This award-winning pool project ticks all the boxes when it comes to sustainability, proving that there is no compromise in design, performance or style when creating a fully sustainable pool
Rainwise Pools Melbourne has always been focused on sustainable pools and provides a huge range of water- and energy-conservation product options for new pool owners. This project, however, was a little different. From the outset, these environmentally conscious owners were determined to make all pool decisions based not only on obtaining an amazing-looking pool, but also one that is fully sustainable.
Everything to do with this project — from water tanks to the pool location, height, sanitation system and even the pool fence location — was all carefully considered. A deliberate decision was made to only select the very best energy and water efficiencies to run this pool long term.
“We believe this is our first true zero-water-wastage pool project,” says Rainwise Pools Melbourne. “Even the backwash water is recycled and directed to a water tank and used back in the house, via a pump system, to flush the toilets.”
The Northcote project, which received a Highly Commended award for the 2020 SPASA Vic awards for Best Sustainable Pool or Spa Project, has proven that there is no compromise in design, performance or style when creating a fully sustainable pool. There is a huge range of hard-working energy-, water- and chemical-saving additions to this pool, incorporated in such a way that they are not focal points. In fact, most go unnoticed by those viewing, enjoying and swimming in the pool.
Consideration was made to place the pool efficiently on site. Its position and the extension of the wall behind the pool help to minimise wind-based evaporation. The three-sided windbreak provided by the dwelling, the solid wall on one side and the extended fence at the rear dramatically reduce wind speed over the water and therefore provide protection from excessive evaporation. The raised pool, along with the glass fence on the only exposed side, provides further protection. Consideration was even given to noise pollution by positioning the pool equipment in a location that minimises noise impact, away from living spaces and neighbours. This allows pool equipment to be operated anytime.
The best energy-efficient equipment was selected including variable-speed pumps that typically cut energy use by up to 90 per cent, and LED lights that use minimal energy.
The highest-quality oversized sand filter allows for faster filtration using less energy and water. Recycled glass filter media was the clear choice as it has a greater filtration capacity.
For heating, the homeowners selected a combination of both solar with gas back-up. The installation of 32m of solar heating on the northern side of the home with the ability to switch to the 400mj gas heater allows for year-round swimming while utilising the most efficient pool heating method available.
Full automation of the pool is via the Aquatek system with smartphone connectivity. This system has a huge impact on water, chemical and energy savings. The owners can control everything from pump speed to PH to pool temp with the touch of a button. They can monitor the pool, maintain perfect water balance and be fully responsive from anywhere in the world.
One of the biggest contributors to the project’s sustainability is the sanitation system. Rainwise Pools Melbourne installed the Naked Swim NKD-1 — the Naked Fresh Water System is a true environmentally friendly system offering many benefits, not only for the swimmer, but also for the garden and pool equipment. This system provides pool water that is typically the same as what comes from a household tap. Because it’s a fresh water system, swimming in the pool is no different to having a shower or bath, and children do not need to shower or bathe after swimming, further reducing the home’s water usage.
The real benefit is how these owners have incorporated their water tanks into this system. Rainwise Pools Melbourne also supplied two rainwater tanks for collecting rainwater to utilise in the home and garden, but most importantly, for pool top-up. Given the home’s roof size and average annual rainfall for Melbourne, these homeowners have the capacity to harvest close to 100,000 litres of rainwater annually and as a result, mains water is not required for pool top-up.
What is really exciting is how the backwash water is recycled — not a single drop of pool water is wasted. After consultation with council, the owners directed the backwash from the pool into a water tank and this is then used back in the house for flushing the toilets via a special pump system designed to prioritise tank water over mains water for toilet flushing. The Naked Fresh Water system provides water that is so fresh that it allows for pool water to be reused both in the toilet and to water the garden.
Due to the size of the roof and potential rain catchment area, Rainwise Melbourne also provided a downpipe diverter as an additional pool top-up method. This allows the owners to benefit from currently unutilised downpipes to send rain water directly to the pool via the diverter.
Another very important feature is the under-deck pool blanket and roller. The blanket is almost unnoticeable when not in use and reduces evaporation by up to 90 per cent. It also retains heat, resulting in significantly reduced energy consumption as less electricity and/or gas is required to maintain the desired pool temperature. The blanket also protects the pool from additional dirt and debris and results in reduced cleaning and chemical use.
Rainwise Pools Melbourne is a multi-award-winning provider of premium fibreglass pools. Rainwise takes great pride in being a member of SPASA and has received many awards for its sustainable pools. “We provide clever pools that utilise water-saving and water-harvesting devices to not only save water, but minimise costs through reduced chemical, energy and water use,” says Rainwise.
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