Water Saving Ideas

Pools Store a Lot of Water. They Don’t Actually Use Very Much.

When you see a pool full of water, it’s natural to think that it uses a lot of water. It’s an understandable misconception, but it’s just that — a misconception.

Water consumption is highest in places like bathrooms, kitchens and laundries, where water is used once and discarded to the sewer. In the garden, it nourishes the plants before soaking into the soil. Again, it’s used once and discarded.

Pools, on the other hand, store water for long periods of time. They filter, sanitise and keep it pure and clean so swimmers can use it again and again. Pools are unofficial water storages and have even helped protect homes, livestock, vegetation and people during bushfires.

Filtration, purification and evaporation do consume some water, but not that much.

Of course, no matter how little water your pool consumers; there are always ways to reduce consumption even further. The following tips will help you keep your pool water consumption to an absolute minimum. 

Tips for Pool Owners

Every pool and spa owner can ‘do their bit’ to save water by following these simple rules, especially during periods of drought:

1. Pools and spas should only need topping up occasionally and, in a drought, try to keep this to a minimum. 

2. Keep the water level half way up the skimmer box. Over-filling or under-filling reduces the efficiency of the skimmer box and that can lead to contamination of the water.

3. Always maintain the correct chemical balance. Pool and spa water is only wasted when it becomes contaminated and has to be drained away and replaced. 

4. If you’re uncertain about chemical balance or sanitiser levels, take a water sample to your nearest pool shop or call in a pool service technician. 

5. It’s crucial to keep the filter running regularly, up to eight hours a day in summer, and for a few hours a day in winter. 

6. Regular manual cleaning of the pool, skimmer box and other collection points will reduce the load on the filter. That in turn will reduce the need to backwash.

7. Keep all animals out of the pool.

8. If you have a sand or DE filter, consult your owner’s manual and keep backwashing to the minimum level recommended. Stop as soon as the water looks clean in the sight glass.

9. If you have a cartridges filter, clean it with a chemical cartridge cleaner instead of using the hose. 

10. If you think your pool may have a slow leak, contact your pool shop. They’ll advise you on a simple way to check for leaks using a bucket and a marker pen. 

11. Have all your pool equipment and plumbing checked for leaks. In just one year, a steady dribble can waste the entire volume of water in an average pool. 

12. Ensure that each piece of pool equipment is working correctly. Inefficient equipment can waste water. 

13. Discourage rough play. Bombing and splashing water onto the pool deck increases evaporation and wastes water. 

14. Outdoor pools and spas collect rainwater. This can overfill a pool, so bucket or siphon the excess to areas not touched by the rain, like plants under eaves or larger trees. 

15. When it’s not in use, put a pool cover on the pool to stop evaporation. Thin ‘evaporation’ covers are available — as are bubble, thermal and slat covers. 

16. Have a qualified plumber conduct a water audit of your home. Just one flow control valve on the main shower could save as much water as your pool uses in a year — and still give you a great shower. 

For more information seek advice from your nearest SPASA pool shop or service technician.

Filling a New Pool Takes Much Less Than You Might Think

If existing pools use very little water, what about filling up all the new ones? There are around 8,000 new pools sold in Queensland each year, and you might think filling them would require a lot of water. But it’s surprisingly little.

Just to put it in perspective, gardens consume about 30%, bathrooms 25% and toilets 20% of the total household water consumption in Queensland each year. Filling the new pools sold in Queensland in a year takes just 0.05%.

No-one Values Water More!

The professionals in the pool and spa industry spend their lives respecting and working with water.

They realise that, in Australia we are blessed with wonderfully clear, clean water.

It’s what makes swimming such a joyous and healthy recreation. It’s why so many people see it as an essential part of their health and fitness regime.

They also understand however, that our water is both precious and a finite resource.

That’s why, through their Association, the people at SPASA want to ensure that all pool owners conserve their water wherever possible.

SPASA is keen to raise awareness of water conservation and to make everyone aware of just how little water a pool actually uses.

At the same time, it wants all pool owners to understand that, with just a little effort they can more than offset the small amount of water their pool consumes by being efficient and responsive in their use of water around the home.

Just by following the tips in this article, all pool owners can continue to enjoy their pool and still play a part in reducing water consumption.