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"Exotic" Spa Care Issues & Questions...

White Water Mold & Pink Slime...

"Spa Water Mold" - Spa Water Mold is a growing problem, especially in spas that are not maintained properly and/or are used infrequently.  Many of you have been asking about this problem, so here is some information about Spa Water Mold, as well as how to treat it and how to prevent it.  In many cases, Pink Slime will "accompany" the White Water Mold.

Here's a quick video: Watch the Video Here

What White Water Mold is & what it looks like:
a naturally occurring fungus
(this is NOT a form of Algae; it is animal not vegetable)
white mucous or tissue paper-like looking substance
forms a heavy, protective coating providing the organism with an unusually high level of protection that is very resilient against halogen-based (chlorine, bromine) & non-halogen sanitizers or germicides
can remain a contaminant even after treatment
exists on the surface of PVC plastics, inside piping, filter cartridge housings, jet nozzles, etc.  If you see it on the inside surface of your spa, it is well established in all of the plumbing lines & air blower lines of your spa or hot tub.
can re-contaminate long after it appears that it has been destroyed (includes pool toys, floats, ladders, steps, fountains, automatic pool cleaner parts, skimmer baskets, weirs, directional fittings, garden hoses, etc.)
small quantities can lead to a re-establishment of the problem
caused by improper water & pool maintenance, environment, poor circulation
prefers areas that are "dark" (not exposed to direct sunlight) & with "slow moving" water (behind jet nozzles, the back of the motor impeller, etc., areas that you would think have a lot of water motion)

What Pink Slime is & what it looks like:
a naturally occurring bacterium (of the newly formed genus Methylobacterium)
(this is NOT a form of Algae, it is animal not vegetable)
Pink-pigmented, forms a heavy, protective slime coating providing the organism with an unusually high level of protection, methanol consuming, oftentimes found WITH White Water Mold
that is very resilient against halogen-based (chlorine, bromine) as well as non-halogen sanitizers or germicides can remain a contaminant even after treatment
this is NOT a biguanide problem ONLY
bacterium has an affinity for the matrix that exists on the surface of PVC plastics; it will attach itself to & inside of the matrix, allowing it to re-contaminate long after it appears that it has been destroyed (includes pool toys, floats, ladders, steps, fountains, automatic pool cleaner parts, skimmer baskets, weirs, directional fittings, garden hoses, etc.)
small quantities can lead to a re-establishment of the problem
caused by improper water & pool maintenance, environment, poor circulation
prefers areas that are "dark" (not exposed to direct sunlight) & with "slow moving" water
** in another industry, medical technology, this bacterium occurs regularly in laboratory tubing

White Water Mold & Pink Slime are NOT CAUSED BY USING BIGUANIDES (Soft Soak, BaquaSpa, Leisure Time Free, etc.)!
It is an environmental issue.

Prevention:
Prevention of "white water mold" & "pink slime" is preferred over treatment. Follow these steps to help prevent white water mold:
1. Physically brush & clean ALL Spa surfaces weekly, including steps, jet recesses, & behind pillows
2. Expose ALL pool surfaces to as much sunlight as possible (sunlight & UV are natural
oxidizers)
3. Remove the lid from the skimmer to allow sunlight into the basket for several hours each
day ** INGROUND SPAS MUST USE EXTREME CAUTION in doing this in order to avoid
a person falling into or otherwise injuring themselves due to an open skimmer.
4. Regularly add oxidizing chemicals into the skimmer to help purge & clean the filtration lines of
any bio-film*
5. When filling or adding make-up water from the garden hose, allow the water to run for 2 to 3
minutes before putting the hose into the spa.
6. Regularly clean spa & hot tub toys & floats (use BioGuard« Stow Away)
7. Regularly clean pool solar blanket (use BioGuard« Stow Away)
8. Chemically clean the spa filter every 4 to 6 weeks (use
SpaGuard« Filter Cleaner or SoftSoak® Filter Cleaner. If you use a cartridge that is coated with Microban, DO NOT use the aforementioned cleaners; instead use AquaFinesse Filter Cleaner or Natural Chemistry Filter Perfect)
9. Add regular Maintenance dosages of "Shock" (SpaGuard
« Spa Shock, SpaGuard« Enhanced Shock, SpaGuard« Chlorinating Concentrate, SpaGuard« Brominating Concentrate or SoftSoak« Shock) every week as prescribed
10. Run the filter a minimum of 6 hours daily to prevent "dead spots" in the pool
11. Remember to clean & rinse the brushes, hoses & vacuums that you use to clean the spa
12. Leave as much of your spa equipment exposed to the sun
13. Keep the water balanced at all times. Recheck after heavy usage or rain or large "top-offs" of new water. Water balance refers to Free Available Sanitizer level, pH, Total Alkalinity, Calcium Hardness.
14. Use AquaFinesse Spa Water Care products to continuously remove biofilm build-up.


Treatment:
Treatment of "white water mold" MUST BE QUICK AND TOTAL! DON'T SKIMP!
1. Clean all spa or hot tub surfaces as prescribed above.
2. Physically clean & remove all visible "white water mold"
3. Clean the interior of the filter cartridge area & as much of the spa pack as necessary
4. "Shock" the pool with a triple or quadruple dose of the proper shock treatment for your spa or hot tub.
5. Purge, Drain & Refill the spa.  Use Spa System Flush or AquaFinesse Spa Clean Tablet to help remove the built-up bio-film in the lines prior to draining.  If the situation is very bad, refill the spa, shock it with chlorine, allow to circulate for 1 day, then drain & refill again using Spa System Flush just before draining.
6. Chemically clean the filter using SpaGuard« Filter Cleaner or SoftSoak® Filter Cleaner;  if the cartridge is more that 1 year old, throw it away & start fresh with a new cartridge.
7. Test the water & properly balance it.
8. Maintain good water balance of pH, Total Alkalinity & Calcium Hardness
 

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