MadSci Network: Botany

Re: how to remove /vanish green algae from metalic pipeline of home?

Date: Mon Feb 28 08:35:30 2000
Posted By: Karen Culver-Rymsza, Biological Oceanographer
Area of science: Botany
ID: 950096129.Bt

Dear Atul,

First, let me say that I do not recommend that you add any chemicals to 
your filtration system.  You must contact the manufacturer of the system 
for help.  

I can tell you this though.  Algae require light to grow. If the algae are 
growing in your filter, they must be getting light.  You may be able to 
decrease growth of the algae by blocking light.  I have used filters that 
are contained in clear plastic tubes. This type of filter holder can be 
wrapped in black plastic to cut down light to the filter.  Then the black 
plastic can be removed for inspection.  Please note that if your "algae" 
are still there after a few days or weeks in the dark, you may not have 
algae, but a fungus or bacterial contaminant.

If this filter and pipeline are used for drinking water, you probably don't 
want to add any chemical without consulting an expert.  Your pipes can be 
flushed with a WEAK (less than 5%) bleach solution to clean them out, kill 
algae and bacteria growing there.  You must rinse thoroughly.  Then you can 
use another method such as black plastic to keep the algae growth under 
control.  You will still have to clean your filters, they will continue to 
become clogged by particles.  Hopefully, you will need to clean them less 

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