What are Phosphates?

What are Phosphates and How Do They Affect Your Swimming Pool?


Sixty percent of pool owners experience two full algae blooms every season. So, what causes these blooms and how can we prevent them?

Algae blooms place a high demand on the chemicals present in your water and cost time and money in clean up. While everyone agrees on how to kill algae once it’s taken over your pool, here we will discuss how to take a proactive approach to preventing anything from blooming in your backyard except for your prized roses!

With that, we’d like to introduce you to phosphates: a biological building block that is constantly being introduced to your water and nourishing algae spores. In this blog, we’ll explain how being proactive with phosphate-fighting chemicals – instead of reactive with huge amounts of chlorine shock and a scrub brush – will help prevent algae blooms and make your sparkling pool water the crown jewel of the Valley Of The Sun.

 Algae and Other Scourges

In order to understand how to defeat algae, you must understand what it needs to survive.

Algae reproduction depends completely on the presence of five key things:


1 Sun

2 Water

3 Air

4 Nitrates

5 Phosphates


Phosphates are compounds of the nonmetallic element phosphorous and are a primary food source for aquatic plants, including all types of algae. Phosphate compounds are broken down into their simplest form, orthophosphates, in one of the following three ways:


1 Oxidation (converting compounds in to oxides)

2 Hydrolysis (decomposition by water)

3 Enzymatic digestion

Regardless of how it happens, if phosphates are allowed to remain present in pool, spa, or pond water, they will be reduced to orthophosphates, which are the only form of phosphates that algae can digest.

Orthophosphate levels should remain below 100-125 ppb (parts per billion). Once levels exceed 200 ppb, algae becomes increasingly resistant to sanitizers, including chlorine shock. Excessive levels of orthophosphate, such as 1,000 ppb or more, should be brought under control with AquaValue Phosphate 3000 ($24.99) or Starver X ($32.99) from any one of our 7 B&L Pools locations

Who Invited Phosphates to the Party, Anyway?

The challenge with phosphates is that they are constantly being introduced into your swimming pool water. They are found in lawn and garden fertilizers, decaying vegetation, municipal water, cosmetic items on bathers, and even other pool chemicals. This means a fresh batch of phosphates enter your water when any of the following occur:

  The wind blows dirt into your pool

  Sprinkler run off from your lawn or landscaping enters your pool

  Your water leveler puts fresh water into your pool

  Leaves, twigs, or bark enters your water

  You use chemicals containing TSP, or any amount of phosphoric, phosphonic or other phosphorous based ingredients to clean your pool

As such, you can never completely remove phosphates. Instead, we refer to it as maintaining a “near zero” level with a long-term solution that includes a blend of using BioGuard Pool Complete ($59.99), regular water testing, correct sanitizer levels and limiting exposure to phosphates.


How to Maintain “Near Zero” Phosphate Levels

Pool Water Testing

To effectively control phosphates, you must be able to measure their presence in your water. We recommend regular water testing at any one of our locations. Regular testing means every week or every other week, or at the first sign of trouble, (cloudy water, visable green or yellow in the water or walls) Also be sure to have your water tested after pool parties, monsoon storms, or windy days. Also note that a pool in the vicinity of golf courses, major roadways and horse properties are susceptible to high phosphate levels.


Regular Pool Maintenance

The preventative measure of limiting phosphate exposure is taken by doing the following:

  Remove leaves and organic material from the water as soon as possible

  Vacuum and clean filters and pump baskets regularly

  Be aware of the phosphate content of cleaners and chemicals used in and around the swimming pool

  Don’t allow drainage from plants or the lawn to enter the pool

Phosphate remover myth buster:

We want to take this opportunity to clear up a myth about phosphate removers: they do not kill existing algae. Once bloomed, only superchlorination and/or an algaecide will do the job.

enjoy their pool or spa immediately after use. Pool Complete delivers highly effective results while being gentle on bathers and the environment.

