.

Thanks for your help.




Thanks for the question Chris

At the moment I'm not aware of any test that will specifically test for algaecides.

1.7ppm for chlorine is a little on the low side, but nothing to be concerned about. Home pools should be between 1.5 - 3.5ppm.

If your father-in-law wants to use an algaecide, that fine, but first we need to understand what an algaecide is and does.

It's preventative maintenance on a pool, and nothing else. A little insurance policy because if the chlorine level gets near zero, this is your back-up.

Next, no algaecide will get rid of already existing algae. Only a chlorine shock will do that.

The foaming was probably caused by an cheaper algaecide using copper or other metals. Here's a good post about that:

"Soapy" Water After Using An Algaecide

A good algaecide is called a PolyQuat 60. This contains no metals and is safe for vinyl pools.

Sticky Pool Algaecide On Vinyl Liner

If your father-in-law keeps the chlorine between 1.5 - 3.5ppm and the cyanuric acid between 30 - 50ppm, there's really no reason to use an algaecide.

By, if he insists, have him use a Poly 60 once per week as the instructions on the bottle.

Use the proper amount. More is not better and could lead to situations like this.

To post a reply, or if you have a similar question, you can see your post (Too Much Algaecide And Got Burns) on the Q&A page in the "Algaecides" category.

Swimming Pool Questions and Answers

Check back to this post for answers.

Hope this helps and have a great Summer.

Robert





Comment

By: Chris
Date: July 11, 2011

Robert,
Thanks for your expertise. So is possible for too much algaecide to cause a chemical burn?

The algaecide he uses is UTIKEM, 50%.

I couldn’t find the ingredients on the bottle or an MSDS sheet online anywhere, so I don’t know the ingredients.

I just knew the amount of foam/suds created when I was teaching my son to swim wasn’t right.

Thanks again.




Comment

By: Robert
Date: July 11, 2011

It is a possibility that too much algaecide can cause a burn, but it would either need to be such a high concentration in the pool or you son may have had an allergic reaction to that particular kind of algaecide.

Some algaecides have a Quaternary Ammonium Compound and many 50% algaecides have Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride.

This is also used in conventional pesticides and is known as a chemical disinfectant that is put on or in objects to destroy, neutralize, or inhibit the growth of disease-carrying microorganisms.

Both of these are known to cause skin irritation and burns, but normally when they're directly on the skin.

Many liquid copper algaecides are considered a "CORROSIVE LIQUID" such as Captain Liquid Copper Algaecide.

The main ingredient is Copper (II) Carbonate Basic
with inert ingredients:

Proprietary Amine

Proprietary Amine 2

Too low pH can also cause a swimmers skin to redden and burn, along with either too high or too low alkalinity.

You say it was a 50% algaecide, so there's a high probability that it contains Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride. This is what your son may have had an allergic reaction to.

A PolyQuat60 has Poly oxyethylene (dimethyliminio)ethylen e(dimethyliminio) ethylene dichloride.

But again, if the pool's chlorine is kept between 1.5 - 3.5ppm and the CYA 30 - 50ppm, then there really shouldn't be a need for an algaecide.

The fastest way to get rid of the algaecide is to do a partial or full drain and refill.

Other than than you'll need to wait until it dissipates through normal use and back washing it out.

Hope this answers your question and sorry if I didn't clarify it in the beginning.

Best of luck and have a great Summer.

Robert

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