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Pool Water Conservation

Swimming pools actually use very little water once they are filled: far less than a same-sized lawn.  Grass provides far more surface area with very little depth, causing far more evaporation.  However, there is still plenty that can be done to conserve. 

Most important, keep your solar cover on as much as possible.  That cuts evaporation up to 90%.  The liquid solar covers are not quite as efficient, cutting evaporation only about 50%, but they work better than a solar cover sitting in your garage because it’s too much work to drag on and off.           

If you have a sand filter, backwash it only when it really needs it.  Borrow a filter that doesn’t backwash from a neighbor.  Most DE filters drain about 15 gallons a month compared to 400 – 1000 gallons a month backwashing a typical sand filter. 

Take care of your pool.  If you do not let algae start due to your own inattention (by far the main cause of pool problems), you won’t have to waste water vacuuming to waste.           

Save the water on top of your cover and take the cover off correctly.  See our “Pool Tips on Opening” for details.  Next year, spring for a $20 set of above-ground winter plates so you don’t have to throw away half the water in the pool. 

Have fun in your pool, but have the kids do more underwater games (slalom, dinosaur eggs, pearl diver, dive rings, etc.) and less splash-out games (like cannonball from the side, climb out all wet, run across the deck dripping water, and cannonball again).  Splashing is mostly OK in the middle of the pool, although technically, aerating water does make it evaporate faster.  However,  why make it worse by splashing water right out on the ground? 

Watch out for leaks.  If you suspect that you have a leak, put a bucket of pool water on a pool step or a ladder step, in the water.  If you are using a solar cover, put a piece of the cover on the bucket, or remove the cover from the pool.  You need the exact same conditions to exist in the pool as in the bucket.  Make the water level the exact same height in the bucket as in the pool.  If you did it right, the pool and bucket will evaporate at the same rate.  If the pool drops lower, you have a leak in the pool.  If the bucket drops lower, re-read the directions and try again.

Revised:  11/24/10

Please let us help you, anytime.


Pool Size: ___________ Gallons Technician: ___________
Date: ________________

We write Pool Tips for the exclusive use of our own local customers. They are meant as a summary of general information, to be discussed in our store, with our staff, to determine which items are best for specific pools. Pool Tips are a trademark of Gull Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Our suggestions assume that you have given us a proper description of your pool’s size, history and symptoms. Sometimes we can figure it out, sometimes we can’t. Your doctor has years more training, far better diagnostic tools, and makes way more money—and sometimes he or she gets it wrong, too.

  1. Read all labels carefully, and only use chemicals exactly as described on the label. Never mix chemicals together outside of the pool. Some of them can cause a fire or explosion.
  2. Do Not follow any advice or suggestions here without coming into the store, customizing them to your specifics, and receiving them in writing.
  3. Do Not print these out or reproduce for any purpose whatever. They are all copyrighted, and we take our copyrights very seriously.
  4. Don’t Blame Us for anything. It’s free advice, and worth the price paid. We’re trying to help, but pools are complex, and chemicals and electricity are dangerous.
  5. Our Best Advice: Go find a local pool dealer who knows what they are doing, become a steady customer, and give them a chance to learn about you and your pool. Pick a brand, pick a store, and stay with them.