It’s hard to keep in mind that Lake Travis is still only 38% full. We’ve had good rainfall in Austin this year and everything’s green, but the welcomed rain has had only a modest impact on lake levels. It’s still important that we all conserve water where we can. For pool owners, this means being sure that you have no leaks, and that you follow water-conserving practices. Water loss can be significant. For the average backyard pool, losing an inch a day means around 10,000 gallons per month. This much water can cause serious erosion under the pool and can damage your house foundation. And think of the chemicals you are losing with that water.

We are entering the season when pools use the most water due to higher water temperatures and heavy use. In addition to splashing and evaporation, swimmers take water with them when they leave the pool. If, however, you are losing more than ½ inch per day, you may have a leak. So, how do know if water loss is due to evaporation or a leak? Try this simple test. Pick a day when no one is using the pool. Place a bucket on the top step in your pool (so the water has the same temperature as the pool’s) and fill it to the same level as your pool. Mark that level and the water level in your pool at the same time. Tape works well for this. Check the levels the next day. The bucket and pool will lose about the same due to evaporation. If your pool level has dropped significantly more than the level in the bucket, you have a leak. Repeat the test with the pump off to see if it’s a static leak or in your plumbing. Then call us for expert leak detection and repair. For more information about leaks, visit http://www.hinespool.com/repair/leak-detection/.

Encourage swimmers not to splash water out of the pool. If they use water guns or other toys, keep the water in the pool. Backwash or clean your filters when needed, but don’t do so simply on a schedule. You know it’s time to clean or backwash when your filter gauge reads 10 PSI above the “clean” pressure. If you have a sand filter, we strongly recommend switching to glass media when it’s time to change the sand. Glass media requires less frequent backwashing and filters more finely than sand, saving water and making it clearer.

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