Our swimming pool is great during summer when I can get the kids out there and out of my hair for hours while I lie quietly enjoying a good read.
But for the most time it is the bane of my life – keeping it filled, blue and functioning is tantamount to pulling teeth for me. And with the drought KZN is currently experiencing, it really is a pain rather than a pleasure.
South Africa is currently experiencing its worst drought since 1992, with KZN being one of the worst affected areas. A mere 15 minutes north of my home, the effects of the drought are particularly severe. These areas have been experiencing water rationing for the better part of this year. It was only on a drive to the South Coast this week, past lush banana plantations, that I realised how dry and brown the northern coastal belt is. Suddenly the drought became more tangible.
Now is the time to think about being a responsible pool owner. We need to think about our pool’s water footprint and decisively implement water-saving practices.
Local government has requested all households reduce water consumption by at least 30%. If we fail in doing so we’re going to experience more water rationing over a greater area in KZN this summer.
Our biggest problem in summer is the amount of water pools lose through evaporation. So point of intervention should start here. Rather than refilling, a pool cover is the way to go – water loss goes down by at least 98%!
- If you have fountains or jets in your pool, DO turn them off – not only will you save electricity (another worry this summer), but reduced aeration means reduced water evaporation.
- DO look at replacing older pool pumps with more eco-friendly and water-efficient ones.
- DO avoid diving and splashing about. Keep the water in the pool, not on the area around it.
- DO limit the number of swims your dogs take. Dogs in the pool means the filtration system has to work harder to oxidise pet fur etc. Not to mention more evaporation and water loss.
- DON’T empty your pool or let the water lie stagnant. It could become a health or drowning risk.
- If your pool is heated, DON’T leave it uncovered. Warm water evaporates faster.
- DON’T use recycled kitchen or bath water in your pool – the chemicals from this water could wreak havoc on your pool’s pH levels.
- DO collect rainwater to top up your pool if needed.
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