Reducing Your Swimming Pool's Environmental Footprint
Construction costs in Australia, especially in residential areas, are among the highest in developed nations. Average construction costs are estimated at 40 per cent higher compared to the construction cost of the United States. This led to the government through the Green Building Council of Australia advocating for the development of the Australian green building revolution, with its main goal being the adoption of more green building practices. In return, these practices will help reduce the construction and running costs while minimizing Australia's environmental footprint.
To promote the initiative, individuals can start by making their homes more eco-friendly. For a start, homeowners can try out good water collection and storage practices. This begins the journey of being eco-friendly by reducing the cost of your water bill. Since water is the most-used commodity in the house, such practices can be really helpful especially for people with swimming pools in their backyards.
Swimming pools - though a favourite relaxation style for most Australians in the warm summer - can be very unfriendly to the environment. The average cost of running a swimming pool is about $31.30 per week in electricity alone. This is without factoring in the negative effects of chemicals used in maintaining a good pool. To enjoy swimming in a healthy way, pools need to be made eco-friendly. Implementing the following practices can make your pool environmentally-friendly and reduce your household's green footprint.
Scaling Down On Chemical Use
To kill bacteria and algae, pool owners use chlorine and other chemicals. These chemicals, however, cause skin and eye irritation while simultaneously contributing to ozone pollution. Reducing or avoiding chemical use is therefore necessary. To achieve this, homeowners can install a salt water pool that requires fewer chemicals, since salt water makes conditions harsh for bacteria and algae growth. Water purification tablets or the use of ozone and UV systems can be deployed as alternatives in water purification.
Also, using aquatic plants is the most recommended way to make your pool eco-friendly, such as sphagnum moss. It limits bacteria growth and absorbs metals compounds found in swimming pool water. This proves to be a more natural way of purifying your water, making it eco-friendly.
Have A Cover For Your Pool
Installing a pool cover is the easiest improvement homeowners can make. Having a swimming pool cover reduces water loss through evaporation by 97 percent. This brings about major cost savings, since fewer amounts of water will be used to refill the pool. Covers also come with an added advantage of reducing your chemical use, as well as resources used to clean with pool. A cover ensures that minimal foreign objects, such as leaves and dust, come into contact with the pool when not in use. Heat covers also prevent heat loss, allowing homeowners to swim even on cooler days with little additional expenses on heating.
Investing in Solar Heaters
For anything to be eco-friendly, using clean energy sources is paramount. The sun provides an unlimited source of clean energy that can be used to heat pools. Heating swimming pools is the main reason pools come with astronomical water bills. Gas pool heating costs range from between $5.44 and $23.13 per hour to run. Use of clean solar energy brings costs down to a range between $0.35 to $0.65 per hour. A series of tubes are fitted in the pool that absorbs heat from the sun to warm the water, saving on energy and electric bills.
Automation of Water Pumps
Swimming pool pumps characteristically run for longer than the required time. This leads to high energy use that automatically increases costs. Manually turning the pumps on and off can have the effect of circulation if it exceeds or goes below recommended running time of about six hours daily. Fitting automatic pumps, therefore, comes as an invaluable addition. The pool self-regulates and turns the pumps on automatically when required, leading to cost savings.
A swimming pool is always an enjoyable addition to any home in Australia. The prohibitive costs associated with running a pool often act as a hindrance to people wanting to own one, but by implementing these eco-friendly practices, you can save money and the environment while still having a swimming pool at home.
- Cody McConnell