How to Make Your Swimming Pool Eco-Friendly
Our lifestyles are evolving with the threat of global warming just around the corner. More people are becoming more conscious and are doing their share in conserving our natural resources.
Among the most abundant natural resource that we have is water. Water makes up 70% of the Earth's surface. However, less than 2.5% of that is freshwater. According to the National Geographic, only 1% out of the total freshwater is accessible. With a world population of 7.2 billion, our access to clean, potable water gets smaller as the years pass by.
In our own homes, we are engaging in activities to help conserve water like cutting our shower short, saving rainwater, using gray water for cleaning purposes, and so on. But those who own a pool might probably find it hard to find ways to get involved. An average pool will need 18,000 to 20,000 gallons of water to fill. Even though that's not necessarily drained or replaced often, that's still more than half a year's worth of the average daily water use per person in the USA.
Pool water goes back to the ground through evaporation and when the pool is drained entirely. Whatever chemicals are on the water can contaminate the water to the streams and underground resources.
As we continue our quest for ways to reduce our carbon footprint, we are sharing ideas for you further take a leap in setting up an environmentally-friendly home that will start with your pool.
1. Use Pool Covers
This solution probably has the most number of benefits that can all lead to your pool to become eco-friendly. Aside from keeping the pool water clear from debris and dirt, it offers more than that:
These benefits all contribute to saving electricity costs, conserving water and minimizing the use of chemicals in your pool water. There are manually installed swimming pool covers and there are remotely activated ones for those who want a fully automated pool system.
2. Use LED Lights
Almost every lighting fixture in our homes have been changed to LED. LED has proven to be an energy efficient alternative to incandescent and fluorescent lights. Aside from these reasons, the brightness and longevity of LED bulbs won the hearts of the consumers.
A 40-watt LED can produce the same brightness and output as a 160-watt incandescent light without generating too much heat. An incandescent bulb lasts about 5,000 hours while an LED bulb can stay on for up to 30,000 hours. Another attractive feature of Swimming pool LED lights is the color-changing capability that can suit any pool theme, style, color, mood and occasion.
3. Minimize Use Of Chemicals
Believe it or not, it is possible to maintain your pool with fewer chemicals and there are a few ways to do that :
Shower Before Getting into the Pool
Minimize the natural body oils, dead skin and dirt that will be left when you leave the pool by taking a shower before you dip. It will also help your body temperature adjust properly without the shock if the pool water is cold.
Dead skin and body oils can leave stains in the pool's water line and can promote algae growth that would require you to use algaecides and pool shock treatment which is also a chemical shock for the pool.[Read More]
Find natural, alternative pool cleaners, sanitizers, stabilizers
When hydrogen peroxide is used on pool water and react with sunlight, the chemical reacts on the organic compounds that would feed bacteria and boost algae growth on pool water. It can also be used as an alternative to commercial pool shock powder. Simply use one cup of food grade hydrogen peroxide to every 250 gallons of water.
Test your pool's alkalinity. The ideal alkalinity level is 80-100 ppm, if it is lower than this range, adding baking soda in the pool water can help stabilize alkalinity. Do not add if it is over 100ppm.
To raise the alkalinity of 10ppm, add 1.25lb of baking soda for every 10,000 US gallons of water. Make sure to limit adding baking soda by this ratio to monitor alkalinity on a daily basis accurately. Do it one day at a time to let the baking soda mix with the water well before adding more to increase alkalinity.
If you have had troubles stabilizing the chemicals in your pool and the pH is irregular, borate can maintain this without the need for expert knowledge and intervention. The use of borate can also make the water soft by freeing the water from chloramine that causes skin dryness and red eyes.
Borate for pools come in different brands and instructions but they all result to a sparkling and soft water that is low-maintenance and algae-free.
4. Use a Solar Pool Heater
Save hundreds of dollars on your electricity bill, enjoy warm pool water any time of the day and enjoy a long-term investment when you install a solar pool heater. In this system, the pool water passes through the pump and filter and is diverted to the solar collectors and a higher temperature is generated. The solar heated water goes directly to the pool.
