Salt water pools are on the far edge of sustainability. Yes, you do not need to buy and store chlorine products to sanitize your pool as the salt water cell splits the chlorine from the salt (Sodium Chloride) prior to entering into the pool water. You are still swimming in a chlorine pool albeit one with the reputation of feeling softer on the skin verses a pool maintained in the traditional chlorine manner. But if you are looking to have a “green” sustainable pool environment, you will want to know that the biggest draw back is the water in your pool (with salinity levels over 2500 ppm) can not be used on any landscape plants. Additionally, in the event of a severe water shortage, normal pool water can be filtered through a simple back packers’ filter, like a Sawyer unit or a ceramic unit and consumed. In a salt water pool you cannot filter out the salt except with reverse osmosis, a small desalination or a distillation process.
The grade of DE used in a swimming pool is known to cause silicosis and is a suspected carcinogen; in the State of California it is classified as a known carcinogen.
"Water Miser" Filtration Systems
These filtration systems use only 250 gallons a year to be cleaned. Water saving filtration systems were pioneered by Patio Pools during the original Beat The Peak campaign in 1974. Massive oversized cartridge filtration was then launched in Tucson by Patio Pools in 1984 which uses even less water for filter cleanings than the technology we introduced in 1974. Modular Media filtration by StaRite, a further advancement in oversized cartridge technology, was introduced by Patio in 1992. Today with water “harvesting” becoming more acceptable, hybrid filtration technologies are also being introduced. Sand filtration connected to water harvesting systems are options for residential and commercial pools. Contact us for more information. Today there are many alternatives available to allow the use of pool water in a secondary capacity such as backwash water harvesting for irrigation systems. Additionally, the use of hydraulically balanced/oversized recirculation systems, modular media backwash water reducing filtration systems as well as nano filtration all offer alternative methods for draining a pool.
Evaporation And Solar Retention Covers
In addition to offering energy savings, pool covers can also conserve water that would typically be lost as a result of evaporation, reduce chemical usage and also help to keep excessive debris out of the water. They also extend the swim season and work to increase pool solar heating gain applicable solar collectors.
Automatic Pool Covers
Many automatic pool covers offer another layer of drowning prevention in addition to being a “Green” option for your swimming pool. When the cover is on there is zero evaporation of the pool water and by keeping contaminates out of the pool the cost of chemicals and sanitizers is drastically reduced. Additionally, burn off of chemicals is reduced allowing for a decrease in the amount of chemicals added to the pool as well as frequency. Here you can find more information as well as charts showing various energy-saving potentials.
Pool Frog© Chlorine Reduction Mineral Water Sanitation
POOL FROG© provides a reliable way to have fresh, clear, clean water in your pool with the use of minerals and a small amount of chlorine that makes the water feel softer. Pools using Frog typically use 50% less chlorine than non-Frog pools. The pre-filled chlorine containers are recyclable when empty. Additionally, the use of the POOL FROG© reduces the need to physically touch the sanitizing chlorine product; it allows the user to set a dial to determine just the right amount of chlorine sanitizer for use in the pool
Ozone use is becoming more prolific as a booster device that will reduce the requirement for Chlorine to be used in swimming pools. Pools equipped with ozone units report a 24% to 75% reduction in chlorine demand. Ozone is short-lived, generally completely depleted within five minutes of introduction into the pool, but is highly effective in killing all unwanted pathogens in the water which come in contact with the ozone gas. Ozone is over 1000 times more effective at oxidizing bather waste than chlorine. The need for additional chemicals such as scale inhibitors, clarifiers, algaecides and degreasers are reduced substantially or eliminated in some cases and thus saves money! Overall maintenance time is decreased as well.
Ultra Violet Water Sanitation
Helps control bacteria, algae and other microorganisms from forming in the water with the use of shortwave ultraviolet light. Ultraviolet water purification allows the user to substantially reduce the chlorine usage and provides a more pleasant swimming experience with the reduction of the amount of free chlorine in the pool water. We have installed commercial units as far back as 1985. Recent innovations have created cost effective residential systems and are available for installation.
Solar Pool Heating
Patio Pools & Spas has been installing swimming pool solar heating systems for over 30 years. In the early 1970’s we installed Raypac and Fafco systems. We were one of the first builders in Southern Arizona to pioneer their successful installation. Today’s solar collectors are even more advanced and durable than ever before plus there are tax credits of up to $1,000 per system, available in Arizona!
Pentair Variable Speed Pumps
For commercial applications there are rebates available from Tucson Electric Power up to $125.00 per hp depending on size and starting at 3 hp! These types of pumps can save the residential homeowner from a minimum of 30% of your swimming pool or spa’s monthly electrical costs all the way up to 90% based on how it is programmed and the operation of pool cleaners, as detailed here:
- Advanced motor technology can provide a base savings of 30% IntelliFlo and IntelliPro pumps use an exclusive permanent magnet motor (used in hybrid cars) in place of a traditional induction motor. Permanent magnet motors are fundamentally more energy efficient and provide a typical “base energy savings” of 30%.
- Onboard intelligence with variable drive can deliver additional savings up to 90% Variable speed capability, digital controls, and proprietary software that allow custom programming of optimum pump speeds for specific tasks-filtering, heating, cleaning, spa jets, waterfalls, etc. The result is additional energy savings…up to 90% compared to even so-called high efficiency, single-speed, two-speed and multi-speed pumps that cannot be adjusted.
- For virtually all applications, the optimum speed will be lower than the preset, unchangeable speeds of older pumps. Using slower pump speeds takes advantage of a fundamental pump law: The slower the water moves through the piping, the more efficient the energy use. In fact, when pump speeds are reduced by half, energy consumption is just one-eighth of what was previously used.