Swimming Pool Fungus


While in-ground pool owners have their own set of maintenance woes to contend with, the above-ground pool crowd sometimes battles with bacteria and fungus caused by close proximity to soil. When soil fungus penetrates a pool's liner, it forms unsightly, shadowy gray spots immune to typical algaecides. To fight swimming pool fungus, owners must tackle the pool's liner or go straight to the source of the problem--the soil surrounding the pool--armed with bleach or copper iron sulfate.

Things You'll Need

  • Household chlorine bleach
  • Water
  • Garden sprayer
  • New pool liner
  • Copper iron sulfate
  • Lawn sprinklers


  • Drain the pool completely.

  • Combine a solution of one-half household chlorine bleach and one-half water in a garden sprayer.

  • Mist the entire floor of the pool with the sprayer.

  • Take a breather and mist the floor with the bleach solution three more times, taking breaks between each application to rest your lungs from inhaling bleach.

  • Allow the bleach to rest for several hours after the last application. This allows the ground under the pool--the source of the fungus--to absorb the solution.

  • Drop the new liner into the pool and refill as usual.

Copper Iron Sulfate

  • Purchase about 12 to 15 lbs. of copper iron sulfate (FeSO4) powder from your local nursery or garden store. This amount should serve a typical 18-by-36-foot above-ground swimming pool.

  • Sprinkle the copper iron sulfate powder on the ground around the entire perimeter of the pool.

  • Target the soil infused with copper iron sulfate with lawn sprinklers regularly for three straight days.

  • Allow the FeSO4 to penetrate the soil. This process may take up to two weeks before it changes the soil's pH level, eliminating fungus in the soil and pool.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't leave your swimming pool drained for long periods of time, as this may lead to damage of the pool's walls and frame.
  • Check the pool's metal parts regularly for signs of corrosion. Correct corrosion with touch-up paint.
  • Wear eye protection, a face mask and gloves when working with bleach or copper iron sulfate. Use caution when applying copper iron sulfate around delicate flowers or pets.

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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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