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Water Issues and Drought

Study results show pool owners could save water with the right cover

Alan Smith, Research Director for Natural Plasterers Council

  A recent study out of Cal Poly shows pool-owners can prevent water evaporation almost entirely with the right type of cover. 

During the summer, the National Plasterers Council, a trade association made up of swimming pool industry professionals, teamed up with Cal Poly researchers to test about half a dozen pool covers to see which covers reduced evaporation the most.

They conducted the study at the school's National Pool Industry Research Center which has several, identical swimming pools designed for industry research.

After testing the various covers, including bubble tarps and liquid chemicals, they found solid plastic covers can reduce 95 percent of evaporation.

Dr. Misgana Muleta, Associate Professor with the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department, said a this research will be used for pool owner awareness. He said there's an estimated 1.2 million residential pools in the state

“If...every pool owner installed these pool covers, up to 55,000 acre-feet of water could be saved. And that is enough to supply a city of up to half-a-million people for a year,” said Muleta.

Muleta said a review of the study is underway which focuses on the groups who contributed money to the research and is expected to be done in the coming days.

The study was sponsored by the National Plasterers Council and other industry associations.

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