Although the local area is seeing some rain, the area's reservoirs remain dramatically low. Water conservation should be observed by all of us, and pool and spa owners have an added responsibility. Let's look at the facts concerning swimming pools and water.
Swimming pools don't USE water. Pools CONSERVE water. When a swimming pool is filled, water is taken out of the system and put into a holding tank - the pool, where it is sanitized and filtered. 99% Recycled and stored.
Swimming pools are a great source of "emergency" water. Pool owners have their own "personal" reservoir of an average of 15,000 gallons! Just in Fairfield County alone, that's potentially millions of gallons of clean, potable water. Potable means that it is "drinkable" (pool & spa water is sanitized and filtered).
In case of a "catastrophic" water emergency, the area's pools could be called upon to aid in fire protection, emergency drinking water and the like.
The average family of 4 USES about 20,000 gallons of water per year! The water comes out of the tap and is used for washing clothes, cars and people, cooking, flushing toilets, watering the yard and is then discarded. Nearly all of it is never recycled!
Here's a partial list of what pool owners can do to be good
stewards of this precious resource - water:
Drain water that's on top of the winter pool cover back
into the pool. Put a nylon stocking on the end of the hose to prevent fine
debris from being added to the existing water. Keeping the cover drained will
also help prevent a "breeding ground" for mosquitoes.
Backwash your pool's filter only as needed -
about once every 10 to 14 days is normally all that's needed. If you have a sand
filter that needs replacing, consider a cartridge type filter that requires just
a fraction of the water needed to clean the filtering medium.
Use a solar blanket or "solar fish" (a
liquid solar blanket) to cut potential evaporation (water lose) by 75% to 95%.
If you are using a heater, don't boost the
temperature to more than 80 degrees F. Evaporation due to high temperatures is a
If the water level is "too high" (more than
½ way up the skimmer face), leave it. The worst that can happen is a lose of
"skimming action"; the water will still be filtered.
Take care of all leaks immediately! That
little drip amounts to gallons each day!
Maintain good water balance and chemistry.
Keep that water potable and clean.
Open the pool a little earlier to take
advantage of the spring rains to naturally fill the pool.
If you're draining your pool in order to
change a liner or perform extensive service, ask the service company if they
offer a temporary water storage device to cut down or eliminate the amount of
water that will be permanently drained. Those devices do exist.
Spa and hot tub owners must keep the thermal
lids on the spa or tub at all times when it is not in use to control
These simple ideas can potentially conserve millions
of gallons of water statewide. Simple conservation saves you money too.