If you have never owned a pool before, the thought of refilling the pool with water can be daunting and a bit intimidating. My first thoughts immediately turn to pricing. How much does swimming pool water cost? I can remember as a kid hearing my mother yelling at me to take shorter showers so that her water bill wasn’t as high as it was the previous month. Now that I am an adult and I have to pay my own bills, the idea of paying for 15,000 gallons of water scares me.
Deciding where to get your water from also impacts the price. Depending on the area, pool owners can refill their pool with water using city water, well water, or water that is trucked to your home. Planning and paying to refill your pool with water is a task. There are definitely things a pool owner should consider before choosing a particular method. Let’s explore more on how much it costs for swimming pool water.
Why Would You Need to Refill Your Pool?
For the most part, people who refill their pools are new pool owners. Compared to the cost of the actual pool build, the cost of the water is relatively cheap. Still, we don’t recommend spending money on something that is either premature or unnecessary. In what instances will pool owners find themselves needing to refill their pool?
If your pool is past restoration and is untreatable, then draining and refilling your pool is the ideal choice. Sometimes, pool owners neglect their pool maintenance responsibilities and allow their pool to become chemically unstable and infested with algal blooms. You may be one of them.
I have witnessed pool owners pour hundreds of dollars and hours of their time into unsuccessfully treating their pool with chlorine and other chemicals. When a pool becomes that bad, it’s easier and more financially responsible to drain and refill the pool than to try and restore it chemically.
The most obvious reason pool owners fill their pool with water is with new pool constructions. During new pool constructions, pool owners must decide how they will fill their pool. Several factors play a part in choosing which method is most appropriate for you and your family.
Factors include: where you live, the type of water your home is using, the cost of water in your area, and the time frame you need the job completed. You should not make a decision on water until you have covered these areas.
First, determine how many gallons of water are in your pool. If you are still in the process of building your pool and you cannot determine the size just yet, then it is probably best to just wait until you can. You cannot determine the true cost of your water without knowing how much water you will actually need.
Which Source of Water Is Best for Your Pool?
There are a few different sources from which you can draw water in order to fill your pool. You can use well or city water, have water transported to you, or you can even reach out to your local fire department to see if they provide this type of service.
In the end, the question isn’t which source is better, but rather which source is the most practical for your pool, your budget, and your time. What a family in a rural area does is probably not the best method for a family in a major city. Before choosing your method, let’s explore the different facets of each type of water source, the cost, and other variables you need to consider before spending money.
Using your city’s water, or regular tap water, is the most common method pool owners use to refill their pool. Most people assume that using this method costs an arm and a leg. I mean, think about when you have family staying with you for the holidays. Your bill is always much higher than it normally is. Realistically, though, using this option is the most viable and one of the cheapest.
First, you don’t have to worry about running out of city water. Your city has a healthy supply of water that is available for your use. Secondly, it is very convenient to the homeowner. You don’t have to go anywhere because you can use regular garden hoses that run from your backyard to fill the pool up.
Cost of City Water
This is where you, the pool owner, comes in. Unfortunately, we cannot tell you how much water is per gallon in Atlanta or Denver. I live in Orlando and I couldn’t tell you how much city water is here. However, we recommend contacting your local water company or review your monthly bill to get an overall idea of the price of water is per gallon. Again, because prices of water vary per city and state, we cannot provide you the estimated costs to fill your pool. Once you have the price per gallon, you multiply that amount by the number of gallons in your pool to get an estimated cost.
If you live in an area like California, that is on tight water restrictions, exceeding the allotted amount of water provided to your family results in extra fines. I’ve read a fee for water overuse can total up to $100. With these fines, this source is still one of the cheapest options to fill your pool.
Q1: How long will it take to fill an entire pool using a standard garden hose?
A: A standard garden hose releases approximately nine gallons per minute. That is roughly 540 gallons an hour. For example, if you have a 20,000-gallon pool, it will take about 37 hours to completely fill. Roughly, it takes about two days to fill your pool completely.
