Owning a pool is a lot of fun and responsibility. It is also not exactly great for the environment. With the world focusing more on green living, it has become important for pool owners to maintain eco-friendly pools. While it is not possible to have a fully eco-friendly pool, there are things you can do to help improve its impact on the environment.
How To Make Your Pool More Eco-Friendly?
What Makes Pools Not Eco-Friendly?
Pools naturally use a lot of energy. An average pool will hold between 10,000 and 20,000 gallons. Even if you only fill it completely a few times, you are constantly adding water that is lost through evaporation and daily use. A pool typically loses as much as ½” of water every day from evaporation. The chemicals used in pools are also not environmentally-friendly, but they are important for pool maintenance. Pool water disposal can have a very damaging impact on the environment. Pools also require a great deal of energy to operate. Keeping the water clean and safe for swimming means you have to run a pump every day. If you also have a pool heater, you are only using additional energy.
So, what can you do as an environmentally-conscious pool owner? Below are the top ways you can make your pool more eco-friendly.
Ways To Make Your Pool More Eco-Friendly
- #1. Use fewer Chemicals – Chlorine is the most common but not the only chemical we put in our pools that is harmful to the environment. It is the one we usually use the most in quantity. Chlorine needs to be kept at the right levels to keep your pool clean but you can minimize how much you use. Using a substitute called bromine with chlorine will make sure you do not use as much of either chemical. You should also check chlorine levels every couple of days so bacteria does not get out of hand. This reduces the need to shock the pool with large doses of chlorine.
- #2. Use A Pool Cover – You can reduce water loss through evaporation by using a pool cover. Evaporation means you have to replace water and chemicals. A pool cover reduces evaporation by 95%. It also traps heat inside which reduces the need for a water heater. For an extra boost, use a solar cover for keeping the pool heated and evaporation low.
- #3. Use A Cartridge Filter Instead Of A Sand Filter – Cartridge filters use less water to clean. Sand filters have to be backwashed often to keep them clean, but cartridge filters can just be hosed off about twice a year.
- #4. Use A Pool Pump Timer – Your pump is important for keeping the water flowing and it pushes dirt and debris through the filters to be discarded. Many forget to turn the pump off which can use more energy than necessary. Using a pool pump timer can save energy in a couple of ways. You can set it to run at intervals during the day, to prevent it from running continuously. You can also set your timer to run while you are away so that your pool isn’t setting dormant when no one is there to turn it on.
- #5. Use A Solar Pool Heater – There are several kinds of pool heaters, but a solar heater is the greenest option. They don’t use resources like gas and need very little electricity to operate.
They will cost a little more upfront but typically pay for themselves in energy savings in as little as a year and a half.
- #6. Run Your Pump Less Often – Most experts recommend that you run your pump about 8 hours a day, especially during heavy swim seasons. Using a larger pump means you can run it for 6, or even 4 hours a day in some cases. Check your pump against your pool size to see if you have a larger pump than you need, then try running it for an hour or two less for a while.
- #7. Use A Variable-Speed Pump – Single speed pumps use a large amount of energy as they run at a constant speed. A variable speed pump changes speed to reduce overall costs. They are also quieter and allow for better filtration as a result of the slow filtration rate.
- #8. Keep Your Pool Filled All Year Long – You should only ever fully drain your pool if you have a problem with black algae. Otherwise, there is no indeed to drain it and this can be more damaging. Keeping it filled also means you will use less water overall. Anytime you drain it, you have to refill with water and chemicals.
- #9. Install A Windbreak – Since evaporation is sped up with wind, installing a windbreak can help cut this down. Wind can also cool the water down, which forces your pool heater to work harder. A windbreak is useful in wind-prone areas. Common windbreaks include fences, shrubs, screens, and lattices.
- #10. Convert To A Natural Swimming Pool – These pools are chemical-free, eco-friendly alternatives to a chlorinated pool. They use all-natural organic matter to filter the water by passing it through a regeneration zone filled with plants, and the water is then dumped back into the swimming area.
- #11. Install A Moss-Filtered Pool – This is a fairly new type of pool filtration system, just patented within the last ten years. It uses a specific species of moss called sphagnum moss. Which filters pools the same way it does crystal clear lakes. The moss prevents the formation of bacterial colonies called biofilms. Chlorine also kills free-floating bacteria but biofilms absorb the chemical, which means more is required to keep the pool clean. Moss does a greener and more efficient job.
- #12. Fix Your Pool Leaks – The other common cause of water loss in pools is leaks. They can cause damage to your pool liner and can cause you to have to keep adding water to your pool, which is wasting valuable resources.
- #13. Use LED Lighting – The US Energy Department reports LED lighting to be one of today’s most energy-efficient and rapidly-developing lighting technologies. It uses at least 75% less energy than traditional bulbs and they last close to 25 times longer.
- #14. Use An Automatic Pool Cleaner – Automatic pool cleaners are self-powered vacuums that motors around on the bottom of your pool, picking up dirt and debris that your filter doesn’t catch. They keep your pool clean, algae-free, and eco-friendly. You won’t have to add extra chlorine.
- #15. Regularly Clean Algae Out – Algae is the resource-sucker of the pool world eating up your chlorine constantly forcing you to keep adding more. Not only will you end up using more but you may end up having to shock your pool. This involves putting in twice the chlorine. Uncontrolled algae can also develop into black algae which will force you to drain the pool. Regularly cleaning algae can prevent this and save you time, energy, and money.
- #16. Choose Eco-Friendly Landscaping – If you have landscaping wound your pool, you can stay eco-conscious by choosing plants that are native to your region and require low maintenance. The plants will contribute to your local ecosystem and can serve as windscreens to pull double duty.
- #17. Consider An Automated Pool System – These systems are more affordable these days and can control everything from lighting to sanitization. This helps make your pool eco-friendly by automating your pool chemistry to where it uses exactly what is needed, no more, no less. You can also set your pump, pool lights, heater, and pool vacuum to shut off and on only as needed, using less energy for all your equipment.
Going green with your pool might take some time and effort on your part, but if it’s something you feel strongly about, it could absolutely be worth it. It is worth it to save money and to protect the environment. More and more pool owners are going green when it comes to pool care. Your environment will thank you and your pool will be safer for everyday use.