There are plenty of solar pool heater models to choose from and these usually require minimal space and are easy to install. The secret to getting a successful solar pool heater? Get a free solar evaluation for your pool.
5. Use An Automatic Pool Cleaner
There is a sense of satisfaction when you manually vacuum your pool. But the required setup and packing away of the accessories can be time-consuming. Likewise, it needs to be done often for it to be efficient and to prevent the build-up of dirt and stain on your pool.
An automatic pool cleaner or robotic pool cleaner works even without supervision. It can be activated more often to help you minimize the use of chemicals to clean and sanitize your pool.
Read More About Pool Vacuums Here
6. Use Moss Filters
Moss filters are relatively new in the market. They act by treating the water, reduce your chemical use and tame chlorine and other chemical cleaners to minimize smell and irritant effects.
Moss filters can also reduce metals in the water, prevent corrosion of pipes, control algae and bacteria growth.
7. Assess The Energy Efficiency Rating Of Your Pool Equipment
How old is your pool? If it is more than 10 years old, chances are your pump and motor are overdue for replacement and are consuming more electricity than the newer models and the pump is no longer as effective. Pool pumps will usually start to wear out on its 8th year and the pool motor in 3 years.
8. Use an Automated Pool System
An automated pool system is a combination of an electronic control panel and other pool components like pumps, filters, LED lights, pool covers and more, that correspond to the technology that the automation offers.
With this kind of system, activation of different pool accessories using your mobile phone or the control panel. You can also enjoy variable speed on your pumps, energy efficient lights, heaters and automatic release of salt-derived chlorine and many other features.
9. Check And Fix The Leaks
The rise and fall of the pH level of your pool can compromise the quality of the filter, pumps, waterproofing and grout. However, pool leaks can also cause a chemical imbalance on your pool. There are tools that you can buy to test if there are leaks on your pool like leak testing cones and dye test kits. You may also DIY leak check by using the following experiments :
Using a bucket filled with water and rocks to weigh it down, mark the water level on the bucket and the water level on the pool. Turn the pump off and wait for a couple of days to recheck the water level on both the bucket and the pool. The water evaporation on the pool and the bucket should be the same, if the water level on the pool went down significantly, then it is safe to say that the pool has a leak.
Examine your pool for cracks. In these cracks, check the tiles surrounding it for any loose ones. Loose tiles are signs of a leak. Squirt food grade dye on the cracks and observe. If the crack seems to suck the dye in, then there is a leak that you need to take care of.
The best way to check leaks and deal with them is by contacting a professional. Professionals use pressure testers and leak detectors and have more sophisticated tools and materials to address these leaks.
You can also spot these tell-tale signs:
Repeated algae growth and unstable pH balance in the pool water
Water goes down the waterline more often and more than the usual evaporation
Coping and deck becomes uneven
Leaks in your pool must be resolved as soon as you discover it. The leaks might be causing the chemical imbalance in your pool that leads you to use more chemicals than you should be.
10. Keep Your Pool Design Simple
Building a pool and using it for a while will let you assess its areas for improvement. However, flaws can also be considered and prevented during the design stage.
Having an infinity pool and an erratic wind direction can be a bad combination. The best way to address water loss caused by these factors is by installing a windbreak. Windbreaks can be in the form of tempered glass, fences or trees.
Another common reason for water loss is evaporation. Aside from installing a pool cover, pools with water features can save a lot of water if the water feature is turned off when not in use.
The closest way to be one with nature is through your own backyard and pool. It is a luxury that comes with a responsibility. We need to be mindful of taking care of our natural resources, most especially our water sources.
Maintaining a pool is not just your household accountability but a commitment to the environment as well. Using fewer chemicals to clean, sanitize and free your pool from foreign elements can be done using natural alternatives. It is not only safe for the environment but for the health of the pool users too.
When your pool goes green, not with algae but with your eco-friendly practices, you are also finding ways to minimize your electricity and water bills. Shifting into an eco-friendly pool is a win-win move for you and the environment.