The 100 degree days appear to be over for this year. Soon it will be getting cold, and I have heard several weather forecasters call for a winter that is colder and wetter than normal. That doesn’t bode too well for pools if preparations aren’t made, especially in the Denton area.
If you have ever viewed a Google satellite image of Denton or have flown over Denton in a small aircraft, something is very noticeable: there are many trees in most areas of Denton. During pool season, these trees provide so much for the pool owner in the way of beautifying the pool environment, providing a cool spot near the pool, and providing shade for those that need sun protection.
On the other hand, this time of year, pool owners are paying the price of having trees. Depending on the number of deciduous trees that surround a swimming pool, we are in the midst of a very difficult and trying time of the year to own a swimming pool. In the heavily treed neighborhoods of southeast Denton (Southridge, Montecito, & Forrestridge) and northeast Denton, the leaf problem is particularly bad this time of year. Although the problem only lasts 1-2 months, it is a difficult 1-2 months.
What can a pool owner do to combat the leaf problem? Short of cutting the trees down (please don’t do this), following are some suggestions to help:
Mesh covers have become increasingly popular in recent years. Mesh covers allow water to pass through but catch the leaves. Although the leaves will still have to be removed from the top of the mesh cover, the cover keeps the majority of the leaves from getting into the pool. A properly installed mesh cover (which resembles a trampoline-look over your pool) allows you to blow the leaves off the cover.
Leaf nets are a much less expensive alternative to mesh covers, but work on the same principle. Leaf nets look similar to fishing nets. They lay across the pool, anchored by water tubes, and catch the leaves as they fall. Periodically the cover must be removed in order to remove the leaves from the top of the cover.
Although the primary purposes of a removable safety fence are to keep children away from the pool and keep pets or stray animals (such as mice, rats, frogs, snakes, crawfish, turtles, armadillos, beavers, and even an occasional skunk) they are also effective at keeping blowing leaves from entering the pool.
If you are disciplined enough to do it every day, daily maintenance is a great method of removing leaves from your swimming pool. This requires you to empty the skimmer baskets, dip the leaves out of the pool, and remove leaves from the automatic cleaner on sometimes a daily basis. Some pool owners find that 2-3 times per day is required when the leaves are really falling. One consideration here is to be aware of the possibility of snakes in the skimmer baskets. Often times it is difficult to see snakes as they often curl up in the basket and are not clearly visible. Therefore, it is important to be careful when cleaning your skimmer baskets. Be sure that your skimmer basket has a handle so that you do not have to reach into the basket. In addition, before reaching into the skimmer basket, look very closely, and even consider using a hook or pliers to remove the basket. A product that can be especially helpful this time of year is the Skim Pro skimmer basket or the EZ Debris basket, which are skimmer baskets that works well even if they are full of leaves—they are basically clog-proof skimmer baskets. In addition, these skimmer baskets can also be helpful in avoiding snakes as the basket has a center tower, which can be used as a handle to help remove the basket. These skimmer baskets are available at most pool supply stores.
As you remove the leaves from your yard and pool this fall, remember how much shade and beauty these trees provide you during the spring and summer. And remember—the leaves will not fall forever!