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How to reduce the ecological footprint of our pool?

Swimming pools give us fun and relaxation, but let’s not forget that they also have a significant impact on the environment. From the chemicals used to maintain the water to the energy needed to run pumps and heaters, pools leave their print. They need regular maintenance such as filling with water, flushing and topping up, which further increases the consumption of this valuable resource.

There are several ways to reduce our pool’s environmental impact to use as a starting point. Here are some of them:

Revision of the heat pump

Swimming pools consume significant amounts of energy. The operation of pumps, filters and heating systems requires electricity and its use contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. The energy required to heat a swimming pool can be quite high, especially in cooler climates. Using solar powered pumps and heaters for example is an option to reduce electricity consumption.

A good alternative is to invest in a two-speed or variable-speed pump, which uses up to 80% less energy than single-speed pumps.

Adding a timer to the pool pump

If there is no budget for an entirely new heating system, a timer can be added. Installing a timer on the pump to start it when needed, instead of running it all the time, reduces electricity consumption.

Pool cleaning robot

The pool cleaning robot is a convenient and effective way to clean without excessive use of chemicals. It removes dirt and the filter doesn’t have to work as much, which again saves energy.

Maintaining the filters

If the filters are clogged, the pump is overloaded and it starts to consume more energy. Therefore, it is very important that they are checked and cleaned regularly. Cleaning depends on the type of filter, but usually the manufacturer gives instructions and advice on this.

Calculating the exact time for filtration

Operating the filter 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is not a guarantee of maintaining good hygiene in the pool. Constantly running the filter does not make the pool cleaner. This is rather a waste of energy because one full cycle is enough to remove harmful organisms. Filtration time is usually four to five hours, but varies depending on the size of the pool.

Using a cover

A pool cover is one of the easiest ways to save energy and water. Although the cover will not change the amount of water needed to fill the pool, it can reduce water loss through evaporation by up to 95%. It can save hundreds of litres of water every year and is effective in reducing heating energy consumption by up to 70%.  The cover also keeps debris and dirt out, meaning the pump has to work less.

Using natural cleaning products

The chemicals used to maintain water quality in swimming pools have a harmful effect on the environment. Chlorine is commonly used to disinfect water and keep it free of bacteria and algae, but the discharge of chlorine and other chemicals harms the ecosystem when they enter the environment. These chemicals accumulate in water bodies, leading to increased levels of toxicity and can affect not only aquatic organisms, but also the people and animals that rely on these water sources.

The production of the chemicals used also requires significant amounts of energy and resources. The manufacturing process affects greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental issues, which in their turn increase the overall impact of swimming pools on the environment.

There are options to use more natural disinfectants. Hydrolysis systems, for example, are the perfect alternative to standard chlorine. They turn common salt into chlorine using a generator. Salt water gives a “softer” feel to swimmers as well as eliminates eye and skin irritation.

Using LED lights

LED lights use less energy than standard pool lighting. These lights use only 42 watts and save up to 75% of energy consumption.

Fixing the leaks

The presence of leaks means constant addition of water to the pool. Fixing leaks as soon as they appear is one of the most important interventions. A pool leak can be detected with the simple “bucket test”. A bucket of water is placed in the pool and the water level in the pool is marked on the bucket. Then wait and observe for 24 hours. If the water level in the pool is lower than the water level in the bucket, there is a leak.

These are some of the ways to reduce the impact of swimming pools on the environment. Sustainable practices such as using greener pool chemicals, recycling water, maintaining appropriate chemical levels, and educating pool owners and managers about proper handling are important tools in solving the problem of water pollution.  A pool cannot be completely eco-friendly, but choosing the right equipment and the chemicals used to disinfect it can significantly reduce its carbon footprint.



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