Although a swimming pool is a handy, fun, and refreshing water feature to have in your home, it is often the most expensive to own. It can be time-consuming to maintain and, more importantly, may not be the most sustainable element to have in your property.
Traditional swimming pools need plenty of water for people to use them safely. If the level drops, it has to be replenished immediately.
When you need to clean the pool thoroughly, you have to drain it completely, which means throwing away thousands of gallons of water. Once done, you have to fill the pool again, thereby using more water.
Maintaining a clean, safe pool also entails using harsh chemicals, which can be detrimental to the environment.
Lastly, conventional swimming pools are equipped with a pump for its filtration system or to run a heater to maintain the right water temperature. If you did not choose the right equipment, you would rack high electricity bills every month.
Aside from paying more for utilities, your pool may also be wasting energy due to the wrong type of pump.
However, leading swimming pool contractors in Dubai say that having this feature in your home does not mean relinquishing your eco-friendly principles and habits. With the right design and careful planning, you can have a sustainable pool that won’t be expensive and stressful to maintain.
A Guide for Constructing Environmentally Friendly Swimming Pools
Below are some tips for creating an eco-friendly water playground in your home:
Find the right builder.
Not all swimming pool contractors have the same level of expertise when it comes to constructing eco-friendly pools. As such, you have to find one that has experience in this particular area.
Start your search by looking up builders that design and install eco-friendly swimming pools. If they have a portfolio on their website, go over it to see their completed works. Take note of the companies with projects that catch your eye.
Before setting up a meeting with your shortlisted contractors, read their reviews online. Narrow down your options further to the ones that have satisfied their clients.
During the meeting, check if the contractor is licensed and insured. While speaking with them, assess how knowledgeable and receptive they are of your ideas for your eco-friendly swimming pool.
Ultimately, the contractor you should hire is the one you are most comfortable dealing with and you are sure can complete the project based on your requirements.
Consider having a saltwater pool.
Saltwater swimming pools are popular options among eco-friendly homeowners. This particular type does not require the continuous use of chlorine, making it an environmentally safe water feature to have.
Moreover, saltwater is less harmful to the skin.
Although a seawater pool tends to be more expensive to build, because it will require fewer chemicals for maintenance, you will save money on this feature in the long run.
If you are interested in this type of swimming pool, check if your contractor can design and install it for you.
Most traditional swimming pools are constructed with concrete. However, this material is not the most environmentally friendly to use in large water features.
This is because bacteria and molds easily stick to and grow on concrete surfaces. As such, you need to use plenty of chemicals and regularly give your pool a thorough cleaning to ensure it is safe for use.
Fiberglass, carbon-ceramic composite, and other non-porous materials are better options for your sustainable pool. They require minimal cleaning, which means you will use less harmful chemicals. You will use less electricity to maintain it, too.
A pool made of non-porous material is also better at preventing bacteria from seeping into the feature caused by osmosis.
Choose the right pump and filter.
Among the different pool equipment, the pump is the biggest consumer of energy. Because of this, you and your contractor have to find the most energy-efficient one.
A variable speed pool pump can help you reduce your pool’s energy consumption since it only uses the amount of power it needs to complete the task it is doing at a particular time.
Consider installing a pump timer as well. By doing so, you can schedule the pump to run for a specific amount of time and not for a full day. Most experts recommend running it only for six hours daily if you use the pool regularly.
Using the timer, you can also reduce or lengthen the pump’s increments depending on the water quality. This means you can further minimize its consumption of energy.
Additionally, opt for cartridge filters instead of the regular ones. This type does not require backwashing, thus making it more environmentally friendly.
Use solar power.
If you live in an area where the weather is always sunny and warm, consider installing solar panels outside your home and using it to power your pool. If solar power is not available and you live in a state that is deregulated you might be able to switch to a 100% renewable energy plan
With this alternative, environmentally friendly power source, you won’t have to expect higher electricity bills simply because you now have a pool.
Solar power is one of the most sustainable and cost-effective features to have. You can use it to heat your pool and run the pumps and filters.
Although having a solar power system in your property requires a large investment, you can expect great returns over the long term.
Don’t forget the cover.
A cover is essential for keeping your pool clean. What’s more, having one also helps ensure you have an eco-friendly outdoor feature.
When you have the right cover and use it correctly, you increase the pool’s heat retention. This can minimize your need to use the pump to warm the water.
Additionally, when you leave your pool uncovered, the water will evaporate at a quicker rate. You can reduce water waste simply by covering your pool after each use.
Surround the pool with eco-friendly features.
Lastly, enhance the look of your pool and outdoor space by adding the right features.
To add color to your lawn and make the poolside more appealing, add some plants. Choose native, hardy, and drought-resistant varieties so that they won’t need frequent watering and maintenance.
Consider planting trees and shrubs around your pool since they can act as windbreaks, which can help reduce water evaporation.
Finally, install energy-efficient lighting around your pool. Solar and LED lights are excellent options since they use less energy yet provide great illumination at night.
With these tips, you can enjoy having a pool in your yard without worrying too much about its impact on the environment.
Rachel Hennessey manages the Pools and Landscaping Division of Hennessey LLC. She also works on Tender and Pre-Qualification and brings in new business to the company’s Construction, Interiors, and Civils Division.