Sustainable Swimming Pools for Summer


By Steve Jacobs

San Diego experienced quite a heat wave in the month of May. Many of you probably found some relief by diving into your swimming pools. Living in San Diego, we don’t have to wait for a heat wave—or even summer— to enjoy our pools. Our world famous weather allows us to dive in all year long. With advancements in pool sustainability, we can enjoy our pools while reducing the impact on the environment, our pocket books, and our bathing suits.

Solar heating

: A solar heating system can raise your pool temperature 5 to 15 degrees over a few days of good weather, which in San Diego is almost every day. Although there is the initial installation price, an investment in a solar heating system pays for itself in 2 to 3 years and can be expected to last 20-25 years.

Energy efficient pool pumps:

Energy efficient (variable speed) pumps use lower speeds to increase efficiency. They also move the water more efficiently, which can reduce chemical treatments and pool cleaning. Variable speed pumps are also much quieter which can enhance your pool relaxation experience.

Salt systems:

Salt water systems create chlorine by splitting the salt molecule into sodium and chloride. This sterilizes the pool water which helps prevent the growth of algae. Salt water pools are less harsh on the skin than traditional chlorine pools, easier on your eyes, and easier on your bathing suits. Converting your pool to a salt system costs $1,500-$2,000 and uses approximately $15 worth of high quality salt a year. Other eco-friendly pool systems are UV and ionic.

Pool Cover:

Pool covers can dramatically reduce water evaporation so you won’t have to refill your pool as often. Pool covers also reduce the amount of chemicals needed to keep the water clear. A solar pool cover will contribute to the heating your pool during the day and reduce the loss of heat during the night, which helps save both the environment and money.

LED pool lights:

LED (light emitting diode) light fixtures use over 80 percent less energy than conventional incandescent light fixtures. They also have a much longer life so you probably will not need to replace them until your pool is remodeled. Today there are so many color options that allow you to create the perfect pool ambiance.

Surrounding landscape:

Remove or prune any plant material that may drop leaves into the pool in order to reduce the amount of chemicals needed to maintain balanced water chemistry. This will also decrease the need for cleaning the skimmer basket and pool filter.


If you are building a new pool, one way to make it eco-friendly is to make it as small and shallow as possible to decrease water, chemical and energy consumption.


If you use your pool for exercise, add an

Endless Pools Fastlane

so you can swim or resistance train in pools as small as 12 feet. The variable speeds allow you to swim without turning. An Endless Pool underwater treadmill provides an alternative exercise option.

Whether you’re converting your traditional chlorine swimming pool to a sustainable pool or installing a new one, Nature Designs can help with all the details – including creating a landscaping design that will turn your backyard into a personal oasis. For more information about our company and services, visit our website at


or give us a call at (760) 945-4321.