Feature Article - April 2014
Find a printable version here

Keeping Pools in Tiptop Shape

Automation and More to Boost Pool Maintenance

By Deborah L. Vence

The Price Tag

Costs associated with automated pool maintenance can vary, experts say. But, on average, when an aquatic facility enters into a monthly pool service arrangement, the cost could be between $400 and $500 a month.

And, costs range depending upon the system involved and the size and type of body of water. "Systems range from the basic pH/ORP only controllers to those that cover pH/ORP and backwash control and other functions," Fowler said. "And, then there are the salt chlorine generation systems that do save on chlorine costs."

White added that cost depends on the products you choose, too, as well as the size of the pool. "Cost would be dependent on what you are trying to do," he said, adding that, for example, "a 100,000- to 200,000-gallon pool might cost anywhere in the range of $4,500 to $6,500 a month [to maintain]."

On the whole, though, it costs to automate and not to automate.

"Having automated pumps, controllers and feeders allows manual labor operating a facility," Lachocki said. "For example, a variable speed pump can be programmed and not require operators making adjustments to conserve energy. Probes, controllers and automatic feeders reduce overfeeding and save on chemical cost. From an aquatic facility's perspective, where would you rather spend your money—paying utility companies—or paying programming staff that attract more customers and revenue to support your facility? The answer seems obvious."