10 Ways to Conserve Pool Water and Save Money


Once you install your new pool, you will need to create a budget to manage expenses. While many of your expenses include maintenance and decor, you will also need to budget for water consumption. Fortunately there are several ways to conserve pool water and lower your expenses.

Conserving pool water is also essential for high-population areas like the Mid-Atlantic region. Below, we look at 10 practical – and doable – ways to conserve pool water this summer. If you have any further questions or need pool service, contact the professionals at Elite Pools.

1. Use a Pool Cover

More than half of pool water evaporates in a year without a swimming pool cover. Using a pool cover reduces evaporation. Without a cover, an 18’ × 36’ pool loses one inch of water per week during the summer. It can add up to a water loss of 7,000 gallons each year. Benefits of adding a pool cover include

  • Reduces chemical use
  • Reduces algae growth
  • Conserve heat, which reduces energy costs

2. Identify and Fix Pool Leaks

Pool leaks can account for significant water loss during peak seasons. Water leaks often go unnoticed until you see water loose. There are several ways to check for pool leaks.

  • Look for damp spots downstream.
  • Identify saturated areas in your yard.
  • Check for leaking pipes, valves, or connections.
  • Check for loose tiles or cracks along the pool floor or walls.

3. Adjust the Pool’s Water Level

Lowering the pool’s water level reduces water loss from splashing and activity. If possible, keep the water level one inch above the bottom of the pool tile. Try to engage in activities that minimize water loss.

You can best measure the water level at the skimmer assembly. The water level should be about one-third of the distance below the top of the skimmer. You may be able to judge the distance using the screws that hold the assembly in place as a guideline. Avoid overfilling the pool to save on water consumption.

4. Lower the Pool’s Water Temperature

Lower the pool’s water temperature during the summer if you heat your pool. Doing so reduces water evaporation when you are not using the pool. If you must heat the pool, add a water cover to minimize evaporation.

The average pool temperature is between 77-82°F. These temperatures are low enough to prevent bacteria from growing, but also warm enough to take the chill off. If you need higher temperatures, only heat the pool when in use.

5. Backwash Pool Filters Only When Necessary

A backwash filter uses excess water. Keep the pool and filters clean so that you don’t have to backwash the pool as often. Backwash long enough for the water to run clean. Frequent backwashing reduces the effectiveness of the filters.

As a rule, backwash your pool about once a week or in conjugation with your scheduled maintenance. Another industry standard is to backwash when your filter’s pressure gauge reads eight to ten PSI (pounds per square inch) over the starting level or clean pressure.

6. Reuse or Recycle Pool Water on Lawns and Shrubs

Empty the filter backwash onto lawns and shrubs or collect it to reuse. Make sure your landscaping absorbs the backwash so that it does not spill over into your neighbor’s property. Do not allow runoff to enter adjacent properties unless you have some agreement with your neighbor. It may also be illegal to empty pool backwash water into the street or storm drains.

There is an easy way to reuse pool water. Simply recycle it through reverse osmosis. The best way to make it works by pushing the existing water through semipermeable membranes that hold off any impurities, particles, and buildup.

7. Add Pool Water Sanitizer

The sun dissipates chlorine. If you want to get the most out of your chlorine and pool water, add pool water sanitizer in the evening. If the pump adds sanitizer automatically, run the pump at night for the best efficiency.

After you remove debris from the pool, shock it in the evening because the sun’s UV rays will dissolve the chlorine too quickly before it has a chance to attach and oxidize. Use chlorine tabs in conjunction with shock. The slow dissolve tabs hold a chlorine residual in the water.

8. Strategic Poolside Landscaping

Plant pool area shrubs and use fences or privacy screening as barriers or to help reduce water loss from wind evaporation. Decreasing the occurrence and amount of wind across the pool will reduce evaporation. Break the wind by installing fences, trees, and shrubs around your backyard pool to reduce evaporation losses.
If possible try to use thicker, taller shrubs that reduce airflow significantly. You can also reinforce your pool fence by adding windbreakers. The more wind you prevent from blowing across the pool, the more you reduce wind evaporation.

9. Monitor Your Water and Utility Bills

The average pool requires 18,000 to 20,000 gallons of water. It costs an average of $40 to $60 on your water bill per month. The cost is in addition to your current water bill. So, you can count on adding up to $60 to your water bill during the summer if you use your pool regularly.

So, you will need to monitor your water bill. If you notice a considerable spike in water usage or your bill amount, there is likely a problem with the pool. There may be a leak, high evaporation, or other problem. Make sure you schedule an annual pool inspection to identify any problems or get advice on how to use less water.

10. Drain Your Pool Only When Necessary

Some pool owners like to start new seasons with fresh water. If you have properly maintained your pool, however, you may not have to drain it every summer frequently. Many experts believe you should only drain a pool every three to seven years. If you have a commercial pool, you need to drain it annually.

Never completely drain a fiberglass or inground vinyl-lined pool. Doing so can damage the integrity of the pool surface or liner, resulting in bowing or cracking. The only time you should fully drain a vinyl pool is if you’re replacing the liner.

Schedule Pool Installation with Elite Pools

If you are ready to install a pool in your backyard, we are ready to help. Elite Pools is your preferred swimming pool contractor in the Mid-Atlantic region. Contact us today and let us install or renovate your residential or commercial pool.

Fill out our contact form or call us today for a free consultation or quote.

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