Today I was privileged to meet with the Regional Water Authority (RWA) here in Sacramento, CA. The RWA is a joint powers authority representing two dozen water providers and affiliates in the greater Sacramento region. I presented to their committee of water conservation specialists on ways for current swimming pool owners to be water wise users of our limited natural resource, water.
There are a couple of ways that pool owners can save substantial amounts of water by utilizing water wise methods. Did you know that if you utilize a cover on your pool and keep it covered when it is not in use, you can reduce evaporative loss by approximately 93%! That is a huge amount! In the Sacramento valley it is not uncommon to lose 1.5-2 inches of pool water per week to evaporation during the warm season. Think how much water that is and if you could preserve 93% of it!! Floating solar covers are relatively inexpensive, will save water and can extend the swimming season up to a month on each end by warming the water. Where is the down side to this?
Periodically Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Calcium Hardness, salt content or Cyanuric Acid (CYA) content build up beyond the levels acceptable in balanced swimming pools. Historically the solution to this has been to simply drain the pool. Wait a minute! Are we simply going to drain 18,000 gallons of water down the drain? (18,000 gallons is the ave. capacity of a residential swimming pool in CA) Have we not learned that we can’t afford to do that anymore?? Water is a natural resource that is in limited supply! We have to be water wise and use our water efficiently. Simply draining a pool when there is an alternative is simply not acceptable! And today, there is an acceptable alternative to resolve these issues….Reverse Osmosis Filtration.
Yes, there are mobile Reverse Osmosis Filtration units that companies are using to provide a service for swimming pools to resolve these issues. These units can reduce the TDS, calcium, CYA and salt content in a swimming pool down to the minimum acceptable levels and even lower! In many cases the swimming pool water can be made better than the water coming out of the tap! There is no reason to drain a pool for these reasons any longer when there is such a viable alternative available.
Reverse Osmosis is a particularly good option for commercial swimming pools. Commercial pools reach the unacceptable levels much more rapidly than residential pools and may actually need this service on an annual basis! Commercial pools can be as small ar a residential pool in a small apt. complex, up to 500,000 gallons or more in a competitive swimming pool! How fast do the water savings add up when we are talking about those numbers!!
The swimming pool industry and swimming pool owners alike must realize that we have to do our part and be water wise users of this limited natural resource that we all rely upon on! As a society, we must commit to this. Talk about this. Tell our neighbors about this. Before it is too late and the bureaucrats decide to impart harsh restrictions on our ability to use water for our swimming pools.