Pool owners search for ways to save water

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SAN DIEGO -- The worsening of the drought combined with statewide mandatory water cutbacks have many homeowners with swimming pools searching for ways to keep their pools full and clean without wasting water.

For the Uy family, a backyard swimming pool was a major selling point when purchasing their Mira Mesa home.

However, they never thought they would consider getting rid of it altogether.

Since the drought and the water cutbacks mandated by Governor Jerry Brown, the Uy's are having to make some tough decisions when it comes to maintaining their swimming pool.

Not only are they considering buying a pool cover to keep evaporation to a minimum, but they are also cutting down watering their plants. The water they save from that goes to filling up the pool. Lastly, they are filling up the pool to a bare minimum, trying to save every last drop.

"Swimming pools and normal backyard pools evaporate about 3/4 to an inch every week in the summertime. The solution to that problem is a pool cover which will cut evaporation by about 50 percent," said Ralph Dalton, a swimming pool contractor.

Dalton has been in the swimming pool industry for nearly 40 years. He went on to say some people are opting to put a chemical in the water that protects their pool water from evaporating by 50 percent instead of using a pool cover, and is as efficient.

He also said draining pools and refilling pools can be costly, but there are new developments that are keeping pools clean without having to drain and clean them out.

"There is a brand new chemical on the market now called Bioactive, and that chemical will remove cyanuric acid from your water without draining it, so it's a phenomenal new [product], and I've been around for a long time. This has been an age-old problem, so [Bioactive] is pretty cool," Dalton said.

Dalton also suggested pool owners keep a close eye for any leaks in the pool. He has come across pools in the past that were losing thousands of gallons of water a day because of a leaking pool pipe.

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