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Thread: Drought impact in California

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    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Stockton, CA
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    Drought impact in California

    We live in the central valley of California, where the 4 year drought presents many issues, practical and ethical, for pool owners. There are restrictions in place on new pool fills, and refills, and limits on lawn watering.

    I swim 4-5 times a week; no other users. Evaporative loss means running my fill line around 20 minutes, twice a week, which is just about what the lawn gets. We are on a private well, with hard water. The CH in the pool is getting very high, >500, because of constant addition of hard water, with no dilution from rain water. So, two questions:

    1. Any ideas to reduce evaporation? I'm reluctant to use a pool cover, because of the hassle of putting it on/taking it off, to go in the pool.
    2. Any ideas about the hardness issue? I can't drain the really hard stuff, and replace it with the less hard well water, for obvious reasons.

    Last summer, I started thinking about demolishing the darn thing, but keep hoping for rain.

    Thanks,
    Jerry
    22,500 gal, in-ground, plaster, Intelliflo VS 3050 pump, Sta-Rite 400 sq. ft. cartridge filter, solar panels on roof

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    San Dimas, CA (LA County)
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    Re: Drought impact in California

    The lowest my pool CH has been in the last five years was 440, and that was after a big rainstorm where I diverted the raingutter downspout to the pool to harvest all that free Calcium-free water. Up to 800 it's pretty easy to maintain without growing scale. After 1000, forget it. You're out of wiggle room.

    Hopefully, you have your own test kit. If so, run all your tests and plug your numbers into poolmath and see what it says for CSI. Then experiment and change the targets for each parameter and see what it does to CSI. Keep pH at the low end of acceptable and keep TA down at 60-70 and it should be fine.

    I have been using pool water on my lawn and the irrigation water that would be wasted keeping a small patch of grass green goes to the pool instead. Besides lowering CH, it lowers CYA a bit, but that works out because I put pucks in a floater when I leave for the weekend. I'm letting my front lawn go brown and crunchy now, so I don't think I'll be reducing CH so much this summer.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    San Rafael, CA USA
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    Re: Drought impact in California

    Even though it's a pain, a cover is the best way to virtually eliminate evaporation. That will save on water and prevent the CH buildup. You could still do what Richard suggests in terms of using pool water for watering in which case the water you'd use for landscaping instead is used to dilute your pool water. That will keep other parameters in check such as the salt level (or CYA if you use pucks at all).

    If your pool water is already hot enough, then you could use a white or reflective cover so that the water won't get warmer. If you want your water warmer, then getting a clear bubble-type cover can increase the water temperature by 10-15F.
    16,000 gallon outdoor in-ground 16'x32' plaster pool; Pentair Intelliflo VF pump; Pentair IntelliTouch i9+3s control system; Jandy CL-340 square foot cartridge filter
    12 Fafco solar panels; Purex Triton PowerMax 250 natural gas heater (200,000 BTU/hr output); automatic electric pool safety cover; 4-wheel pressure-side "The Pool Cleaner"

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    Jul 2011
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    Stockton, CA
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    Re: Drought impact in California

    Thanks for the advice, and reassurance on CH. Do you use a portable pump to get pool water to the lawn?

    I do the same with pucks when we are away, so my CYA level has remained right around 40 since I became a TFP advocate.

    Jerry
    22,500 gal, in-ground, plaster, Intelliflo VS 3050 pump, Sta-Rite 400 sq. ft. cartridge filter, solar panels on roof

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    Richard320's Avatar
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    Re: Drought impact in California

    Quote Originally Posted by goofiness View Post
    Thanks for the advice, and reassurance on CH. Do you use a portable pump to get pool water to the lawn?

    I do the same with pucks when we are away, so my CYA level has remained right around 40 since I became a TFP advocate.

    Jerry
    My pump has a hose outlet on one of the return pipes. I leave a garden hose connected to it.
    16K freeform gunite with spa; Pentair 4000 DE filter; Century Whisperflow 1 HP; Pentair Minimax heater.
    Troublefree does not mean Maintenancefree. It's like brushing your teeth: You can spend a couple minutes a day and pennies a week or go to the dentist once a year and spend several thousand dollars.
    A pool is like a pet - you have to feed it every day, even the days you don't want to play with it!

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    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Stockton, CA
    Posts
    63

    Re: Drought impact in California

    Thanks for your reply. Ours is an old-fashioned kidney shape, 18' X 36'. Any suggestion on where to shop for a cover? The pool is warm enough now, so heat is not an issue. Any experience with the floating rings? I've read some pretty bad reviews.

    Jerry

    - - - Updated - - -

    Aha. Mine does, too. So, I could pump water out, 20 minutes, twice a week, then pump well water in, same rate. Worst case, the CH stays the same, but I've saved some water. Best case, the CH actually drops.
    22,500 gal, in-ground, plaster, Intelliflo VS 3050 pump, Sta-Rite 400 sq. ft. cartridge filter, solar panels on roof

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