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How to Save Water—and Money—When You Backwash a Swimming Pool

How to Save Water—and Money—When You Backwash a Swimming Pool

Everybody loves a crystal-clear pool, which can mean backwashing as much as once a week (depending on the season). But many pool owners can’t help feel a pang when they backwash a swimming pool, watching hundreds of litres of water drain out in minutes.

Not anymore. Today you’ll learn the secret to guilt-free backwashing that conserves water (and your funds) all year round!

Why Should You backwash a swimming pool?

Your filter works hard every day, collecting debris and keeping your water clear. Filters also need a clean to clear out the gunk that has accumulated over time.

Backwashing your pool is the process of reversing the flow of water through the filter, dislodging waste, and thereby cleaning the filter. The water is flushed out of the pool and filter system via a hose connected to the pool pump.

How Often Should You Backwash a Swimming Pool?

The consensus is once every two weeks (once a fortnight). But when it’s used frequently—typically in summer—up to once a week.

Frequent use is the only reason filters get full. Whether your pool has a pool cover or not, gets full sunlight—fuelling algae growth—or is under shade littered by leaves all play a role in how often you’ll need to backwash and rinse your filter.

You can generally tell that it is time when the pressure gauge is higher than usual at start-up. That’s because more debris in the filter causes pressure to build. 

Problems with Backwashing

#1 Backwashing Drains the Pool

How much water do you lose when you backwash a swimming pool? Depending on the pool size and the state of the filter, between 200-900 litres!

Topping up that amount of water with municipal water costs a ton. It is an unnecessary and inappropriate use of precious resources. That’s why some water-stricken municipalities prohibit it or impose enormous fines on people who do.

It might be better to use the water leaving our pool in our gardens, wash cars, and fill cisterns—but we can’t. This leads us to our next problem.

#2 Backwashed Water Cannot Be Used as Grey Water

Even if you’re refilling your pool with harvested rainwater to save costs. Where does expelled backwash water go?

South African Law “prohibits the disposal of backwash water from swimming pools into the road or stormwater system.” The chemicals used to clean and balance pool water are considered “unsafe for naturally existing ecosystems” and therefore must flow into the sewage system.

It’s not that the water isn’t fit for reuse in the pool. Once the offending bits from the filter are removed, it’s as good as new. Here’s where we find the answer to our problems.

The Solution: Recycling Pool Water with a Swimming Pool Backwash Tank

The water-saving swimming pool backwash tank is an elegantly simple and effective solution.

The tank collects backwashed water from the swimming pool pump. Simply connect the backwash pipe, and the water is pumped into the tank during the backwash cycle.  

Once the water has settled, the sediment collects at the bottom of the drum. A tap outlet above that level allows clean water to be drained back into the pool. After that, you can easily “dump” the remaining waste into the sewer as per regulations.

Now the tank is ready for the next time you backwash the swimming pool.

The tank is made from food-grade polyethylene with a smooth internal surface that can be wiped and cleaned easily between seasons!

Bonus Water-Saving Tips When You Backwash a Swimming Pool

  • Watch the water gauge on your filter and stop backwashing as soon as the water runs clear.
  • Don’t let algae sit. Once it “sets in”, it might look clean after a scrub, but a tiny remnant remains multiplies faster in hot weather and after rain.
  • It is best to backwash a swimming pool after vacuuming (preventing algae growth in the filter too).

Ready to save the environment and some bucks? Get your swimming pool backwash tank today. 

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