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Thread: Seawater pool

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    Seawater pool

    I am planning to construct a small plunging pool at my beachfront home in Baja, Mexico. The Sea of Cortez is beautiful but stingrays and jellyfish abound, hence the pool. I'm new to this so I would appreciate thoughts and comments on my approach. I am right on the dune approx. 70' from the water. This area of Baja has very little in the way of pool supplies so I am planning to drill a well and use seawater for the pool. My thought is that by adding seawater as needed I can keep the pool clean and cool without the use of chemicals or a filter. Water would overflow the lip of the pool and return to the beach. The plan is to have a capacity of about 1200 gallons, 4' at it's deepest with a small area at about 16" of depth for kids and lounge chairs. Construction is to be poured concrete & block, plastered for waterproofing. I am planning to introduce water to the pool by means of inlets at the lowest levels of the pool thinking that the warmest water will rise to the top and overflow leaving the coolest water behind. I have located a pump that will stand up to seawater and should deliver around 10 gpm. Not sure what the wellwater temp will be but by having a shallow area and a deep color finish I anticipate it will heat up fast enough in the Baja sun.
    On-line searches have not resulted in locating anyone who has tried a vertical beach well for the purpose of a pool. I would be pleased to speak with anyone who has experience with a similar approach.
    Thanks in advance for your input.
    Tom

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    Mod Squad Bama Rambler's Avatar
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    Re: Seawater pool

    That sounds like an idea that would work. The pool's not really going to be sanitized but it'll be just like swimming in the ocean.

    The only issues I can think of are that you may have a problem pumping 10 gpm from that shallow of a well and it's not going to get very warm. The warm issue may not be a problem.

    I think I'd sink a well point and stick a pump on it and try to see how many gpm I could pump before sinking a lot of money into building a pool and then finding out you can pump enough water. I guess you could always pump straight from the ocean if you had to. But that'd probably require a larger pump.
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    Re: Seawater pool

    Any thoughts re. color of the finish? Dark vs. light?

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    Re: Seawater pool

    You'll need a sea water rated pump too, well above whats usually required for a salt chlorine pool.

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    Re: Seawater pool

    A dark pool will absorb light and heat better then a light colored pool that will reflect the light.
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    Melt In The Sun's Avatar
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    Re: Seawater pool

    I would be worried that algae would grow attached to the sides and wouldn't be flushed out by that low a flow rate...please keep us updated! The color probably doesn't matter, since you'll be turning the pool over pretty quickly. It'll be whatever temperature the groundwater is.
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    Re: Seawater pool

    I would look into an airlift style pump maybe even wind powered like this

    http://airliftech.com/page4.html

    or maybe a brumby style pump, I have read they are more energy conserving than most air lift pumps
    http://www.brumbypumps.com

    Ike

    p.s. something strange is going on with that brumby pump link, it goes to an expired domain notice dated over a year ago, yet google shows press releases dated just a few days ago in searches showing that domain.
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    Re: Seawater pool

    I have looked into Bumbry pumps ( suprisingly expensive given their construction) and homemade airlift rigs. I'm on a small lot with no space to remote a noisy compressor.The pump will necessarily be adjacent to the pool. Small compressors such as might be used for aeration of ponds and aquariums don't put out the air required for airlift pumps. A windmill would be great but for the cost. I expect to use a Leader pump, model Ecoplus 230. Self priming so no need to prime each time the pump starts. Supposedly the multi-stage design is both powerful (28 ft suction head)and, according to user recommendations, very quiet. The manufacturer says seawater is no problem. Any pump advise is welcome also. Well is to be 1 1/4 PVC w 4' wellpoint and screen. I expect to hit water at about 17' based on low tide levels and will drill to 25'.

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    Re: Seawater pool

    Seawater is only part of the concern with a pump, sand on the suction side would be another potential issue. As to the airlift pump, they don't have to be that loud, I have an airlift well pump ran off a belt driven compressor with a 235 ft well in the mechanical room by my pool, and you can hear it when it starts runs, but it is not that loud, I am sure with the addition of a bit of sound proofing it could be as quiet as dish washer or washing machine.

    Ike
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    Re: Seawater pool

    Yeah, sand is an issue but I hope that the wellpoint will, for the most part, take care of that. I do expect to replace pump parts over time.

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    Re: Seawater pool

    Interesting idea and love any attempt to try new things but what will you do to prevent algae growth?
    Dave S.
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    Re: Seawater pool

    Hi Dave
    I am not sure. The pool will small enough that, I hope, a daily scrubbing will suffice. Periodic doses of chlorine are a possibility but I would rather avoid any chemical use. I have considered UV but am unsure of how I might work it into the system.
    See that you are the Testkits guy. Do you have a simple kit to test for chloroform bacteria? I contacted one supplier of test strips but was told that they would not work in seawater.

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    Re: Seawater pool

    One alternative to consider if this will be a small pool, why not get a high volume pump and fill before use and drain after, brackish water from a shallow well should be mostly free of all the living things found in seawater, I suspect you could use it for a day or so before things start growing too much and you need to dump it let the sun kill off what is left and refill, you did say 1,200 gallons afterall . (that is 20 GPM for 1 hour)
    Indoor 20x40 35,000 gallon vinyl pool with 1.5 HP 2 speed Jandy FloPro pump, Hayward EC75 Perflex DE filter, 11 4x12 Techno-Solis solar panels w/ Aquasolar controller, Aquabot Turbo T Robot Cleaner. Also LMI metering chlorine dispenser pump and HotSpring Jetsetter
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    Re: Seawater pool

    Draining and refilling is a viable option. I would have to add a few valves to my plumbing so I can reverse flow but that should be easy enough.
    Thanks for the idea.
    TCS

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