5 Ways to Green Your Pool (and keep it clean)

5 Ways to Green Your Pool (and keep it clean)
Swim clean and green!

Swim clean and green!

There’s nothing better on a hot day than a cool dip in the pool, but that backyard swim can extract a big cost from the environment. During the summer, for example, a typical backyard pool will use enough energy to power a whole house for three months and more water than the average family of four will use indoors in a month. But that doesn’t mean you have to scrap your family’s outdoor oasis –  instead, try following these five easy steps to minimize the environmental impact of your pool and to keep your yard green.

1. Clean green

Chlorine has long been the only choice for keeping your pool clean, but, as we learn more about the dangers of chlorine, people have begun to ask for safer, more natural ways to get rid of algea, bacteria, and other organisms. Alternative methods like eco-friendly pool and spa cleaners that use oxygen instead of chlorine or systems that use oxidation or ionization will clean pool water without dangerous fumes and environmental damage. You can also help keep your pool clean by filtering out contaminants before they even make it into your pool with a hose filter.

2. Build with green materials

The greenest way to enjoy a summer swim is to create a natural pool. Designed to mimic natural bodies of water, this style of pool is lined with natural materials like clay and gravel and uses plants to filter and clean the water. They require less energy and water than traditional pools and are actually cheaper to install and maintain, but it takes a careful balance of building materials and landscaping to keep natural pools fresh and clean, so check in your area for landscapers or manufacturers who specialize in eco-friendly, natural pools. If you want to install a more traditional pool, look for recycled materials like concrete and glass tiles and also try to incorporate natural materials like local stone.

3. Use solar energy

Heating pools and spas requires a huge energy investment, but you can lift some of that burden by relying instead on the sun’s power. A solar insulating cover will concentrate the sun’s rays to heat spas and small pools, or, with a larger investment, you can install solar panels. Look in your area for dealers that specialize in solar water heating systems to keep your pool warm the green way.

4. Pump smart

Use a variable-speed pump and filter system that will allow you to customize the settings to fit your needs. Variable-speed pumps can be turned up when your pool is seeing lots of use and dialed back when it’s not, and you can use a timer to ensure maximum efficiency. Also be sure to look for energy-efficient models and to get the smallest size that will work for you. Most home pools can do with .75 horsepower or lower pump – anything larger and you’ll just be wasting energy.

5. Keep it covered

Covering your pool will help make it easy to stay green. A tight cover will slow evaporation by up to 70% and can save you over 1000 gallons of water a month. It will also keep your pool an average of 10° warmer to help you save on energy costs, and will ease the strain on filters and cleaning equipment by keeping out debris.

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