Own a pool but want to make less of an impact on the environment? We hear you.
It’s natural to want to reduce the amount of chemicals you’re using not only in your day-to-day life, but in your pool as well. The only problem is, pools usually require chemicals to keep its water balanced, healthy and free of pathogens. So how do you get a more eco-friendly pool without also sharing it with algae, bacteria, viruses and other harmful intruders? Fortunately, there are options out there that will greatly reduce the amount of chlorine your pool needs. This means you can use less chemicals, which is great for the environment. Plus, your skin and hair–and even your wallet in the long run–will thank you too.
Read below to find out four ways to have a more eco-friendly pool.
1. Convert to a Saltwater pool
If you’ve ever heard the term “saltwater pool,” that pool would be using salt chlorination. Contrary to popular belief, saltwater pools do have chlorine in them. However, you wouldn’t have to buy chemical chlorine like you usually do in a “regular” pool, because while saltwater pools do use chlorine, they create it on their own.
Instead of adding in store-bought chlorine, saltwater pools naturally create their own chlorine through a process called electrolysis. When you add pool grade salt to a chlorine generator, the generator runs salty water through two electrically charged plates, which converts it to chlorine. The pool water is still sanitized using chlorine, but the process is different from that of a typical chlorine pool.
Salt chlorination is a more natural and convenient method to delivering chlorine to your pool, compared to harsher liquid and solid chemical chlorine that’s used in traditional pools. It is also a lower-cost alternative to chemical chlorine sanitization in the long run. Salt water pools also use less chlorine, which leads to a gentler and more natural swimming experience.
2. Reduce Chlorine needs with Minerals
Mineral pools use dispensers that deposit additional minerals such as silver and copper into your water, which work together to keep your pool clean and help battle algae, bacteria and other contaminants. Silver has antibacterial properties and has been used to clean water since the days of the Roman empire. Copper is a known algaecide, and is used in so many of the algaecides available for pools and hot tubs, and why some pool manufacturers add it to their pool mineral systems.
Using mineral systems reduces your need for chlorine by about 50%, reducing your chlorine needs and stretching out your supplies further. You will still need chlorine (or bromine if your dispenser is compatible), but your needs will be significantly reduced. Plus, minerals have added benefits: minerals make your pool’s water softer. This makes the water feel more silky and luxurious, leads to less dry and irritated skin and hair, reduces wear on your equipment.
3. Go solar
Solar pool covers can be a great way to keep your pool covered. Not only will it prevent any dirt and debris from falling in, but it can also help keep your water warm. Solar pool covers absorb heat from the sunlight and are able to heat your pool by up to eight degrees. Installation is very simple, and once the cover is measured and cut to the shape of your pool it is ready for use. Pool covers can help reduce your energy costs, minimize water loss, increase heat retention, and in some cases, even decrease chemical needs. That’s a win-win for lessening your pool’s impact!
A solar-powered pool heater can also be a great way to warm up your pool, making it comfortable to swim in well past swimming season. Not only that, but it helps pool owners save money on heating costs, as well. Solar-powered pool heaters use energy from the sun to pump the warm water through the system, effectively using far less energy for water heating, as compared to an electric or gas-powered system.
4. The power of plants
When you breathe, your body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide, but when plants “breathe,” or undergo photosynthesis, they do the opposite, taking in and absorbing unwanted absorb carbon dioxide and releasing clean oxygen back into the air. Plants remove toxins from air –up to 87% of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) every 24 hours, according to NASA research.
Plants are essential to all life on Earth. With the world cutting down so many trees, why not give back by planting some in your own backyard?
Plus as an added benefit, the presence of plants has been shown to increase productivity, reduce stress and improve mood. Sounds like it’s time to build a backyard oasis with some gardening projects!