Pictures are key!!

Bring your pool to us! The first chance you get, take your phone with you out to your pool equipment pad. Take pictures of your entire equipment set up, in one shot. Then take individual pictures of your pump, filter, heater, salt chlorination system,  timer or automation, plumbing, valves, and anything else you think may be important. Make sure to take pictures of any identifying stickers or tags that will tell us the size or horse power of your equipment. Take a picture of your pool standing at the equipment, and then take several pictures of your pool from different angles. Make sure to get a picture of your cleaning system, skimmer assembly, and auto-leveler.

         Having good, clear pictures of all the equipment associated with your pool helps to eliminate the “guessing game” when you come into the store looking for a part. Instead of, “Hi, I need an O-ring for my pump-filter thingy”, you can say, “Hi, I need an O-ring for this.” and show us the picture on your phone. Nine times out of ten, we will recognize the piece of equipment and have the right part for you in a matter of seconds. If we don’t immediately recognize your equipment, we will use the information that we get from your pictures to find the part you need.  Bottom line; take Lots and LOTS of pictures!!!  Help us help you!    

Plan a Summer Pool Party

The 4th of July is coming and that means fun and sun and family!  So how do you throw together the best and easiest pool party?  With a little planning, you can have the “it” party of the summer.

Invites!  There is no party to be had without the guests.  You can plan ahead and make your own crafty and ingenious individual invitations, or you can make it as simple and and easy as creating an event on facebook and inviting friends and family in just a few moments.  This also has the advantage of having guests rsvp easily right from their computer, tablet or phone , so you can get a head count.

Create a welcome and relaxed environment.  Adding twinkle lights or laterns throughout the backyard space gives a beautiful look.  Tables that are available in several areas of the yard, along with benches and other make shift seating areas allow time to kick back and just enjoy the company.  Seating could be as simple as benches made with concrete blocks and lumber.  Colorful pillows and beach towels can complete the look and add to comfort of the guests.

Supplies! When you think of a party - you think of food, drink and fun. But with a pool party you need to also think about the effects of the sun and heat on your company.  Several bottles of different sunscreens and ample water bottles in ice chests are a must have for any pool party.  It is also a good idea to have a fish bowl with spare sunglasses, hair ties, and hand held fans.  This just gives a feel that you have thought of everything. If children will be attending, pool toys, floaties, and other pool safety equipment should be available and easy at hand.  Beach towels should be available throughout the area as well.  When you have a head count - then you can prepare for the menu and what food and drinks will be needed.  

Make it easy - just because you are hosting doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun too!  Scatter ice chests with available drinks and have the chests labeled so everyone can serve themselves.  Finger foods in covered containers are easy and convenient for everyone.  Several trash cans for easy disposal will also save you on clean up time.  Disposable cups, plates and silverware are one option.  If you choose to use your dishes, set up an area near the hose to collect the dishes.  A plastic tub or laundry basket is an easy way to hold them during the party and wash off with the hose.  Simply rinse them off and take them inside to the dishwasher or sink at the end of the evening.

Prepping your pool for a high bather load will prevent issues after your party.  Shock and brush your pool thoroughly in the days before your party.  On the morning of, be sure to clean baskets, skim and vacuum out any debris, leaving your pool to shine.  A multicolored light can add ambiance to the evening as the sun goes down.  Floating light shows also add a touch of fun.  ALWAYS have a designated person to watch the children in and near the water.  You can never be too careful!

Most of all - HAVE FUN!! Enjoy your friends and family.  They are there to spend time with you, so don’t be running around trying to make everything perfect, laugh and share your time with the ones you love!

Small Business Saturday

SBS 2015 newsletter ad

HydroSpin filter

HydroSpin filter

What does the MultiCyclone do?

MultiCyclone is capable of saving water and reducing filter maintenance. The MultiCyclone works on the basis of centrifugal water filtration. There are no moving parts to wear and tear and no filter media to clean or replace.


