Simple Steps to Reduce the Footprint of Your Swimming Pool

​Swimming pools are great luxuries to have and there’s a lot of reasons to own one. However, many consider pools to be a “waste of water” - especially in California where we are currently in a drought.

While I don’t necessarily agree with this sentiment I do think it is important for ALL pool owners to take the necessary steps to reduce their impact on the  environment. Here, we’ve detailed a number of things you can do to be more environmentally conscious. Some are easy to do and some require a little more work.

We’ve ordered these from easiest to implement to hardest (you’ll see the easiest ways first). Hopefully, you’ll decide to implement at least a few of these.

​1. Pool Covers

​Utilizing a pool cover is one of the easiest ways to reducing the impact your pool has on the environment. Although using a pool cover is not exactly life changing, it’s easy to implement and will definitely cut down not only on your impact, but your spending.

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In a nutshell, pool covers reduce evaporation by helping to block sun and trap moisture. Not only does this reduce the amount of water you need to refill your pool with by 35-50%, but also chemical usage. If helping the environment isn’t reason enough they tend to be great investments - often saving hundreds of dollars over the course of several years.

There are 2 kinds of pool covers:
​Traditional Pool Covers

Traditional pool covers are essentially sheets made from synthesized materials such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or vinyl. This plastic-like blanket sits on top of your pool which will reduce the exposure of your pool to the elements, thus reducing evaporation.

They require a little bit of time to take on and off, but can save a lot of money in the long run. Additionally, they are also great for preventing debris from coming into your pool so you save time cleaning!

Typically, the cheap covers tend to be mediocre and a waste of money. With that in mind, you can check out this pool cover buying guide for advice on how to buy the right pool cover of this type for your pool.
​Liquid Pool Covers

Liquid Pool Covers such as HeatSavr and EcoSaver are a newer type of pool cover that work similarly. However, instead of being physical sheets it is instead dispersed from a bottle. You add the solution to your pool and the solution will form a thin layer on top of your pool, reducing evaporation and chlorine loss.

Liquid Pool Covers are great alternatives to traditional pool covers. Although they don’t protect your pool from debris, they are very easy use and require very little effort!

​2. Install LED Pool Lights

​Like all lights, pool lights also consume electricity. An easy win to getting your pool a little greener is by switching your pool lights to LED pool lights.  They not only cut electricity costs, but because they last 5x-6x longer than average pool lights, it also reduces the lights and materials that go to the waste!

3. Automatic Pool Cleaners

​Automatic pool cleaners are great for a variety of reasons. Not only do they save you time in your pool maintenance endeavors, but they actually reduce the amount of electricity and energy you use, making these very eco friendly. A classic example of an automatic pool cleaner is the game changing Kreepy Krauly.

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Although these consume some electricity as well, they ultimately result in using much less. This is because they require very little electricity compared to pool pumps and the other pool systems that clean your pool.

By using a pool cleaner you make these more electricity expensive units work less hard, ultimately making your whole pool system require less resources. Pressure pool cleaners are actually the greenest of the options, since they don’t use any extra electricity and still help clean your pool!

4. ​Variable Speed Pool Pumps

​Pool pumps are part of your external pool system and work to keep the water of your pool clean. They help move water through to your pool filter get rid of bacteria and debris in your pool.

Older pool pumps run all day and tend to use up a LOT of electricity. It’s a waste because pool pumps only need to be ran for a fraction of the day.

Variable speed pool pumps are great alternatives, and use up as low as 10% of electricity as traditional single or two speed pool pumps since they are timed instead of running 24/7.
However, there are more energy efficient one and two speed pumps available as well - they’re just not as good.

Be sure to double check what pool pump you are using. You don’t necessarily need a variable pool pump since they can be pricey, so at least consider greener, energy efficient one or two speed pumps to reduce your environmental impact.

5. ​Natural Pools

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I saved the best (and hardest to implement) for last. Natural pools are types of swimming pools that rely on natural systems to keep your pool clean.

Traditional pools use a lot of chemicals, mostly chlorine, to keep the pool sanitary and get rid of bacteria. Instead, natural pools utilize natural systems such as various plants to filter the water and keep it clean.

These are a tons of health benefits in addition to the environmental ones, but as far as this article is concerned this will cut your pool’s electricity and chemical usage down to 0.

You’ll still need to do some pool maintenance such as scrubbing the walls, steps, and perhaps vacuuming the floor, but natural pools are great alternatives to traditional chlorine pools and will truly minimize your environmental impact.


​It is everyone’s responsibility to do their best in being environmentally conscious. In this article we’ve outlined a lot of ways to make your pool greener. While some of them can be difficult and/or expensive, the first couple of methods are easy to implement, cheap, and will definitely save you money in the long run.

Taking steps to reduce water, chemical, or energy usage all have a positive impact on the environment. Do your part and help us save the Earth one pool at a time!
​About the Author

Laurie is a proud mother of 2 children and loves swimming. Although not a professional, she often helps many friends, family, and neighbors with pool questions. They inspired her to create a blog which can be found at

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