You can save precious water with a few simple steps… around your pool
- Use a pool cover. It will reduce water loss due to normal evaporation. The cover can also reduce heating bills by preventing night heat loss and will save on chemicals too. Pool covers come in a wide range of types and costs. Consult your pool service company, builder or pool retail store. Make certain that it fits properly. The cover is the number one water and energy conservation device!
- Repair any swimming pool leaks. Even a small leak in either pool equipment or the pool’s structure represents a substantial waste. In fact, an inch-a-day leak in a 15-by-30-foot pool can waste approximately 102,000 gallons per year!
- If heated, reduce your pool and spa water temperature. Warmer water evaporates more quickly.
- Shut down unnecessary fountains and waterfalls. The effect of aeration loses a significant amount of water to evaporation.
- Manually clean your filter. You’ll do a more thorough job and use less water. The average backwash uses between 250 to 1,000 gallons of water — without completely cleaning your filter!
- Curb diving, splashing and water fights in your pool and spa. Boisterous play causes inordinate amounts of water loss due to splash-out.
- Maintain proper chemical levels and adequate circulation time. Not only will your pool water be safer and cleaner, but you’ll avoid the need to drain your pool or use excessive water to correct conditions of neglect.
- When you are filling your pool, be sure to keep an eye on your water level. Forgetting to shut off fill water can make for a costly waste of water.
- Plug the overflow line when the pool is in use and always when adding water. Keep the pool water in the pool.
- Turn off the tile-spray device on your automatic pool cleaner. Its splashing invites evaporation losses, and overspraying can send water right out of the pool! A good deal of that spray evaporates before it hits the tile.
- Reevaluate the frequency of backwashing if your pool has no separation tank. Most people backwash more frequently than necessary. This wastes water. Some pool filters do not have to be backwashed at all; they can be taken apart and cleaned, even though this process is less convenient.
In a severe drought you may be restricted from adding any water to your swimming pool, backwashing, etc. This may effectively shutdown your pool for the year. The bad news is the swimming season is over. Consult your pool specialist before removing water from your pool, as some pools require a certain amount of water to maintain structural integrity. The good news is that you can use the water in your pool to water your plants! Allow the chlorine level in your pool to drop to a level that won’t damage your plants. Use a siphon hose or buckets to distribute water across you landscape. Keep using your pool cover to prevent evaporation.
Often not much thought is given to all the water we use in our pools. The above tips will help you reduce your pool water consumption (although it may be difficult to persuade the children and some adults to refrain from water fights and diving!). In South Africa, particularly in the Lowveld, we are lucky to be able to use our poo ls all year round. Evaporation during our summer months can be quite high. High evaporation in conjunction with regular backwashing consumes a substantial amount of water; backwashing being by far the major culprit – up to around 3000 litres per backwash according to the article above (this figure sounds excessive but is a definite possibility with an Olympic-sized pool). An ingenious yet simple way of recycling pool backwash water has been devised by Water Rhapsody. Water Rhapsody’s Poolside Tank (see product demo, click on ‘The Water Rhapsody Poolside Tank’) will eliminate most of the water wastage associated with maintaining your pool, allowing you to continue using it without changing too many other pool habits (the odd water fight can still be permitted!). This pool water recycling system prevents unwanted water from entering storm water drains and sewers and protects the environment by containing potentially toxic pool chemicals. On top of all this, you’ll save on your water bills too.