How Can I Save Water?

Outside

Outside

Swimming Pools

Did you know that the average pool in Abu Dhabi loses 1-3% of its water every week, even if it’s not leaking?

swimming poolPools are great for fun, relaxation, exercise and beating the heat. But a few factors commonly contribute to pools wasting water:

  Evaporation

  Leaks

  Poor maintenance

  Splashing

All these factors share the same basic principle: the more water that leaves your pool, the more you have to put back in. Or to put it another way, the more water you keep in your pool, the less water you spend filling it back up.

Did you know that losing just one inch of water in an average-sized pool (5m x 15m) is equal to 2,000 Litres?

With a little planning, regular maintenance and these easy tips, you’ll keep more water in your pool and make it a Waterwise one in no time.

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Please consult your pool maintenance professional to meet your specific needs.

Evaporation is the number-one cause of regular water loss, due to sun, heat and wind. You can save water by reducing evaporation in a number of ways.

    • First, increase shade. Covering your pool with a shade helps reduce evaporation while protecting you and your family from the sun’s rays. There are options available to suit any budget, from shade cloths or sails to pergolas, giant umbrellas and fixed or retractable awnings. Check the outdoor furniture section of your local department store, pool supply company or garden centre.
    • Second, prevent wind exposure. Wind speeds up evaporation, carrying water away on the breeze. Shelter the area around your pool from wind with a wall, solid fence or hedges.
    • When landscaping around your pool for shade or wind protection, remember to consult Waterwise’s How-To Tips for Gardens. Speak with a qualified landscape architect to make sure the plants you choose are splash-tolerant and that their roots won’t interfere with your pool structure or lining, potentially causing a leak.
    • Avoid water features like fountains, spouts and waterfalls as they increase evaporation too. If you do have any, turn them off whenever you can.
  • Covering your pool can minimise evaporation, keeping water from escaping into the air. Pool coverings also keep sand, leaves and tree branches out of your pool, which can save time, effort and money on cleaning.

    While pool covers and blankets do reduce evaporation, they may not be desirable in Abu Dhabi during the summer because they trap heat and raise pool temperatures, counteracting the effects of pool chillers. But during the rest of the year, they can be more practical. They can even help you save electricity when you want to heat your pool.


    Tarpaulin pool covers

    Sometimes considered "safety covers," tarpaulin covers are made of strong vinyl that can either slide over the pool using an automatic rolling system or be manually anchored to the ground around the pool.

    Caution: Some tarpaulin covers are strong enough to keep children and pets from falling into the pool but always check with your pool professional first regarding a cover’s safety.


    Pool blankets

    Made of thin plastic or light foam with many small air bubbles, pool blankets float gently on the surface of the water—hence the term “blanket." They come in standard sizes that are cut to fit the shape of your pool.

    Caution: Pool blankets do not increase your pool’s safety and may add drowning or suffocation risks.


    Comparison

    Tarpaulin covers do a better job of keeping water in and debris out.

    Pool blankets are cheaper than tarpaulin covers but less durable.

    Some pool blankets are made specifically to trap heat from the sun and reduce electricity spent on heating. This effect may or may not be desired.  Choosing a blanket that is light in colour or reflective may theoretically reduce this effect but cannot be guaranteed.


    Pool covers and blankets may not always be in stock in Abu Dhabi, but can often be ordered. Check with local pool supply companies to discuss your needs and decide upon the best option for your pool.

Leaks are a common source of water loss in pools, though if you have one, you may not necessarily know it. Big leaks waste a lot of water quickly and may be obvious. Small leaks can also waste a lot of water—slowly, over months or even years—which they often do because they’re harder to notice.

  • Check your pool every few months for obvious signs of leaks and cracks. Look for wet soil, sunken ground or eroding areas around your pool, cracks or rips in your pool’s surface and wet areas around pumps, pipes, hoses and other equipment. If you find any, contact your pool maintenance professional immediately.
  • Test for unseen leaks every few months using the Waterwise Bucket Test. Here’s how:
    1. First, turn off any automatic refill systems and be sure no new water will be added to your pool for the next few days.
    2. Place a bucket on a pool step so that it is halfway submerged and fill it with water to the same level as in the pool.
    3. Don’t use the pool for two or three days, then compare the levels of water inside and outside of the bucket. The same amount of water will have evaporated from the pool and the bucket (roughly), so if the water level outside the bucket is significantly lower than inside, you’ll know your pool has a leak.
    4. Call a professional pool company right away to find the leak and fix it.
  • The proper way to fix a leak depends on the type of pool you have, the materials it is made of, where the leak is coming from and the type of leak it is. Rather than trying to fix it yourself, Waterwise recommends hiring an experienced pool professional to assess the leak and fix it for you.
  • When landscaping around your pool, plan carefully so that the roots of your plants and trees can’t eventually damage your pool, pipes or equipment.
  • Every drop counts when keeping water in the pool!  These tips may sound like common sense, but that’s because they are—plain and simple.

    • Splash less! Remember, losing even an inch of water from your pool can mean having to replace up to 2,000 Litres. The more water you splash out, the more you’ll need to add back in.
    • More sleek dives, fewer water bombs and belly flops.
    • Avoid continually getting in and out of the pool. Some water comes out with you each time.
    • Drip and dry on the top step to let that water flow back into the pool.
    • An easy trick to make it harder for water to splash out is to keep the water level well below the pool’s edge—one inch or more. 
  • Regularly maintaining your pool’s cleanliness, equipment and chemical balance will help you save water while keeping your pool safe and fun for your whole family.

    Many people hire a pool maintenance company to carry out these routine tasks. If you do, share these tips with them and ask them to help you save as much water as they can.

    • Maintain the correct chemical balance. Keep algae and chemicals under control and avoid having to drain your pool and refill it again. Doing so wastes massive quantities of water.
      • If your pool is green but you can still see the bottom, you may not have to empty it. Speak with an experienced pool professional to see if a shock dose of chlorine can bring it back without emptying it. If you do shock it with chlorine, remember not to use the pool again until you’ve brought the chemical balance back down to acceptable levels.
      • If it is too murky to see the bottom, you’ll need to empty your pool, clean it thoroughly, fill it again and neutralise the water before use. Then try harder to avoid letting your pool go green again.
      • Clean your pool filter only when necessary. Whether you have a cartridge or a sand filter, cleaning too often may be tempting but is an unnecessary waste of water. Backwashing a sand filter too frequently can actually stir up the sand, force small particles back into your pool and reduce the performance of your filter.
    • How do you know when your filter needs to be cleaned? Here are three simple ways to tell:
      1. For both sand and cartridge filters, cleaning is only required when the pressure gauge (located on the housing of the filter) is about 10 PSI higher than the clean or start-up pressure. For example, if your filter starts at 10 PSI and it reaches 20 PSI, you need to clean your filter.
      2. When the flow rate (of water returning to the pool from your filter) is less than usual.
      3. Your pool water is cloudy.
    • Remember, you only need to backwash until the indicator or sight glass runs clear (usually found on the waste line of the filter). Any longer wastes unnecessary water.
    • Consider installing a secondary filter. Backwash water is usually discharged into the sewage system but a secondary filter can let you re-use  that water to your pool or use it in your garden by treating backwashed water to a level that is clean and safe. Speak to a pool shop or plumbing equipment supplier to learn more about secondary filter options.
    • Manually clean  your pool, skimmer box and other collection points regularly to reduce the load on the filter and increase its water efficiency.