In France, the Fédération des Professionals de la Piscine (FPP) states that the pool water use of a 26 ft (ca. 8 m) 13 ft (ca. 4 m) private one is about 4,000 US gallons (ca. 18 m³)/year. This figure does not include the initial pool filling. Beware, pool water consumption can significantly increase if the pool is not properly maintained. This makes regular maintenance and repairs essential to lower energy costs.

Researching and understanding the concept thoroughly is essential. It can bring about viable solutions that limit pool water use and ensure the project doesn’t become obsolete or abandoned.

The different ways to waste pool water

Thirty years ago, swimming pools were impressive and represented a lot of water. The average pool today holds 15,000 gallons (ca. 68 m³) of water.

Unnecessary annual drainings

Regular swimming pools and infinity edge pools are filled up once. Above-ground pools, however, require more annual maintenance, as they must be emptied and stored away during the colder months.

Emptying a pool for winter is a common mistake, but one with serious consequences. When a pool is emptied for winter, the walls are no longer supported by water and earth pressure causes them to bow outwards. This can weaken the structure and potentially cause the pool to collapse.

Another mistake is leaving a full pool untreated during winter.After the cold months, you have to drain and replace all the water that’s turned green and unhealthy.

Pool water leaks

It’s the #1 reason for pool water loss. Leaks can occur in the pool walls, floor, skimmer, or return lines. They can also be caused by loose fittings or clogged pipes. In addition to wasting water and increasing your water bill, leaks can also cause damage to the structure of the pool.

Consequently, it is essential to distinguish between a leak-induced drop and an evaporative drop to accurately identify and remedy pool issues. Spotting a leak can be difficult, but there are a few signs to look out for. For instance, keeping an eye on water levels is key to ensuring a healthy and functioning pool; if the water level drops more than 1 cm daily, a leak is likely the cause.

Water loss due to evaporation

The main causes of pool water evaporation are wind, temperature, and humidity.

  • Temperature difference between pool water and air. A greater difference means more evaporation. Overheating pools isn’t a good idea.
  • Wind also increases evaporation rate as it blows the water droplets away from the pool surface.
  • On the other hand, high humidity reduces the evaporation rate, as the air is already saturated with water vapor.

Under normal heat and wind conditions, a 350 ft2 (ca. 33 m²) pool will lose about 6,500 gallons (ca. 30 m³) of water through evaporation. Rainfall gallons aren’t included in this calculation. The good news is you can reduce it a lot.

To run the WC and washing machine, a family of four uses about 6,500 gallons (about 30 m3) a year.

Filter backwashes

Filter backwashing is done by reversing the flow of water through the filter, which causes the debris to be flushed out of the filter media. This process also helps to restore the filter’s original flow rate. It should be done regularly to ensure the filter is working properly.

The water leaves the filter tank through the control valve, which routes it through the filter’s drain line. Particles that were being held in the bed are washed to drain.During the backwash, the medium is vigorously rinsed and tossed for several minutes. Typically, a backwash takes about ten minutes for a residential filter. For each backwash, approximately 50 gallons (ca. 189 liters) to 130 gallons (ca. 492 liters) of water are consumed, depending on the amount of dirt and the size of the filter.

By comparison, manual cleaning of a cartridge filter for a small pool requires approximately five gallons (19 liters).

Make your infinity edge pool with our know-how

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    Don't waste water infinity edge pools

    Whether you have an infinity edge or zero-edge pool or a regular pool with skimmers, these tips will work.

    Keep an eye on your pool's water level

    The water level in the pool should be checked in the morning before restarting the pool filtration system, either manually or automatically. A drop in the water level can be indicative of a problem with the pool’s filtration system or a leak in the pipes or structure. For example, if the water level drops more than 1 inch (2.54 cm) over a 24-hour period, it is likely that a leak is present that should be inspected and repaired immediately.

