The summer months are all about having fun in the sun — and of course, in the water. After all, there’s no better way to beat the heat of the long dog days of summer than to splash around in your backyard pool.
However, every homeowner who owns a pool knows the maintenance, time, and energy required in order to keep it running in tip-top shape. It’s no secret that swimming pools require a lot of water — obviously — and energy, both of which can be taxing to the environment.
While most homeowners dread their pool water turning green, Carvin DiGiovanni, vice president of technical and standards at the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, said today’s eco-conscious pool owners want green, energy efficient solutions.
“Nearly two-thirds of businesses say customers demand they offer more environmentally considerate solutions,” DiGiovanni wrote in an email. “Eighty-eight percent of consumers feel a responsibility to purchase environmentally responsible products.”
According to DiGiovanni, the primary concerns for most residential swimming pool owners is water and energy usage, as well as natural alternatives to chlorine. While energy efficient pool pumps have become the norm, written standards and codes are slowly being folded into law to ensure future pools, spas, and hot tubs are being built and designed with sustainability in mind.
While growing consumer concern regarding standard chemical treatments used to sanitize pool water have been mounting for some time, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) holds strict standards regarding their usage.
“All chemicals used in pools must be EPA Registered Sanitizers, ensuring that no harm comes to the environment,” DiGiovanni explained. “There are strict state and local health codes that must be adhered to.”
In fact, pool chemical manufacturers recommend adjusting the pH level to 7.2-7.8 to prevent stains, scaling and algae growth. It’s also recommended to shock the pool per the label’s directions.
Despite these rigid guidelines, many homeowners are still leaning towards more natural approaches. In fact, an entire niche market of natural pools, which incorporate plants in a agriculture ecosystem used to keep the water clean, is steadily expanding.
Similarly, eco-friendly salt generator sanitizing systems lessen the environmental impact of harsh chemical cleaners by converting regular table salt into a mild form of chlorine which is then used to clean the pool without the sting or stench associated with commercial chlorine.