By Bianca Alexander
Summer is here, and that means it’s time to make sure the backyard pool is in tip-top shape. Pools can be a great oasis for keeping the family cool and happy, but we all know they require maintenance or they’ll quickly become a nightmare – or worse, a breeding ground for dangerous toxins. But there's no need to pollute the planet to maintain a pool. As a conscious consumer, opt for a 100% natural or salt-water pool, or simply consider more eco-friendly ways to care for your existing traditional pool.
· Go Solar. When feasible, use solar covers on pools and spas to cut down on evaporation and chemical use.
· Conserve Water. Shut off waterfalls and other water features when no one is home. This cuts down on evaporation and electric consumption.
· Conserve Energy. When possible, run your pool pump at night when energy costs are typically lower.
In addition to these eco-friendly tips, it’s imperative that pool owners practice basic pool maintenance to ensure a healthy pool. Here are some basic pool care pointers to ensure safe swimming water for you and your family:
· Test the Water. Do a complete test of the water chemistry and correct any deficiencies immediately.
· Clean Filter, Clean Pool. Be sure your filter is clean and operating correctly. Clear any toys or leaves that may have accidentally made their way into the skimmer basket, which can also affect flow.
· Keep it Pumping. Set your pump to operate a minimum of six hours each day so the water turns over regularly.
You’d also be wise to hire a reputable pool company to do a thorough inspection of your pool at the start of each summer. Always be sure the following steps are included:
· Check the pool for leaks. This is of particular importance if you live in an area where drought is a concern.
· Check all equipment and plumbing for leaks. Minor leaks may seem inconsequential but be very damaging to your pool down the road.
· Check all filters, pumps, and motors for proper performance.
· Optimize the levels of chemicals, including salt water or chlorine, pH, calcium hardness and conditioner.
Weekly professional servicing of your pool, along with an eco-conscious mindset when it comes to pool maintenance, will make caring for your pool, and swimming in it, all the more enjoyable.