The Swimming Pool

Well my swimming pool is an ecological nightmare. Greenhouse gases produced by the generation of the electricity used to keep the pump running most of the day. Chemicals tossed into it on a regular basis. A couple of thousand litres of water flushed down the sewerage system during a back flushing. Another couple of thousand litres of drinking quality water used to replace the water just back flushed. Well the pool came with the house and there is no access available for the machinery that would be needed to remove it. Besides I like to swim in it.

In Melbourne, Australia where this pool resides, we have a major drought. As of Jan 2009 the city's dams are at their lowest in forty years or so. Stage 3A restrictions are in and the pool can only be filled using a bucket from 6am to 8am, on two days of the week only. I figure during mid summer the pool probably loses at least 1000 litres a week to evaporation. A pool cover would help but it would never be used; assuming it was my job to look after it - just being pragmatic. At about 10 litres for a large bucket, that's 100 buckets of water that would have to be tipped in to the pool per week - as if.

Problem is if you don't fill them and the water level falls below the intake pipe, the pool cannot be cleaned and will stagnate - not good. You could empty the pool but a) you couldn't use it and b) it could possibly float out of the ground, if the ground water level rises and your hydrostatic valve fails. So what to do? Catch the rainwater off the roof and run it into the pool - what else. The pool has its own chlorination plant and water filtration system, so nothing to fear. Gee whiz - guano is dropping directly into the pool on a daily basis. Let alone the bats we have here at night - right?

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pool filler

The idea is that the vertical collection pipe will allow any backlog of water to be retained, if the hose's maximum flowrate is insufficent to keep up with the water coming off the roof. If it is bucketing down, the overflow goes down the stormwater drain. I used 90mm stormwater PVC pipe but 80mm may have looked better.

The water goes out through an 18mm hose rather than a more standard 12mm hose. Assuming id measurements, this gives five times the flow rate of a 12 mm hose for the same head. At the bottom of the collection pipe is a screw on PVC cap with a neoprene gasket. It can be unscrewed to allow the bottom of the collection pipe to be cleaned out if it fills up with debris. A brass nipple and lock nut are bolted together through a hole drilled in the center of the srew on cap and waterproofed with silastic. It has the same thread as a normal garden tap, so that any garden tap fitting can be attached. All the parts came from Bunnings - if you go there don't forget to pack lunch. The pool is currently full.