You may not own an electric car or have a compost pile in your yard, but no contribution to protecting Earth’s natural resources is too small. You can make little differences every day that eventually become a way of life while setting an example for your children.
Eco-friendly pledges like solar panels on residential roofs and paper straws distributed in restaurants are everywhere. More take-out food is available in bio-degradable carriers in lieu of traditional styrofoam. Plastic grocery bags have given way to re-usable cloth ones with sturdy, woven handles.
Even the fashion industry has put its best foot forward. The relatively new shoe design company, Rothy’s, boasts a tagline: “From bottle to beautiful.” As of this writing they have transformed almost 35 million plastic bottles “destined for landfills and repurposed them into timeless, durable flats.”
No matter your commitment to slowing the depletion of natural resources, today, if there’s something you want to do, you can do it.
Environmentally Friendly Swimming Pools
As far as your outdoor life, backyard swimming pools can be built and designed as another dimensional statement about your pledge to sustainability and to making alternative healthy choices for your family.
There are many options to consider. This enterprise, Sustainability for All outlines the means to use naturally occurring elements to keep your pool clean.
In this model, the pool must be originally designed to utilize this method. (More later on ways to convert your pool’s ecosystem!)
Like a more traditional pool outfitted with swim up bars and Baja Benches, natural swimming ponds require a similar attention to engineering. They are divided into separate zones; one for swimming, the other for water purification.
An alternative to chlorine, Sustainability for All recommends using plants and stone or sand to purify the water. “This emulates the natural filtration which takes place in rivers.” So how does it work?
- Water must be in motion, so it is necessary for the swimming pool to be built on a certain slope.
- This motion is generated by a power pump – which can be derived from a solar power supply in order to save even more energy.
- The plants, placed in another space separate from that meant for swimming, are responsible for filtering waste.
- Stones and sand are also natural filters that naturally remove those impurities and bacteria found in water.
- Water saving (there is no need to empty and refill them; you just have to replenish the part that evaporates).
- Energy saving (filter systems are not necessary).
- Additive saving (they do not use chemical products. They do not harm your skin, eyes and mucus health).
According to EcoHome, there are three types of plants that will provide some natural cycle regulation in the swimming pond scenario:
- Floating plants: Water lilies and other floating plants rooted in the bottom provide shade and protect micro-organisms from UV rays.
- Oxygenating plants: By absorbing nitrates and phosphates, submerged and free-floating plants contribute to the ecological balance of the pool and play an important role in slowing the growth of algae.
- Biological filters: As water passes through the fibrous root structure of plants, micro-organisms concentrated on the root system act as a natural filter, removing contaminants and excess nutrients from the water.
In the natural swimming pool scenario, the surrounding aesthetics are also key. You’ll want to edge this relaxation center in the trappings of a natural setting, so the cool refreshment of your “pool pond” is organic to the space.
Saltwater Swimming Pools
The advantages of these installations include:
- Fewer chemicals
- Lower cost of upkeep
- Minimal maintenance
Saltwater swimming pools are also much gentler on your eyes, skin, and hair and even go a little easier on allergy and asthma suffers.
While traditional pools require the manual addition of chlorine on a consistent basis, the saltwater pool relies on a regenerative process to create the chlorine. They may employ salt to generate chlorine, but once generated the chlorine breaks back down into salt.
Because the storage and handling of chemicals is a task necessitating caution, another plus of course is the in-water production of the substance that maintains your pool’s water in a safe, healthy and algae-free condition.
Although more expensive on the front end, you will, in most pool installations, recoup that cost after a few years due to the reduced operating expenses. Overall, a more cost-effective system considering the chlorine versus salt expenditures.
Converting To a Saltwater Pool
If you already have a pool you love, it is fairly straightforward to convert from one whose maintenance is fueled by chlorine to one fueled by salt.
However, like anything else there’s the quick way or the right way. As much as you may pride yourself on your DIY dexterity, your pool is the jewel of your outdoor entertainment center. To run the risk of damaging any component could wind up being more expensive than hiring a reputable pool contractor to oversee the conversion process.
Swim University advises that draining the pool is not necessary unless an antibacterial agent is in use. While you can burn this agent out of the water, it will require a high dose of chlorine to sort of shock it out.
A multi-step process, the pool will need to be drained (or not), the water rigorously tested, and precautions taken to protect your pool’s lining. Considering the corrosive nature of salt, attention must be paid to water-adjacent metal trim.
Finally, there’s selecting and installing the saltwater chlorination system. According to Swim University, “A saltwater chlorination system works by passing an electrical current through salinized water, causing a chemical reaction via electrolysis that creates chlorine from salt molecules. The two main parts of a salt chlorinator are the cell and the control board: the cell is where electrolysis takes place to create chlorine; the control board allows you to adjust how much chlorine is generated.”
Additionally, before converting, you will want to consult with your pool pro to inspect for metal objects outside or beneath water level as they will endure galvanic corrosion over time. You’ll also want to make sure certain plants are not within splashing distance as repeated exposure to saltwater can damage them. As far as concrete coping and surrounding stonework, they should first be properly sealed and hosed down after use as part of your pool’s routine maintenance.
Home improvement financing experts since 1979, we’ve seen extraordinary advancements in pool design and its contribution to keeping our beautiful world, beautiful. At Lyon Financial we are proud of the difference we can make for your family by providing something that puts years of memories within reach. Call 877-754-5966 for more information.