Imagine this -You have recently purchased a beautiful bungalow. It is surrounded by lush green trees and shrubs. It has a backyard with swings and a massive swimming pool at the front to ward off your summer woes.
Or a different scenario-your water has become a haven for the algae, giving your pool the appearance of a soft mushy velvet green carpet, or you need to drain your pool for some internal repairs. A fundamental question that arises is how to fill the swimming pool with water?
What Do You Mean By Pool Water Delivery?
Filling your pool with water by various means is termed as ‘Pool water delivery.’ There are many different ways to fill your swimming pool with water. They are as follows:
Method 1: Using City Water And A Hosepipe
This is the easiest and most convenient method of delivering pool water. This cheapest method involves filling the pool with water using the good old garden hose, using the city tap for this purpose.
All you need to do is hook up the hose to your tap and place the other end in the pool. You may call the water department and get an estimate about the cost per gallon of water.
The water department may charge you for the extra water, or they may also give a discount because you will be using the water in bulk. Since your sewage bill is proportionate to your water usage, they can also reduce the sewage charges if they know the purpose of water usage.
However, if you happen to live in an area where water is scarce or rationing of water, the costs can rise sky-high, or you may be denied this option altogether. Depending upon the area that you live in, city water might be the only option.
Disadvantages of Using City Water for Filling Up the Pool:
- You will have to wait for a long time to get the swimming pool filled.
- It is labor and time-intensive, requiring several hours to days to fill up the pool depending on the volume of water needed by your pool.
Advantages of Using City Water for Filling Up the Pool:
- You save the additional cost of hiring a pool water service provider.
- Since the source is city water, you need not worry about the mineral impurities since the water is treated.
- This is the best choice because city water is potable, which makes it safe.
Method 2: Using Water From A Well
This is the least expensive pool delivery method. Well water is a natural source of water. If you happen to have a well on your property, then this an option. You will need a powerful pump to pump out the water like using a hose; the time required to fill up the pool m 48 hours or more.
Well water is a type of hard water containing many minerals and other trace elements. They also contain high amounts of sulfur, giving the rotten egg smell associated with sulfides.
Although well water is free of charge, it may massively increase your electricity bill. The water will have to undergo tremendous softening and treatment to remove the unnecessary minerals. This will also increase the maintenance cost of the pool equipment.
Another problem associated with well water is that if you miscalculate the well’s capacity and withdraw excess water, the well may dry up. This, in turn, will bore a huge hole in your pocket.
Disadvantages of Using Water from A Well:
- Withdrawing water from well for filling up the swimming pool is a cost-intensive method.
- The water is often smelly, containing impurities both organic and inorganic. This will need additional clarifiers and softeners to treat the water.
- The electricity bill charges and the cost required for maintenance will shoot up.
Advantages of Using Water from A Well:
- Water is derived from a natural source; hence the charges for obtaining the water are nil.
- You can fill up a swimming pool in 48-72 hours if you use a powerful pump.
Method 3: Using A Fire Hydrant
A fire hydrant is a device that ensures a fast water supply. It extracts water from pipelines and other water distribution systems. Fire hydrants are often installed near buildings. It consists of a series of components, which, when assembled, can form an active firefighting mechanism.
Though the idea of using a fire hydrant may seem very promising and appealing, it is not always the solution. You can contact the fire department can ask for their permission. If allowed, they may charge some water fee.
On the other hand, you will be criminally charged for using it illegally, which means losing a whole lot of money to court proceedings and the likes.
Advantages of Using A Fire Hydrant:
- A fire hydrant can fill up your swimming pool in a matter of hours as the capacity of a fire hydrant to pump water is at the rate of 1500 gallons of water per minute.
- The water charge associated is less than calling a pool water service provider.
Disadvantages Using A Fire Hydrant:
- This method is generally not recommended and is not feasible.
- Once the fire hydrant is opened, closing it off is difficult. In the process, it might even disrupt the associated pipelines due to the considerable pressure.
Method 4: Taking Help Of Pool Water Service Providers
The other method is to contact your local pool water service provider. This is the fastest means to fill up your pool. One call, and there will be water trucks delivering gallons of water and filling your pool in a matter of minutes.
The pool water providers can provide you either with potable water. Some companies offer balanced water. Pool water providers can also provide pre-chlorinated or pre-treated water on demand. Some providers do not interfere with the water chemistry at all. So, you need to specify your needs keeping your budget in mind.
