Traditional swimming pools have several negative environmental impacts. To start, they use an inordinate amount of water, which is becoming more of a problem as populations struggle to get access to clean water. That water is then pumped with chlorine. The pool cleansing chemical’s production process releases mercury into the environment and leeches into the water, air, and soil. Swimming pools also consume high amounts of energy.
The good news is that there are several changes you can make to your pool to ensure it’s not sucking up massive amounts of energy, using unnecessary quantities of water, or relying on toxic chemicals like chlorine. So, before you plan your next pool party, here are a few eco-friendly tweaks to make to your pool.
1. Ditch the Chlorine
There are a couple of ways to minimize a pool’s chlorine intake. You can opt for a greener pool cleaner that uses less toxic chemicals like natural mineral sanitizers. There are several of these on the market and we hope to see more pop up in the future. If you still want to use chlorine but want to cut back on it, installing a moss filter will reduce how much of the pool cleaner you need.
Natural swimming pools are arguably the best option when it comes to reducing chemical consumption. Instead of relying on chlorine or other cleaners, they use filters, moving water, and plants to keep themselves clean. Converting a traditional swimming pool into a natural swimming pool is possible, although it may be a little pricey.
Saltwater pools are also a great chlorine-free option.
2. Keep It Covered
While you can’t change the volume of water required to fill up your pool, you can reduce the amount of water evaporated by the sun. Keeping your pool covered when you’re not using it, especially on hot and sunny days, will reduce water evaporation by 95%. If you want to double-down on efficiency, install a solar pool cover that will heat the pool simultaneously.
Pool covers also lessen the amount of debris and dirt in the water, which minimizes how much you have to clean it.
3. Clean It Efficiently
No one wants to swim in a dirty pool, but cleaning can consume a lot of energy. If it’s not done properly it may lead to having to add more chlorine. An automatic pool cleaner cleans quickly and thoroughly. Cleaning the pool by hand with a net may sound like the most eco-friendly option, but you would still need to add chemicals to the water to finish off the job. Keeping algae out of the pool is also important since it consumes chlorine.
A pool self-cleaning system is another great choice and minimizes the need for chemicals as well.
4. Don’t Drain the Water
It’s popular to drain pool water in the off-seasons. After all, you’re not swimming in it, so what’s the point, right? Swimming pools hold anywhere from 10,000-25,000 gallons of water so refilling an empty pool wastes a lot of water. If you take care of your pool water, it can last 5 to 7 years without being changed. Regular service and maintenance can save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.
5. Get the Right Kind of Pump
There are several things to keep in mind when choosing the best pump for a swimming pool. Dual-speed or variable-speed pumps use significantly less energy than single-speed pumps, which are the second-largest energy consumers in a household after air conditioning. Installing a pump timer, rather than letting it run continuously, will also lower your energy consumption. You can also run your pump for less time if it’s too big for your pool, so check what the pool’s requirements are, and pump accordingly.
6. Don’t Ditch the Pool Yet
While not having a swimming pool at all is obviously the greenest option, you don’t need to get rid of it to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. These manageable changes will significantly lower your water consumption, energy costs, and carbon footprint. So take the plunge into a greener swimming pool and enjoy knowing you’re doing the right thing!
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