Sometimes, conservation conflicts with comfort. Everybody loves saving water, and reducing consumption is more important than ever with some parts of the country in the throes of an epic multi-year drought. On the other hand, there's nothing like relaxing in a backyard swimming pool to take some of the bite out of the summer heat. Unfortunately, out of all your plumbing installations, the pool can be the biggest water hog of all. Read on for some tips on conserving water in your backyard swimming pool so you don't send your water bill through the roof:
- Stop Leaks Before They Start: Sometimes leaks can be deceptively sneaky, leaving you wondering why the water level keeps dropping. Keep an eye out for any wet or soggy spots in the ground around the pool or in downhill parts of the yard. If you have a tile patio around the pool, check for tiles that are loose or cracked, which could indicate water where it shouldn't be. Don't forget the plumbing installation as well – leaks can pop up in the pipes and valves that bring the water into the pool.
- Cover Up When Not in Use: A pool cover can prevent up to 95 percent of evaporation that would otherwise occur, allowing you to refill the pool far less often. It only takes a few seconds to uncover the pool when you want to use it and pull the cover back over when you're done, and it can make a dramatic difference in your water consumption. Plus, the cover minimizes algae growth and reduces the amount of debris that gets in the pool.
- Chill Out in the Water: It's fun to cannonball into the pool and try to splash your friends on the deck, but someone has to pay for all that water that gets wasted. Try to encourage swimmers to take it easy so the water stays inside the pool where it belongs. Additionally, make sure you don't overfill the pool, leaving a little space between the edge of the wall and the water level, so less water splashes out in the course of normal pool activities.
- Say No to Backwash: It's important for health and safety reasons to keep your pool clean, but backwashing the filters also uses a significant amount of water. Most filters only need to be backwashed once or twice in a season. Check out your sight glass – once it's clear, turn off the backwash and stop the water loss. If you backwash too often, you can actually cause your filters to become less effective.
- Keep the Temperature Low: Heated pools can be luxurious, but they hit you with a double whammy in utility bills. It takes electricity to run the heater, and the higher temperatures can cause water to evaporate faster.
- Don't Go Down the Drain: The biggest water loss comes when you drain and refill the pool entirely. Fortunately, you should only have to drain the pool every three years at the most. Any more than that is an expensive waste of water.
If you need more tips for saving water in your swimming pool or any of your plumbing installations, call up an expert plumber today.