Taking the Splash Out of Pools and Spas
If you are a Phoenix pool owner, you are not alone. Thirty percent of the single family homes in Phoenix have pools. It's important to take care of your pool with proper maintenance to make sure it is safe for use and not a leaky drain on your budget. Sometimes in the course of maintenance, you may have to backwash or drain your pool water, which contains harmful potential pollutants, such as chlorine, salt, and potentially mosquito larvae. Be sure to follow proper guidelines when draining or backwashing your pool to prevent polluting the Salt River.
How to Drain or Backwash Your Pool, Spa, and Water Features
When you need to backwash your pool filter or drain the pool, you can use a small amount of water to irrigate hardy landscaping, such as Bermuda grass and Oleanders. Avoid using pool water on citrus, hibiscus, or other salt-sensitive plants. Avoid spraying water directly onto leaves or watering the same area repeatedly.
If you have to drain a large amount of water - such as emptying the whole pool - put it down your home's sewer clean out to avoid run-off. The sewer clean out is usually located next to the house at the point closest to the city sewer line and usually outside a bathroom or a kitchen. Click here for the full procedure for finding and using the sewer clean out. Please note that it is illegal to allow pool water to escape onto a city street, right of way, property (including retention basins or catch basins), and storm drain. To keep our Salt River healthy keep only rain in the storm drain! The storm drain is a separate system from the sewer system, which takes wastewater to be treated to high standards at one of our two wastewater treatment plants. Storm drains are designed to remove water quickly from the street to prevent flooding and the water is not treated.
If you're draining your pool in January, February, or March, be sure to fill out Sewer Fee Adjustment Form to make sure that the water you use to fill the pool is removed from the sewer fee caclulation. Use information on Phoenix water rates to estimate how much it will cost to refill your pool.
How to Maintain Your Pool for Optimal Efficiency and Fun
Evaporation accounts for about 40 to 60 percent of pool water usage in Phoenix. Other big contributors include intentional draining, backwashing, and leaks. Even splashing and carryout can be significant. To minimize water loss from your pool, follow a few simple design and maintenance strategies:
Test pool water regularly and balance pool chemicals to reduce the need to drain water from your pool. About 25 percent of the volume of a typical Phoenix pool is estimated to be intentionally drained each year. (At a minimum, check pool chemistry twice per week in the summer and once per week in the winter.)
Know when to backwash if you have a sand filter. Backwashing too often wastes water and prevents the system from running efficiently. (Consult a pool service professional.)
Consult a pool service professional to inspect your pool for leaks -- it's estimated that 1 in 20 pools have leaks.
Reduce evaporation by limiting use of pool-cooling aerators that spray water above the surface of the water (unless oxygenation is required to combat anaerobic microorganisms).
Maintain water at four inches below decking to reduce water loss from splashing.
Keep the fun and games in the pool -- when possible, limit pool entries and exits to reduce water waste from "carryout."
Where can I find out more?