Swimming Pools

Swimming pools lose water primarily due to splashing, evaporation, and the process of filter backwashing. While water consumed by pools in larger commercial establishments such as hotels is generally small compared to other uses, facility managers can take steps to reduce pool water consumption:

  • Lower the pool's water level to help to minimize loss from splashes.
  • Use filter backwash for landscape watering, particularly in the vicinity of outdoor landscaped pools.
  • Use a filtering vacuum that traps debris in a cartridge filter and returns water to the pool.
  • Turn off features such as water slides, bubble benches, and rivers when not in use to save energy.
  • Avoid excessive backwashing, adjusting the frequency and duration of the backwash cycle to match the filter's actual needs (City of Phoenix, undated).

Pools can also be covered when not in use to reduce evaporation while increasing pool safety. Pool covers are among the most beneficial energy management techniques for pools (U.S. Department of Energy, undated). Covers can consist of thin or insulated vinyl materials, bubble materials, or liquids. Liquid pool covers consisting of nontoxic chemicals form a transparent barrier on pool surfaces, inhibiting heat loss and evaporation. Liquid covers provide many of the benefits of traditional pool covers without the need and labor expense of covering and uncovering pools each day.


City of Phoenix. Undated. Water Conservation Guide for Hotels and Motels. Water Conservation and Resources Division, Phoenix, AZ.

U.S. Department of Energy. Undated. Shape Up Your Recreation Center. Reduce Swimming Pool Energy Costs (RSPEC!). Available at: www.eren.doe.gov/rspec.