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Why is my pool water slimy?

Updated November 21, 2016

Swimming pool owners might find that their pool water has become slimy or that the walls of the pool have become unusually slippery. These problems are usually mould or algae related and should be taken care of as soon as possible so they don't get worse or make your pool dangerous to swim in. Many different types of pool slime and causes for slimy pool water exist.

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Pink Slime

Pink slime is a bacterial overgrowth in the swimming pool water. It grows in areas where there is limited water circulation. To get rid of it, the pool will have to be thoroughly scrubbed with a stiff brush to remove all of the pink slime, and then a biguanide, which is a sanitising chemical, can be added. Unlike algae, waiting for winter will not get rid of the pink slime problem because it will only go dormant in colder temperatures, causing it to come back the following year.

White Water Mold

White water mould is similar to pink slime and resembles tissue paper that has been dropped into the swimming pool. It is a type of mould, which is a type of fungus. It can be treated with a thorough scrubbing and the addition of pool shock. Like pink slime, it usually grows in darker areas of the swimming pool that is not exposed to much circulation. Pink slime and white water mould are often seen together.


If the pool water is slimy and green in colour, your swimming pool water has too much algae. Algae growth usually occurs in standing water, and keeping algae out of their swimming pool can be a constant battle for swimming pool owners. A couple of remedies will help get rid of algae in a swimming pool when it is causing slimy water. Pool owners can use algicides, which are poisons that kill algae, or pool shock. They can also increase the pH of the swimming pool to between 7.2 and 7.6, which is more inhospitable to algae growth.


Chlorine is a slimy-feeling material when it gets wet. If you have chlorine dust or residue on your fingers and then touch the pool water, the pool water will feel slimy. Avoid this by wearing gloves when dealing with all pool chemicals, and never add water to chlorine; only add chlorine to the water.

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