The word on the street is we are in for a major drought year in many parts of the UK.
The swimming pool industry is bracing itself for hosepipe bans, timed water turn off and the like.
My questions to the privatised water companies are;
How much water is currently thought to be lost from outdated water mains
What have you done to increase water storage in relation to the increased population and water demand since the problems experienced in 1976?
Are there any reservoir construction projects under way at present?
Are there any plans for new reservoirs and when will they be completed?
Existing Swimming Pool Owners
Ensure that you open up your swimming pools as early as possible for this season and get them into tip top condition before the hosepipe bans come into force. Get any leaks fixed, no matter how small a water loss you have.
No need to put the heating on, but if your water is crystal clear, properly balanced and treated, it will not cost you too much to keep it right, whilst waiting for the sun to shine.
If the water companies get to the stage where they start turning supplies off, they will be on the look out for any abnormal usage, when it is on.
As the water will be reasonably low temperature, once it is crystal, then until you want to use it, you will get away with minimal filtration every day, so long as you keep testing and dosing.
Once you are into the season, do put a thermal cover on all times the pool is not being used. Use your deep net and skimmer net to remove any leaves or floating debris. This will cut the number of times you will need to empty the skimmer basket, pump strainer and Cyclone if fitted.
New builds on houses and some swimming pool projects are incorporating rain harvesting tanks. With a new swimming pool, the base slab can be extended and a storage tank incorporated at one end of the swimming pool.
For you existing swimming pool owners, I do not have an easy answer. If you have plenty of space, you could look out for a large storage tank and perhaps set it in to the ground and feed it from your rainwater down pipe.
Backwashing should be at least once a week, but if you are forced to cut backwashing to once every two weeks in season, on an outdoor swimming pool, that will be approximately a twenty week season, so on an average outdoor domestic pool you are going to need between 30 and 40 M3 of water.
There is a device on the market called a Cyclone. This is plumbed in to the pre-filter pipework and will cut water usage and take out a lot of debris, leaving your main filter with less to cope with.
Where there is prolonged sunshine, it normally follows that we have thunder storms, so with luck, you will be topping up your pool or storage tank a few time in the season.
To cut down on TDS levels in your pool water, consider Ozone, UV or Ioniser units.
For those of you that have little time or tend to forget to carry out regular testing and dosing, consider a weekly visit by your local swimming pool specialist.