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Matt Gohlke / Pools

Water losses can cost money, waste resources

This has been a relatively mild summer — especially when compared to the last few summers that we have experienced. But one concern that we have had to deal with is limited rainfall.

The current drought combined with the continued influx of new residents to the North Texas area has put a heavy burden on our resources, especially area lake levels.

Although swimming pools use a very small percentage of the water that is consumed, it is important that pool owners do their part to conserve water.

Here are some tips to help ensure that swimming pools aren’t using an excessive amount of water:

Maintain the proper chemical levels and adequate circulation time. This will help keep you from having to drain the pool to correct any problems.

Turn off unnecessary fountains and waterfalls. These can cause a significant amount of water loss due to evaporation.

If the pool is equipped with an overflow line, consider plugging it whenever the pool is in use or when it is raining. This prevents water loss through the overflow line.

When filling the pool, be sure to keep from overflowing the pool. Forgetting to turn off the water can make for a costly waste of water.

Repair any swimming pool leaks. Even a small leak in either the pool equipment or the pool’s structure represents a substantial waste.

Pool leaks

One of the most common questions swimming pool companies hear this time of year has to do with water loss.

Depending on the atmospheric conditions, swimming pools will lose up to half an inch of water per 24-hour period through evaporation. Most of the time it will be less than this, but it should never be more — assuming there is no splash-out or backwashing of the filter.

If you’re not sure if a pool is leaking, the bucket test is an effective testing method:

Fill the pool to the normal level.

Fill a bucket with pool water and place it on the top step of the pool.

Mark the levels in the pool and in the bucket.

Measure the water levels in the bucket and the pool after 24 hours. If the pool’s water loss is greater than the bucket water loss, there is a leak in the pool.

Locating a leak

You may be able to determine if the pool is leaking, but it’s typically very difficult for a pool owner to find the source of the leak because of the vast amount of plumbing and other potential areas of water loss in a pool.

Therefore, it is normally recommended to have a leak detection service locate the leak. Leak detection services for swimming pools usually cost $400 to $600 for locating the leak, which typically does not include repair of the leak.

Once the leak is located, repairs can be made. Prolonged pool leaks can cause damage to the pool structure or a deck over time if they are ignored.

Let’s all do our part so that future generations can continue to enjoy the wonderful resources that the North Texas area has.

MATT GOHLKE owns Gohlke Pools, which has earned national awards, certifications and recognition in the pool industry. He can be reached at 940-387-7521 or