This has been a relatively mild summer thus far—especially when compared to the last few summers that we have experienced. But one concern that we have had to deal with for the last few years is limited rainfall. The current drought combined with the continued influx of new residents to the north Texas area can and has put a heavy burden on our resources, especially our water. Wichita Falls is currently under Stage 5 water restrictions—which means that swimming pools cannot be filled using city water. Although it has not yet reached that level in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, it is something that we need to be aware of.
Many other parts of the country are also experiencing drought conditions. For example, California is in its fourth year of a drought and has thousands of swimming pools. The drought has forced California to look at their water usage in an effort to eliminate waste. Although I have always been concerned that pools puts increased demand on our water sources, evidently that is not the case. Several studies have been done and papers have been written that indicate that pools and spas use less water than a traditional lawn.
- According to Stu Campbell’s The Home Water Supply: How to Find, Filter, Store, and Conserve It, a lawn requires .6 gallons of water per square foot per day, compared to .3 gallons for a pool.
- According to The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals—“…a swimming pool uses substantially less water than comparable landscaped and planted areas such as a lawn..” (Source: “Analysis of Water Use in Swimming Pools” by Gail Bash, General Manager, Arcade Water District, Sacramento, California)
Even with the results of this research, we all need to do our part to conserve the water that we have. We can install more water friend landscaping and it is important that pool owners do their part to conserve water. Following are some water saving tips for pool owners:
- Maintain the proper chemical levels and adequate circulation time. This will help keep from having to drain the pool to correct any problems.
- Turn off unnecessary fountains and waterfalls. These can cause a significant amount of water loss due to evaporation.
- If the pool is equipped with an overflow line, consider plugging it whenever swimming or when it is raining. This prevents water loss through the overflow line.
- When filling the pool, be sure to keep from overflowing the pool. Forgetting to turn off the water can make for a costly waste of water.
- Repair any swimming pool leaks. Even a small leak in either the pool equipment or the pool’s structure represents a substantial waste.
The website www.letspooltogether.com is a great source for pool and spa owners to get ideas on water saving tips. It also has a pool usage calculator to determine how much water your pool is using versus a lawn.
Let’s all do our part so that future generations can continue to enjoy the wonderful resources that the North Texas area has.