If there is a competition for the greenest pool in our neighbourhood, I think we should win first prize!
And I don’t mean ‘green’ as in ‘eco-friendly’.
I mean ‘green’ as in algae-infested luminous greeeeen!
When we bought our cosy little cottage a number of years ago, one of the items on our ‘do not want this’ specifications for the house was – you guessed it – a pool. Neither of us had had much experience with pools, and neither of us enjoys leaping into frigid water in all seasons of the year. Perhaps at the height of summer, but that’s about it.
However, our cottage came with a pool, and because we fell in love with the house, we accepted that we were now pool owners too.
I still remember that, when we moved in, we were greeted by a green pool.
As complete newbies, we got the professionals in to help. And decided that we wanted a salt water pool, as this would be healthier for the body and the environment, less likely to provoke allergic reactions, and require almost no pool chemicals.
Were we ever wrong.
Our salt water chlorinator was only able to keep the pool any shade of blue if there was no rain upsetting the chemical balance, if we permanently kept a four-in-one floater in the pool to top up the chlorine and keep algae growth in check, and if we ran the pool pump for around 8 hours a day. Naturally, with the electricity price increases, and being urged to ‘save, save, save electricity’, this didn’t happen, and so we fought a constant battle with our pool.
The people who installed the chlorinator came in a couple of times over the years when we had a crisis moment, but on the whole were pretty useless. The chlorinator’s control box supposedly warns you when there isn’t enough salt being produced, but either that indicator light is faulty or we haven’t had enough salt in our pool for several years. We even had them test the electrolysis plates (or whatever they’re called).
In addition, we now suspect that there may be a slight leak somewhere… a pool shouldn’t be losing water in winter… But we haven’t been able to locate it.
When our pool once again turned green at the start of spring, we began to consider having the darned thing removed entirely.
However, it seems that, while there are dozens of installers willing to install and renovate pools for you – at considerable cost, naturally – there is no company that specialises in removing pools.
I think there should be a nice market gap there for an energetic entrepreneur!! We may well be your first clients!
The one guy we got in for advice said that one option would be to bring in a crane, but this is not only horrendously expensive, but fraught with practical complications – picture a large crane driving down our residential tree-lined streets, and heaving a pool over the roof of our little cottage and over the electricity lines… Hm… not a good idea.
His advice was to drill holes into the base of the pool for drainage, and to fill the whole thing up with building rubble, and then a layer of soil in case we ever wanted to plant anything in this part of the garden. This would be the ‘cheapest’ option, but I hate the idea of leaving junk buried in our garden, never mind adding all that building rubble!
The only other alternative would be to chop up the pool into chunks, but because it’s made of fibreglass, this strikes me as hazardous – don’t those fibres hang around in the environment for a long time? And one would need a special permit to remove the chunks and to dispose of them legally.
Until we can figure out what to do, we have resigned ourselves to de-greening our pool once more… by adding 5 bags of pool salt, giving the pool a thorough ‘Shock-It’ treatment, and letting the pool pump run throughout the day. There’s a bit of a whiff of chlorine in the garden now, but I think the green is no longer quite as toxic green as it was yesterday.
Are you a frustrated salt-water pool owner? Have you found a way of removing your pool? How did you do it? Please, any advice would be welcome!