Keeping things clear with swimming pools

A concrete pool can be built to any design, but does take around six weeks to construct.

Light coloured pools provide a crystal clear look and are less likely to attract birds for a swim.

With a swimming pool unlikely to be built in Warkworth before 2021, building one in the backyard may be an option home owners want to consider.

However, ongoing maintenance is the biggest fear for those looking to invest in an aquatic area, according to Mobius Pools owner Simon Munro.

“Some real estate agents even say a pool can reduce the value of a house, because buyers are concerned about the upkeep,” Simon says.

“I’ve got one on my own property and it’s a similar amount of maintenance to the equivalent area of lawn, although the task does become more time consuming in autumn when leaves are falling into the pool from nearby trees.”

Simon says that during most of the year upkeep involves around half-an-hour a week, and with modern pool cleaning technologies, this can be automated.

Part of keeping the pool clean involves using chlorine to keep the water clean and healthy.

“A lot of people are put off by the smell of chlorine at public pools, but if you manage the levels correctly in your own pool, this isn’t an issue.

“The smell itself comes from the reaction when chlorine kills bacteria so the cleaner the pool, the less odour there is.”

Alternatively, new UV systems can reduce the chemicals required for cleaning by up to 90 per cent.

Options also come with the pool design and material, and a range of extras are available.

“The most common pool is a 10x5 metre pool with a depth ranging from 1.2 metres to 1.8 metres.

“It’s a nice size pool that is appropriate for swimming lengths and family fun, which will fit in most back yards.”

Most pools have a water capacity of between 80,000 litres and 100,000 litres.

Simon says one other pool that is currently popular is a swim spa, a smaller pool with water jets that provide a flow that can be swum against for fitness.

Pools can be concrete or fibreglass, but Simon prefers the options that come with a concrete set up.

“Fibreglass has the benefit that it only takes a day to install instead of around six weeks and is around 20 per cent cheaper on average.

“But there is only a set range of moulds for fibreglass, whereas you can take a concrete design anywhere you want.”

Simon says there are plenty of colour choices including darker pools which are trending in Auckland.
“A darker pool will heat up faster and it’s harder to see debris on the bottom.

“They don’t have that pristine clear water look to them though and in a rural area, they can attract birds such as ducks who think they are ponds.”

Water temperature within the pool can reach about 22 degrees Celsius in Auckland on a hot day without extra heating.

Installing a heat pump will cost around $10,000, but solar heating can be between $5000 and $10,000 and doesn’t involve ongoing electricity costs, which can range from $150 to $1600 a month.

“If you want to maximise the warmth of your pool it’s essential to use a thermal cover, as a lot of heat is lost during the night,” Simon says.

He says a heating system will make the pool pleasant to swim in from October to April.


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