Read this before planning a garden pool this summer

On warm summer days, it is a relief to take a dip in a pool. But this summer is developing differently than previous ones as some public swimming pools are closed for the season and some people avoid busy places.

Fortunately, there are some simple, temporary options to having a pool in your own backyard – and they won’t cost much or be a complicated, time-consuming thing to do.

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First, you need to make sure that you have the correct permissions on a pool.

“You should always check your local ordinances and zoning regulations,” said Jeff Wallace, director of code enforcement at Bangor. “And if you live in a rental situation, it’s a good idea to speak to the owner first.”

For example, in Bangor, above-ground pools are allowed in all residential areas. However, prior to setting up a pool, a $ 42 city permit is required, regardless of size. According to federal law, any pool 18 inches or more deep must have a fence that is at least 48 inches high.

“Technically, you would need a permit and a fence for a small paddling pool in Bangor,” Wallace said. “But obviously we’re not going to be out there looking for little paddling pools in people’s yards.”

The next step is to decide what size, depth, and type of pool is right for your space and swimming needs. There are many traditional and less traditional options out there these days.

Paddling pool

If the goal of an above-ground pool is to simply cool off on a hot day, a young child’s plastic or inflatable paddling pool available in the outdoor areas of stores will do.

These little pools are small, easy to move, and quickly filled with water from a hose. They can accommodate several small children or one or two adults at the same time. They come in a wide variety of sizes. Some are made of molded plastic, others are inflatable, and still others are made of plastic that forms the shape of the pool when the water is added.

The smallest kiddy pool holds about 10 gallons of water at a depth of between 9 inches and a foot. Larger rectangular inflatable pools can measure up to 8 feet by 5 feet and hold approximately 500 gallons. A pool this size can be about a foot and a half deep.

Paddling pools may not hold enough water to do laps, but they do hold enough water to keep you cool. Plus, paddling pools have some real advantages, starting with their low cost and ease of setup.

Storage tanks

Galvanized metal storage tanks – large containers used to supply water to cattle – are pretty trendy as above-ground pools in the backyard. The most common size is a tank eight feet in diameter and two feet deep. These cost around $ 350 and are available at most farm produce stores. Like the children’s paddling pools, a storage tank pool is not suitable for swimming, but it is perfect for two adults to sit and dive up to their necks in cold water.

Because they are made of metal, a storage tank pool that is exposed to a lot of direct sunlight during the day can heat up. So if you are concerned about your pool water feeling more like bathing water, you can place it under a tree for shade or build a simple shed roof over it.

Truck loading areas

Lining the bed of a pickup truck with waterproof tarpaulin and filling it with water seems like the ultimate solution for portable pools, but suspensions in pickups were never made to support the weight of all the water in their beds.

Instead of ruining your vehicle, if you like the idea of ​​a truck bed pool, find a discarded truck or just the bed, cover it with the tarp, fill it with water and you’re good to go. As an added bonus, the wheel arch strips on many truck bed models are ideal as built-in benches.

Set up your pool

Regardless of size, material, or type, there may be some site selection and minor preparatory work involved before setting up a pool.

A level floor is essential for the pool’s location – even small paddling pools that stand on a sloping floor can have far more water on one side than the other. This problem can easily be solved by choosing a different location in the yard. For larger pools, uneven terrain can be leveled out by simply scooping out an area with a hand shovel. If the area is rocky, sand or clay can also be brought in to smooth things out.

Before you park your pool, take the time to scour your website for debris that could pierce or damage the bottom of the pool such as rocks, sticks, or glass, Wallace said. Also, avoid standing under trees that can throw leaves or other debris into the water. When the pool is drained, make sure the water does not flow anywhere that it is not wanted, such as in a basement or storage shed.

Being close to a reliable source of water is also helpful. The simplest solution is to simply attach a hose to an outside spigot and run to the pool, although this can take some time. Filling a small paddling pool can take a few minutes, but something like a storage tank takes almost an hour.

Wallace said that in Bangor there is no limit to how much water a person who draws water from the city utility can use to fill a pool, but it could certainly affect their monthly water bill if consumption increases.

Maintaining your pool

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, small inflatable pools have been linked to so-called “Recreational Water Diseases” (RWIs). These are gastrointestinal diseases such as E. coli or Cryptosporidium that are transmitted by germs that lurk in contaminated recreational water.

Using disinfectants like chlorine is not practical in small paddling pools because it is almost impossible to determine the correct dose or properly monitor that the correct amount of chlorine is remaining in the water at all times.

Alternatively, the CDC recommends emptying or emptying the pool after each use. Clean the pool with a disinfectant and let it dry. Once it’s completely dry, leave it in the sun for at least four hours.

Larger inflatable pools or plastic pools or pools from a storage tank or truck bed that cannot be emptied daily should be equipped with pool filters and treated with the disinfection system appropriate for their size and depth.

According to the CDC, it is important that no one who appears ill in any way is allowed to swim or play in your pool.

In the end, it all comes down to how much time, effort, and money you want to invest in your own garden pool. Then it’s just a matter of filling it with water, having a few cool drinks and indulging in a lovely cool down.

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