While pools use a great deal of water and energy, there are a number of strategies you can use to reduce their impact on the environment. As an added bonus, these tips will also reduce your water and electricity costs, saving you money! BC Hydro estimates that your swimming pool can be responsible for up to 60% of your summer utility bills. It’s time to get that number down!

Having a floating swimming pool cover is a huge step toward improving the efficiency of your pool. Covers help minimize water and energy use, by stopping evaporation and reducing heating costs. Rather than paying to heat your pool, solar pool covers are a great way to take advantage of the renewable energy of the sun.

It’s important to remember that the filter in your pool also uses energy, so everything you can do to reduce the amount of work it has to do will help to lower your energy consumption. Pool covers are great in this aspect, as they help stop debris from getting into the pool in the first place. Installing a fence around your pool can also be helpful, as this will help reduce the amount of debris that gets blown into your pool. Fences can also slow down the amount of evaporation caused by the wind, which saves water and energy.

Your pool pump is another big energy culprit. If yours is old, it may be time to upgrade to a new, energy efficient model. Running your pump less is another way to save energy, although it is important to ensure that water is circulated enough to prevent the growth of bacteria. We recommend contacting the company who provided your pump should you have any questions regarding pump use or efficiency.

Consider investigating environmentally-friendly pool cleaning systems. Saltwater pools greatly reduce chemical use by relying on the electrolysis of salt to create chlorine. Oxidization systems use ozone to clean the water, while some systems even use sound waves to kill bacteria. Investigate the many options that exist, and consider if one of these environmentally friendly alternatives to conventional chemical systems may be a good fit for your pool. In the mean time, a pool cover can help reduce the amount of chemicals you use by reducing evaporation.

There are also some common-sense tips that you can easily follow to save energy and water. These seem simple, but they can add up to big-time savings. Consider turning the temperature of your pool down a few degrees. This is particularly easy to do if you are out of town, or if there is a period in which the pool is not in use. A few degrees may be barely noticeable, and it can make a major difference in terms of energy use. Avoid needlessly wasting water by encouraging kids (and adults) not to splash water out of the pool.

Pools don’t have to be hard on the environment, or on your wallet. With a bit of research and the motivation to make a few small changes, you can not only enjoy your pool, but you can do it without as much damage to the environment, and without going broke!