You need to calculate the gallons of water required to fill your swimming pool before calling the pool water providers. You can do it by calculating the volume of your swimming pool by the following formula:
Volume= Length x width x height
Multiply this by 7.5, since 1 cubic foot of water contains 7.5 gallons. This will be the total volume of water in gallons required by you to fill up the pool.
The pool water needs to be hygienic, chemically balanced, and safe for swimming. A detailed test will tell you what additives must be added to the water to bring it into the safe swimming range.
Advantages of Using Water Provided by Pool Water Service Providers:
- You don’t have to worry about water softening and removing unnecessary minerals, and organic material since the water provided can be potable or pre-treated, depending on your requirement.
- A water truck can hold up to 6000-8000 gallons of water per truck. The service is fast and can fill up your swimming pool in a matter of hours.
- Since the pool water service providers are professional, they will fill up the swimming pool without damaging any essential component of the pool.
Disadvantages of Using Water Provided by Pool Water Service Providers:
- This is the costliest method compared to the other techniques, and water charges may differ according to the service provider, type of water requirement- pre-treated or not and the capacity and size of the pool.
Testing Various Parameters Of The Pool Water
The pool water needs to be tested for the following parameters to ensure safe swimming. This test will also tell the amount of chemicals you should add and the treatment to undertake after the pool is filled.
● Microbial Load
You need to test the water for pathogenic microorganisms like Salmonella, Escherichia coli, Yersinia, and other coliforms. You can do this by doing a total plate count (TPC), Total coliform count, or an MPN (Most Probable Number) water analysis. You should also test water for rotifers, planktons, algae, and microscopic observation of the water.
Total alkalinity is a measure of the concentration of alkaline substances present in the pool. They resist any change in ph. The alkalinity of the pool should be in the range of 80ppm-120 ppm.
● Available Chlorine
Available chlorine or free chlorine is the chlorine that reacts with water to disinfect it. Over time, the amount of chlorine gets utilized in the disinfection process, and the availability of free chlorine may decline. You should check and maintain the chlorine levels between 3ppm – 5ppm.
Less concentration of chlorine may not sufficiently disinfect the pool water. In contrast, excess chlorine may react with the amines and nitrogen present in the sweat and urine to form chloramines, giving away a bad smell. Furthermore, excess chlorine irritates the skin and eyes.
● pH Level
pH is the concentration of hydrogen ion present in the water. It is measured on a scale of 1-14.6, and below being acidic pH, 7 is neutral, and above 7, it is considered alkaline. You need to keep the pH of your pool water slightly alkaline in the range of 7.4- 7.6. An alkaline environment is required for proper disinfection by the chlorination process.
● Calcium Hardness
Calcium hardness measures the concentration of calcium and magnesium present in the pool water. It determines whether the water is hard or soft. Calcium hardness is an essential determinant for the overall maintenance of your pool.
The acceptable level of calcium hardness is between 200-400 ppm. Unbalanced calcium hardness can lead to clogged filters, cloudy water and can hinder the working of pool heaters.
● Cyanuric Acid
When choosing chlorination as a disinfectant method, you need to add cyanuric acid to stabilize the chlorine molecules. The sun evaporates the chlorine molecules as soon as you add them to the pool.
Thus, cyanuric acid stabilizes the free chlorine. The recommended concentration of this acid is in the range of 20ppm-50 ppm.
Some of the parameters can be tested by a test strip, or you can take the pool water to a local pool shop and get the parameters mentioned above tested. To ensure that the pool water is free of rust, you should ask for stainless steel water tankers for transporting the water in bulk.
Immediate Treatments After Filling Swimming Pool
Whether you fill your pool water by using your hose or you take the help of pool water service providers, you need to treat your water immediately with the following chemicals in the given order.
Step 1: Addition Of Sequestering Agents
Sequestering agents chelate or bind together the minerals and metals present in the water. They prevent your pool surfaces from scaling and staining. Once these minerals are locked up together, they can be filtered out.
You should add this chemical first and allow 4-8 hours of filtration before adding the other chemicals. Add this agent even if the previous test did not show any trace elements or these metals in the water sample.
Step 2: Maintain The Water Chemistry And Balance
Once you fill the pool with water, it is crucial to maintain the chemistry and balance between different chemicals. As stated earlier, maintain the pH, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid concentration within the expected range.
