How to save Water and Avoid Costly Water Bills This Summer.
It pays pool owners to save water. Not only will you be doing your bit for conservation, but you will also prevent costly water accounts relating to your swimming pool.
First of all there are several myths which need to be dispelled.
- You can get away with backwashing your pool less frequently than once a week.
If you try this in summer you will inevitably be faced with cloudy water and murky pools that require more frequent backwashing due to inefficient filtration. Instead, fit a good quality pressure gauge and only backwash when the pressure reaches 50 percent above the starting pressure. This will help you save a few backwashes and therefore some water.
- You can return your backwash water to the pool after settling or processing.
This practice leads to increased total dissolved solids levels in the pool which causes cloudiness which will require additional backwashing. It also causes cross contamination of the pool water with pathogens from the filter.
You can recycle backwash water, but only for use in the garden or for cleaning or similar applications, and only once the water has settled for at least 24 hours.
Also, make sure that your recovery system can hold at least 50 percent more than an average backwash volume for your pool otherwise ineffective backwashing may lead to water losses rather than savings.
- You cannot use pool water in the garden when you have salt water chlorination.
If you put the garden hose into the weir while backwashing, you will dramatically reduce the salt content in the backwash water and be able to use it for most hardy garden applications. This will also reduce the amount of salt required in the pool and generally reduce the salination of water in the environment.
“Every backwash of two to three minutes will use between 200 and 900 liters (53 and 230 gallons) of water”
Whether your pool is in use or not, there are several accepted practices which will also help you save water.
Discourage excessive splashing and boisterous play. The more water lost to splashing, the more frequently you will need to refill or top up the water in your pool.
If your pool has an overflow hole or pipe, plug it whenever people are swimming. This will prevent water loss through the line when the pool is in use.
When you top up your pool, keep an eye on the water level. Forgetting to shut off the water can be particularly costly. It also pays to use a hose timer to control the amount of water you use and to indicate sudden changes in use.
Keep your pool filled. Adding a few centimeters of water whenever you clean the pool will ultimately save time and trouble. If you wait until the water level has fallen substantially it can take several hours to refill the pool and will create sudden changes in your monthly consumption which may be confusing when trying to monitor usage. It may also be unnecessarily costly.
Maintain the chemical balance in your pool. This will help prevent algae bloom which may need to be vacuumed or backwashed which will waste water. Every backwash of two to three minutes will use between 200 and 900 liters (53 and 230 gallons) of water, so proper maintenance makes sense. Correct control of salt levels will also save you money and prevent over salination which may influence your ability to recycle that water, at the same time adding unnecessary salt to environmental water.
If you find you need to treat an algae problem, start by trying a good quality algaecide before resorting to a flocculent. To flocculate and vacuum could end up costing you 5 kiloliters(1320 US gal) of water, at a price as high as R86 (depending where you live).
Always run your pump for at least 12 hours in summer. This may prevent cloudiness which will require additional backwashing.
Do not boost the temperature above 27 degrees C (80 F) in heated swimming pools unless required. Evaporation due to high temperature is a waste.
If you have a pool cover, keep your pool covered during the day when it is not in use. This will save some of the normal evaporation, which can be as high as 25mm (1 in) a week or as much as 1000 liters (265 gallons) from larger pools.
Repair leaks as soon as you become aware of the, to prevent any unnecessary losses. Any drop of more than 30mm (1 1/4 in) per week (including evaporation) in the pool water level over one week may indicate a leak in the pool system.
If your pool has a water feature or waterfall, ensure that this remains shut off while no-one is around to appreciate it as these invariably cause considerable additional evaporation and chemical losses. It may pay to have a shut-off valve fitted if you do not already have one.
Do not switch pool maintenance chemicals without first discussing the change with your local pool professional. Sudden changes and incompatible chemical uses could result in large water losses when trying to correct the problem.