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Thread: Can't fill pool during drought?

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    Can't fill pool during drought?

    Hi,

    I'm a relatively new pool owner (~2 years) that lives in Northern California (currently in a horrible drought that may last for years). It's very likely if we don't get significant rain this year, we won't be allowed to top off our pools next summer. I have an inground fiberglass pool, so I'm freaking out! Is it ok to keep letting the water level go down? If our drought lasts for years, it's very well possible that I'd have to let the entire pool dry out. The worst horror story I've read is that the pool shell could lift off the ground due to the lack of water pressure?

    For others here that have lived through a drought where they weren't allowed to top off their pools, please let me know if I'm freaking out, what sort of precautions I need to take, etc. Thanks!

    Steve

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Can't fill pool during drought?

    I am under the same restrictions but I still top mine off constantly (auto fill). The regulations just require that you use a solar cover to minimize evaporation otherwise, you are not suppose to top off. However, as long as you are using less than 75% of last year, then it really doesn't matter. At least in my area, they are not policing it other than fining you if you go over your limit.

    Your local water district may have additional restrictions but again, it is very hard to police so they can only go by your water usage. State regs don't even call out pools.

    http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterr...ervation.shtml

    http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/public...anwaterreg.pdf
    Mark
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    Re: Can't fill pool during drought?

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    Re: Can't fill pool during drought?

    Bring water into the pool from your downspouts, if you can. Probably won't fully cure the problem but it may help.
    Dave S.
    42k vinyl and concrete pool, 1.5hp pump, 140gpm filter
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Can't fill pool during drought?

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    Bring water into the pool from your downspouts, if you can. Probably won't fully cure the problem but it may help.
    That might work if we actually got rain. Check out our precipitation:

    http://www.weather.com/weather/wxcli...graph/USCA0882
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Can't fill pool during drought?

    Is this a published restriction in your area, or are you speculating for the future? Also in Northern California here.

    While some places have and more may impose restrictions on filling *new* pools or draining/refilling, it's highly unlikely that topping off pools are or would be prohibited in all but the most extreme emergency (like where a town's supply has been cut off completely). In addition to the structural damage potential, forcing people to let the water go below the skimmer means filters off and thus hundreds upon hundreds of swampy mosquito breeding grounds in the area. Not likely IMO.

    I'd be more worried about how to manage letting the lawn go dormant (which can be reseeded later) while getting sufficient water to the trees (which can't be as easily replaced).

    And no, downspouts won't help -- even in normal/wet years, we get virtually no rain from May through September.
    21000gal IG plaster, Sacramento CA area (late 1950s/early 60s)
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    Re: Can't fill pool during drought?

    I live in Canada so I really don't know anything about this but would I be correct to assume that these restrictions are on the municipal water supply? And if so, could you have a load of water trucked in? This seems to be what people on wells often end up doing. It probably wouldn't be cheap but it would be better than risking damaging your pool.
    16' wide ~20,000gal IG vinyl lazy L shape pool circa 2002, 1hp Hayward Super Pump, Hayward S244T sand filter, Hayward H250ED2 gas heater, Hayward eVac Pro robot, Stenner pump for chlorine, TF-100 test kit
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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Can't fill pool during drought?

    Yes, in fact, a lot of people in our area have tanks mounted in their pickup trucks and they can get them filled with reclaimed water for free. Most are using it for landscaping but there is no reason you couldn't use reclaimed water for a pool, you just have to be ok with that. However, it would be more difficult to get drinking water since the entire state is under restriction.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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    Re: Can't fill pool during drought?

    Quote Originally Posted by mas985 View Post
    I am under the same restrictions but I still top mine off constantly (auto fill). The regulations just require that you use a solar cover to minimize evaporation otherwise, you are not suppose to top off. However, as long as you are using less than 75% of last year, then it really doesn't matter. At least in my area, they are not policing it other than fining you if you go over your limit.

    Your local water district may have additional restrictions but again, it is very hard to police so they can only go by your water usage. State regs don't even call out pools.

    http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/waterr...ervation.shtml

    http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/public...anwaterreg.pdf
    Yup, I'm in Pleasanton as well and what you described above is exactly what I'm currently doing. Since I've never been through a California drought, I'm just speculating in the worst case scenario if we aren't allowed to top off at all anymore if the drought gets worse. I've googled a ton and can't seem to find any advice on how to prevent pool damage if you're forced not to top off, thus letting all the water slowly evaporate.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by jmastron View Post
    Is this a published restriction in your area, or are you speculating for the future? Also in Northern California here.

    While some places have and more may impose restrictions on filling *new* pools or draining/refilling, it's highly unlikely that topping off pools are or would be prohibited in all but the most extreme emergency (like where a town's supply has been cut off completely). In addition to the structural damage potential, forcing people to let the water go below the skimmer means filters off and thus hundreds upon hundreds of swampy mosquito breeding grounds in the area. Not likely IMO.

    I'd be more worried about how to manage letting the lawn go dormant (which can be reseeded later) while getting sufficient water to the trees (which can't be as easily replaced).

    And no, downspouts won't help -- even in normal/wet years, we get virtually no rain from May through September.
    No, no restrictions on topping off yet, just purely speculating for the future if the drought gets worse. What you wrote does make sense to me in that it's very unlikely they'll restrict even topping off due to all those other horrible issues it causes that you've listed!

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    mas985's Avatar
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    Re: Can't fill pool during drought?

    There is really no way they can "force" you to not top off the pool. The only thing the city has done and the only thing they can do is monitor your water usage and fine you if you go over your allotment. Should we have another dry winter, the worst case is they will simply reduce your allotment again. It is up to you how you use your water. Landscape, pool or shower. Your choice.
    Mark
    Hydraulics 101; Pump Ed 101; Pump/Pool Spreadsheets; Pump Run Time Study; DIY Acid Dosing; DIY Cover Roller
    18'x36' 20k plaster, MaxFlo SP2303VSP, Aqualogic PS8 SWCG, 420 sq-ft Cartridge, Solar, 6 jet spa, 1 HP jet pump, 400k BTU NG Heater

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