Step 3: Filter The Water
Once you have added all the initial chemicals required to maintain the water balance, turn on the filter for 24 hours so that all the chemicals are well dispersed. This discourages stain formation by thoroughly mixing the clarifier and sequestering agent.
Step 4: Pool Shocking
Pool shocking is a process where chlorine or non-chlorine pool chemicals are added to the water to increase free chlorine concentration. This treatment effectively destroys pathogenic bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and algae.
It is not advisable to shock the pool first, as pool shocking hinders the performance and functioning of sequestering agents and algaecides. A high concentration of chlorine renders the active agents useless.
The added chlorine will also prevent the formation of chloramines which are formed when chlorine reacts with nitrogenous waste from the pool water. Thus, avoiding the malodor.
Step 5: Add Algaecides
If your water contains a high number of phosphates, there is a very high chance of an algal bloom incidence. To prevent your pool from turning green, add algaecides to the pool, which control algae growth.
Sequestering agents that bind phosphates can also aid in this process and filter off the phosphates, thus inhibiting algae growth. Add the algaecides and the sequestering agents only after the chlorine concentration is less than 3ppm after pool shocking.
Contrary to its name, Algaecides do not kill the algae. Instead, they prevent or stop algae growth, i.e., they are algae static in nature and not an algaecide. Pool shocking is the only option to kill the algae.
Step 6: Add The Disinfectant
Depending upon the choice of your disinfectant, you can add chlorine tablets or pool salt to sanitize the water. Maintain the chlorine level in the 1ppm -3ppm range. Add a stabilizer to make sure that chlorine is not evaporated by sunlight.
If you are using a salt chlorinator, check the temperature of the water to start the process of ionization. They do not work below a temperature of 60◦ F.
Keep checking the free chlorine level until you obtain a stable value.
Step 7: The Final Step
Before jumping into the pool, check the chlorine levels and ensure they are in the recommended range. Maintain the pH of water in the range of 7.2-7.8, calcium hardness level between 100-400 ppm, and the total alkalinity should be in the range of 80-120 ppm.
This entire process of conditioning and balancing the water will take two to three weeks. After this elaborate treatment, your pool is now ready for the much-awaited jump!
Some Valuable Tips While Filling Up The Pool
#1 Filter The Water
If your pool delivery method uses a hose or pipe, make sure you attach small filters that you can screw onto the end of your hose. This filter will effectively filter out impurities and contaminants.
The filters come in various mesh sizes. You also get graded filters that decrease in mesh size sequentially. Such filters prevent clogging up. You can also choose a Millipore filter that can filter out bacteria. This filtration unit will make your water balancing process much easier.
You should also secure the end of the hose with a sturdy cloth to decrease the overall pressure.
#2 Fill The Bottom Few Inches of Your Pool By Yourself
Irrespective of the method you use to fill your pool, you should fill the few 2-3 inches of the bottom with water yourself. This allows you to inspect your pool liner or any damage or leakage.
When you fill-up your pool, sometimes the liner may slip or may wrinkle. If water continues to fill up with the liner improperly positioned, it would later be difficult to straighten it out. Also, install a railing at the top to keep the pool liner in place and save yourself the trouble!
When you fill the pool with water slowly and sequentially, the pressure is evened out and reduced. This reduces the risks of any damage caused by a sudden high-pressure flow filling of pool with water.
#3 Keep An Open Mind
You should consider the various pool delivery options available. Just because you have the availability of city water, don’t hesitate and narrow it down. Get estimates from the various services available. Who knows! A few phone calls can make you save galleons for extra gallons!
#4 Work A Little Hard
To get that perfect healthy pool environment, you should brush the crevices corners and all parts of the pool with a nylon brush. This will allow the debris to come out. Later use a skimmer to collect the floating debris. You can also use a pool vacuum to clear the settled debris.
#5 Ensure Your Safety
The chemicals used in setting up the pool are hazardous, corrosive, and caustic. Hence you should handle these with utmost care. Wear gloves and eye masks while dealing with liquid chlorine and handling other chemicals.
Tightly seal the chemicals and keep them out of reach of children. Never add water to any acid. Always add chemicals to the water. Use the dose and handle the chemicals as per the user guide.
When Should You Top Up Or Refill Your Swimming Pool?
