Your swimming pool as part of your environment
An outdoor swimming pool—like any other fixed structure on your property—affects and is affected by the environment immediately surrounding it. Germs are continually crawling in from outside and can make the pool unhealthy to swim in, and leaves and other debris can decay and contribute to its demise. The evaporating water can in turn leak these pathogens into the air and make breathing it unhealthy for you and your neighbors. The way in which you clean the pool can likewise make an environmental impact, for better or for worse. Here, then, are some of the most environmentally friendly ways in which you can keep your swimming pool clean.
Cover the pool
The pool should always have a cover on it when not in use. This not only keeps debris and chemicals out but practically reduces the rate of evaporation. Although an automatic cover might sound convenient, the electric motors that power them do tend to increase the pool’s “footprint.” Therefore, a manual cover is in order. They also sell solar ones, which provide the extra benefit of heating the pool.
What should go in the vicinity
The condition of the area immediately surrounding the pool is another influence on its condition. A row of trees all around, for example, can form a wall that provides protection against the wind.
Scientists have discovered that a number of chemicals can make a pool more “green.” The company Natural Chemistry makes such products, which are composed of enzymatic substances. One of these, called PhosFree, is made from compounds of lanthanum, a heavy metallic element of the so-called “rare earth” group. It forms a filter on the surface of the pool that reduces the amount of phosphates as the water flows through it.
Other pool products contain chlorine—which is, after all, the essential component of all swimming pool water—or bromine, another element in the same chemical group. They are sold in the form of tablets or sticks or as liquid. Three-inch chlorine tablets are especially popular among pool owners, as they take more time to dissolve and therefore protect the pool for that much longer. Calcium hypochlorite is also available.
The list of pool chemicals also includes:
- shock—should be added in the early spring to “start it up,” or to boost its chlorine levels; may contain lithium or chlorine. NOTE: You should avoid swimming in the pool for several hours after putting in shock products of any kind.
- algaecides—In the Swim algaecide is capable of killing off all algae, even the most stubborn. It will not cloud the water, and you can swim immediately after you put it in. In general, algaecides should not be mixed with other chemicals.
- clarifiers—These substances are used to clear muddy water. They do this by causing particles of debris to coalesce into larger ones, making them easier to filter out. Most clarifiers will not affect the chlorine level.
- water balancers—used to maintain the proper chemistry; include pH increasers and reducers, alkalinity increasers, conditioners and calcium hardness increasers.
- cleaning chemicals—includes granular and liquid sand filter cleaners; also substances for cleaning the pool tiles. Cell Protect prevents the buildup of scale on the salt generator, thus extending its life.
- other chemicals—Fix A Leak, septic tabs for chlorine disinfection
Here are some more valuable eco-tips for your pool:
- checking the water level regularly to see if it is leaking—If it is, you can fix it with products like Fix A Leak mentioned above.
- using rainwater to fill the pool—This can really reduce the amount of wasted water.
Pentair is a pioneer in the field of earth friendly pool care. They market automated control systems that you can even monitor from your iPhone or iPad!
A swimming pool that is cared for in an earth-friendly way is not only healthy for you and your surrounding environment. It can also save money on energy bills.
Bob Quigly is a landscaping and family fun enthusiast who writes on a variety of blogs for inflatable pool from BackyardOcean.com