Concrete & Chlorine pool to chemical free pond
Hello. I'm new here. I will soon have a 30 year old concrete pool in Tucson, southeast Arizona, USA, in the Sonoran Desert. The elevation is about 2700', and we're dry most of the year, but we do have two monsoon seasons, summer and winter.
I have read two threads here about converting a large inground concrete pool to a pond, and they are not encouraging.
This --I suppose it's either concrete or gunnite--pool is about 30 feet long, 20 feet wide, and it's deepest area is about 8 feet. I'm trying to decide whether to fill it in and play tennis on it, convert it to a chemical free pool, a chemical free pond, or simply keep it chlorine based.
I'm at the beginning stages of learning. From what I've read in the last few days, I could go chemical free, I think. I would expect to use the pumping system that's there, but I'd run the pumped water into above ground (skippy type http://www.skippysstuff.com/biofiltr.htm ) filter ponds and return it to the pool via a water fall. I could put water plants in the filtering basins. I guess we'll need 5-6 300 gallon filter containers for the 25000 gallon pool.
I read today that a Florida (USA) study of a few years ago suggests that the pump doesn't have to run constantly, only when mixing chemicals, and since I wouldn't be using any, the reason to use it would be to circulate and aerate the water and pull debris off and out of it. That same study says I could use a smaller pump, since I would be using larger diameter "pipes" to get the water
back to the pool.
I've learned a little of evaporation rates. For Tucson the rough evaporation rate is 100 inches/365 which is about 1/3 inch per day. Some of that COULD be replaced by redirecting wash water and rainfall harvesting.
If I can transform it into something I do want and will enjoy, I will.
With a little more work, I can gather what rainwater we do have to replenish the pool during those months, as well as using the gray water from my washing machine, but if I have to keep the pool covered most of the time, I might as well fill it in.
Haven't thought much about plants, haven't gotten that far, but didn't know about them needing the fish�
When I first read of chemical free pools, I was interested, though I would not be likely to swim in it myself. Now, with all this other, I'm not so sure I
won't fill it in.
Then I read of the fellow and the leeches. NOT my cup of tea.
I am just now thinking that I might let a couple of feet evaporate from it, which would give a shallow end for possibly bog plants in gravel, and I could hang more bog type plants from the sides in baskets, keeping them wet via soaker hose fed through a filter�
I think that might still permit enough water in case I wanted to soak, or even swim.
I would have to find out if the pool has to be filled to the brim constantly or risk damage.
I've also read on here of the cost in energy, time, work, and money. I Don't know that I can go to that expense.
Any and all input you can give would be greatly appreciated. I need a lot more input and information to help me make this decision.