Incoming water is guided by a diverter plate so that it enters multiple hydro cyclones tangentially generating a strong centrifugal effect. This spins the sediment out to the hydro cyclone's wall and then spirals it down to the sediment chamber, while the cleansed water spirals upwards.


The accumulation of sediment can be visibly monitored through the MultiCyclone's clear sediment chamber. The MultiCyclone is cleaned by simply opening the purge valve. Only 15 litres (about 4 gals) of water is discharged to clean the MultiCyclone of sediment.


MultiCyclone is ideal as a pre-filter to extend the life of your existing filter. MultiCyclone will filter out up to 80% of incoming sediment from your swimming pool.


·      Save Water.

·      Reduce backwash frequency.

·      Reduce filter cartridge maintenance.


Please note: The MultiCyclone is designed to filter sediment that is heavier than water, floating debris cannot be filtered out by centrifugal filtration. 

Tips from a Pool Pro

Tips from a Pool Pro

Differences from variable speed and single speed pumps

check it out

The Pool Cartridge Filter

Magnified and demystified

One of the most important aspects of proper pool maintenance is proper water flow through filtration.  Proper flow means lower energy cost, better quality water, less chemicals, and longer equipment life.  Cartridge filters are one of the more common filter medias.  

Cartridges have  a huge difference in quality and with that price.  Pricing differences are constantly raising concerns in the consumer's eye.  The most dramatic quality difference is in the filter media.  The poorest quality and thus generally the cheapest are no more than paper with the best being a true fabric.  Fabric technology is changing rapidly with major changes that mean easier to clean, greater dirt holding capabilities, and longer life.  Cartridge fabrics have different weights fabrics, some contain antimicrobial, and the best are of the newest and most advance designs.

Advances in cartridge development has led to  “point bonded” filtration fabric. This media contains more fibers per unit area to offer far greater volume and dirt holding capacity than other filtration fabrics. With reduced pore size distribution, the new fabrics provide superior filtration via unique localized cross flow filtration, which easily and efficiently captures dirt particles to achieve a deeper level of water cleanliness and clarity. With uniformly placed bonded weld spots and uniformly distributed fibers, the advanced-bonded fabric is strong and returns to a high state of original performance after cleaning.  A high-end manufacturing technology is used to create this new fabric, in which heat melts the fibers together. The result is a stronger fabric, which locks in the pore size distribution for capturing dirt of greater varied particle sizes, thus allowing the filter to clean the water faster and more efficiently.  Let B&L show you the difference between the paper, and  the different quality fabric cartridges.  When you want a cartridge that lasts longer, cleans easier, holds more dirt, and filters more efficiently, come to B&L for your cartridge needs.

We here at B&L are proud to carry Filbur and Pleatco filter cartridges which are some of the best on the market.

Shop locally

I had the pleasure being able to tour the plant located here in Phoenix.  I was surprised at how incredibly quickly and efficiently the entire process ran.  The products are made and delivered in the same day, guaranteeing freshness.  

Local company=money in the community we all live in. The opportunity to meet with the employees for Apex really gave me an accurate look at just how dedicated this company is to providing the best with little to no waste.

Using a closed piping system, the liquid chlorine and muriatic acid are packaged in an on-demand basis. This type of closed system prevents chemical vapors and waste. The strength of their pool products are quality tested every five pallets to make sure that every shipment is up to Apex standards. Products are packaged in gallon plastic bottles with child-resistant safety caps and distributed in high strength corrugated cartons. Safety and strength is of utmost concern. All of the products used are local-you can’t beat that!  

It is always a plus, when you are able to spend your money locally.  It's good for all of us in the community.  Come in and check out the liquid chlorine and muriatic acid that we are carrying from Apex Chemical Corporation.

Questions? or call (602) 242-5845  * 16427 N Cave Creek Rd, Phoenix, AZ 85032