Q2: Will I still have to balance my pool?
A: Yes, you are responsible for balancing and maintaining your pool chemically.
Q3: How soon after your pool is full can you swim?
A: Personally, I would refrain from using your pool until you have filled and treated the pool. Also, you must be able to see the bottom of the pool clearly and your pH and FC levels must be in range.
Depending on where you live, well water may be another viable option for you to refill your pool. The fact that well water is free entices most pool owners to use their well, if available. In terms of water costs, this source is the cheapest. You cannot beat free. Still, there are other concerns to take into consideration before using your well’s water.
Risks Associated With Well Water
One of the primary concerns with using well water is the quality of the water. Water pumped from deep within the ground has a distinct odor. The sulfur smell is caused by hydrogen sulfide, which can be shocked into elemental sulfur and sulfates. However, if these levels are too high, shocking might not help. Before using your well’s water, it is a good idea to check the iron, copper, and hydrogen sulfide levels. Although the water is free, water with high levels of elements might result in overspending on chemicals. Which, for me, defeats the whole purpose.
It’s also a good idea to consider the workload you are putting on your pump. Depending on the size of your pool, it could be a lot of wear on your pump. If you opt for using well water, deciding how long to run your pump is key. Be sure to consider how deep your well goes, as well. It is possible to run your well dry, literally. I have seen homeowner’s pay $5,000- $10,000 to drill a new one.
Still, we encounter many happy homeowners who used their well to fill their pool. If you are considering using water from your well, make sure you test your water, verify how deep your well is, and consider the longevity of your well’s pump.
Before I started working at INYO, I didn’t even know this was a thing. I was unaware that you could actually purchase large amounts of water and have it delivered to you. With states rationing water, trucking in water seems ideal for homeowners in California. Most water service companies transport potable water for swimming pools, spas, ponds, and other residential and commercial use. Of all the water sources available, transporting water in is the most convenient and fastest.
Of all the water sources available, transporting water in is the most convenient. Unlike a garden hose, the hoses provided by water delivery companies are larger in diameter, causing the pool to fill faster. In many cases, you don’t even have to take time off from work to wait around for the delivery. Most companies can deliver and fill your pool without you being home.
The Costs of Bulk Water Delivery
Transported water is the most expensive source to fill your swimming pool with. Like with many things in life, what you’re actually paying for is convenience. Most transportation companies sell water in bulk by the gallons or by the number of truck loads.
For example, I researched a water transportation company in North Carolina. Each truckload holds 6,000 gallons of water. For 30,000 gallons of water or five truckloads, the estimated total was $1,250. This price includes the cost of the water and the delivery charge. For homeowners whose well’s water is chemically unstable, sometimes filling your pool half way from your well and the other half from a transportation company is ideal. It also saves you money.
Q1: Will the truck’s water pressure damage the pool?
A: No, pumps are usually idle for the first six inches, or so. Afterward, the water flow gradually increases. This prevents the pool from filling too quickly and allows you to smoothen out the liner if it wrinkles.
Q2: How does the water get from the truck to the pool?
A: The transportation company runs long hoses from the street to the backyard. You never have to worry about a truck not reaching your pool.
Q3: Do you transport different kinds of water?
A: Most trucking companies can provide potable water for drinking or water specifically for a pool or spa. In some instances, they can also provide chlorinated water. Prices vary by company and location.
Choosing a Source
Every pool and every family are different. In a lot of pool- related instances, making a decision is personal. In the pool industry, there are no binary answers. The best source for one family may not be the ideal choice for the next. Before choosing a water source, make sure you consider what is important to you. Are you in a rush? Are you on a budget? For some pool owners, options are limited, therefore selecting a source isn’t difficult. However, in some areas, you have two or three options. If you are in the process of filling your swimming pool, let us know which water source you chose and why. If you are unsure whether a local fire department will fill your pool, call them! Don’t know how much the water in your area cost? Get in contact with them.