    Keep the pool covered

    An automatic cover or pool blanket prevents heat. Additionally, a pool cover also helps maintain pool water level, reducing water loss to evaporation. It’s estimated that a pool cover can reduce evaporation losses by up to 70%. Bubble covers are also very effective, and cost much less. Remember that most evaporation occurs at night, when the water temperature is higher than the air temperature.

    Use pool heating sparingly

    To reduce water loss when using a pool heater, set the water temperature slightly higher than the outside air. This will help reduce the amount of energy needed to heat the pool, as well as decrease water loss. Additionally, using a pool cover will reduce water loss through evaporation. It’s worth noting that some pool heat pumps are reversible, allowing you to cool the water when it’s too hot.

    Reuse drained water from pool

    Filter backwash water is redirected to a storage tank instead of draining. If it rains, excess water in the surge tank can go to the same storage tank. Afterward, the stored water can be reused in the filtration process. Additionally, it may be used for other purposes, such as watering after chlorine neutralization, flushing toilets, or cleaning. As a result, wastewater production and fresh water consumption are reduced, thereby creating an efficient cycle of reuse.

    Year-round pool maintenance

    A swimming pool should never be drained, except in very exceptional circumstances. This is because the pool’s walls and floor can become damaged or weakened without the constant pressure of water in the pool. This principle applies to all indoor and outdoor pools. Maintaining a pool in good condition throughout the year makes it easier to start it up in spring and, most importantly, eliminates the need to drain it at the end of the season. When the water temperature drops below 55 °F (ca. 13 °C), algae stop growing, pool treatment is no longer necessary, and evaporation is virtually nonexistent.

    Don't overdose pool water chemicals

    Too much of anything can be harmful – be sure to use the right amount of pool water chemicals. Some chemicals are awful for water balance and health. This is the case with stabilized chlorine. Added to chlorine, this stabilizer (cyanuric acid) keeps it active even in intense sunlight. However, if too much stabilizer is used, it can cause pool buildup, leading to cloudy water and chlorine effectiveness decrease. As the only solution to this problem is to partially drain the pool and refill it, it is imperative to limit the use of stabilized chlorine. This is to avoid unnecessary water waste.

    Keep large pieces of debris out of the filter

    As part of the cleaning process, screens at the outlet of the overflow channel, skimmer baskets, and pump pre-filters are used to remove the largest pieces of debris. The result is less clogging of the filter media, fewer backwashes, and, consequently, less waste of pool water. Ensure that pre-filters are cleaned on a regular basis. As a result of not doing so, the pool pump may be damaged due to a lack of water.

    It’s good to know: If you live in an area with hard water, make sure you descale the filter sand and replace it approximately every five years. In the long run, this will help optimize filter performance and reduce overall maintenance expenses.

    Change filter or filter medium

    n contrast to sand, glass granules are non-porous, which means they have no microscopic crevices or cavities that can trap bacteria. As a result, bacteria cannot form a biofilm. This means that the filter clogs less frequently, and backwashing is less frequent. The lower backwashing frequency helps reduce water wastage, making the use of glass granules an even more attractive option for filter owners.

    Previously installed in small above-ground pools, cartridge filters are now commonly installed in larger pools. A cartridge is cleaned by soaking and rinsing with a jet of water. Water consumption is divided by 10 compared to backwashing a sand filter.

    How to build a water-saving infinity pool

    Approximately 0.15% of all water withdrawn in France is used by private swimming pools. Even though this represents a small amount, the outlook for the climate means we all must behave responsibly regarding this resource. Instead of stigmatizing pool users, it would be more appropriate to implement the good practices outlined above.

    Saving water in swimming pools also involves good pool construction practices. The pool’s water tightness should be double-checked, as leaks can result in costly repairs and water bills. Additionally, the piping should be checked to ensure that any water being run to the pool is done efficiently. Finally, if there is an automatic filling system, it should be managed properly to avoid overfilling and water waste.

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    Conclusion

    Today, more than ever, it is imperative to preserve our natural resources. It is now possible to enjoy a swimming pool without wasting precious resources.

    We put our experience at your disposal to design an infinity edge pool that respects environmental challenges.

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