Ask Eco Ed: Is there a way to make a pool eco-friendly?

Dear Eco-Ed:

These past few weeks have been so hot, we are discussing installing an in-ground pool in our yard. I know that a pool can be quite an energy hog. Is there a way to make a pool eco-friendly? We stopped going to the municipal pool years ago, as there were always goose droppings in and around the area.
– Hot as Heck in Ridgewood


These pools work with the environment without sacrificing beauty.

These pools work with the environment without sacrificing beauty.

Dear Hot as Heck:

Having your own pool is a quality of life issue. Even though I am an Eco-Warrior, I do not preach austerity. I only offer ways to be more eco-friendly within your desired standard of living. Pools can be designed to have a relatively low environmental impact.

Chemical-free Pool System

There is a company right here in New Jersey that creates a sustainable pool system that is chemical-free. This company’s name is Rin Robyn Pools, and is located in Bernardsville. This Rin Robyn Pools system is chemical-free and built in harmony with the environment. The water is clarified and purified by aquatic plants, micro-organisms and beneficial bacteria, and can replicate a natural wetland environment. It is a far superior and sustainable pool system than anything else in the marketplace, and the only one I recommend for its low environmental impact.

5 Eco Solutions for the Traditional Pool

For those of you who want a more traditional pool, this is inherently not a sustainable venture, but there are some best practices that can be followed to minimize environmental impact:

  • Consider using a pool cover to minimize evaporation. This saves a surprisingly large volume of water, and can also provide a level of heating which will make your pool experience more enjoyable.
  • Use an efficient variable-speed pump. Energy Star now has ratings for efficient pool pumps to help identify the right pump for your pool.
  • Minimize the number of hours the pump runs. Most pools can keep adequately cleaned while only running 6-8 hours per day.
  • Alternative sanitizer, such as salt water pools or ozonators have both pros and cons, but both use less chemicals, and can be less harsh on your eyes, skin and hair.
  • If you must heat your pool, use a solar heating system. Pool heaters use an exorbitant amount of energy, and the sun heats water even more efficiently than it generates electricity.

A note to Ridgewood,NJ swimmers

I notice you are from Ridgewood. We are very fortunate to have Graydon Pond in our community. While there were admittedly many problems with the facility years ago, if you have not been there in the past few years, I strongly recommend giving it another chance. You will be quite pleasantly surprised with the progress it has made.

  • The water is clean, chlorinated, aerated and tested daily
  • The grounds are well-kept
  • There are areas for kids, families or adults
  • You can choose to sit in direct sun or full shade.

The other amenities are wonderful, and the issue of ducks and geese has been successfully minimized. I know there has been much debate on the future of Graydon Pond, but it is truly a gem in our community! It will be well worth it to go there and give it another chance. Using these facilities is also your most eco-friendly option.

I think you owe it to yourself to give Graydon Pond another chance, as it has made such measured progress in the past few years.

Most importantly, whichever option you choose, enjoy it thoroughly! Summer is a time for fun, and with temperatures as high as they have been recently, being around a body of water is almost a necessity.

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