- Pool water can be reduced by many factors like evaporation due to the sun, especially in the summer season, water splashes out because of frequent use, and water backsplash.
- Depending on the usage of the swimming pool, its maintenance, and water quality, you should refill a swimming pool every 2-3 years.
- You should completely drain and refill your pool in case of incidence of algal bloom when even pool shocking cannot get rid of the foul odor and incidences of bacterial contamination and adverse health effects.
- If you need to top up your water frequently, you might have a leak that needs to be addressed.
How Do You Reduce The Water Loss Of Your Pool?
After you have gone through all the pains of establishing a swimming pool, getting water delivered, balancing the chemistry and sanitation of pool water, and keeping the pool water crystal clear, you definitely want to reap the benefits of maintaining the water quality for an extended period.
To ensure that your efforts are not in vain, you should practice and adopt measures that will not lower your pool water level.
#1 Reduce Evaporation
The first thing that you can prevent is the evaporation of water due to solar energy. Every half to one-fourth inch of water is lost due to evaporation every day in an uncovered pool. This can be done by making use of pool covers. Lowering the temperature of the pool heater and landscaping the pool against the wind also helps.
#2 Reduce Splash Outs
Every time someone swims and comes out, they are drenched in water from head to toe. Their hair, clothes, and body carry the excess water which is lost in this process.
Also, when someone dives or plays in the pool, water is splashed out. This can be reduced by lowering the water level to prevent splash-outs.
The use of sprays and fountains also leads to water loss. You can overcome this problem by positioning the fountain and spray in such a manner that water flows back into the pool.
The backwash is a process performed to clear the filter of any blockages or debris. This is done by a counter-current mechanism where water is allowed to flow into the water in a reverse manner. This opposite force clears the filter of any clogs. It keeps your filter and water clean.
Backsplash only when required for a limited period of time until the water runs clear. You can prevent the clogging of the filter by maintaining the water chemistry adequately balanced and water adequately sanitized.
Frequently Asked Questions
#1 What is the full form of CSI, and what is its significance?
The Calcium Saturation Index (CSI) determines whether calcium carbonate will be present in the solution or deposited. This index determines the nature of water that is whether it is normal, corrosive, or scaling.
#2 What do you mean by corrosive water?
Corrosive water is very reactive and harmful to substances that come in its contact. Water softeners can convert this hard water containing calcium to soft water by removing these salts.
#3 What is scaling water?
Scaling water is rich in calcium and magnesium. Such water causes mineral deposits and buildup on pool surfaces.
#4 How to read the CSI index?
A value of zero denotes that water is neither corrosive nor scale forming. The range for ‘normal’ water is from -0.3 to +0.3. Values below and above this range are considered to be corrosive and scaling, respectively.
#5 Can you chemically restore your pool water after a full-fledged incidence of algal bloom?
Though algal bloom can be rectified by pool shocking using chlorine, the water chemistry and balance remains disturbed. Pouring a lot of chemicals is not wise and leads to an unhealthy environment. The best option in such cases is to drain out and refill the pool with fresh water.
#6 What should be the frequency of adding chlorine to a pool?
Chlorine should be added every week according to National Spa and Pool Institute (NSPI)
#7 When can I swim after adding chemicals?
Chemicals are added in order to adjust the pH, alkalinity, and calcium balance. Sequestering agents, clarifiers, and water stabilizers are safe chemicals. It is recommended to wait for about 20 minutes after the addition of these chemicals.
#8 How often should a filter be run?
It is recommended to run a filter for 8-10 hours a day. You should run it till the water is clear.
#9 What is a water stabilizer?
A water stabilizer is a chemical that acts as a sunblock and prevents the chlorine in the water from evaporating. Cyanuric acid is an example of a water stabilizer.
#10 What is the cause of my water being green in color?
Algae is one of the reasons your water can acquire a greenish tinge. But if the color does not improve with pool shocking, it may be because of metals like copper and iron. Chlorine oxidizes these metals to give a lime green tinge.
To cut a long story short, when you want to fill up your pool, contact the water department, check if they offer any waiver on sewage lines, and get the estimates. Then get an opinion about the pool water service provider’s facilities, their recommendation, and charges.
Once the significant part is dealt with, that is just the tip of an iceberg, maintain the water quality and keep the pool environment safe for swimming.