For long hot summer days, there is really nothing that beats being able to dip in and out of your own swimming pool.
This desirable addition to your garden is on many homeowners wish list and if you have the space to create your own private oasis, there are quite a few safety tips and responsibilities that you will have to take on board, if you are to enjoy family swimming fun in a safe environment.
If you are one of the many Kiwis who are great fans of swimming pools and want one in your garden, here are some of the points that you need to look at and consider.
Finding the space
One of your first considerations when planning a swimming pool, is to ensure that you actually have enough space on your property to accommodate a pool comfortably.
You have to think beyond the dimensions of the pool itself and remember that even quite a small pool will likely take up a reasonable amount of space on your property. There are council regulations to think about as well, which you need to adhere to if you are going to be allowed to get your pool built in the first place.
Every council will have slightly different District Plans, so you will need to check with your own local council or take advice from your swimming pool installer about the regulations that are relevant to where you live.
As a general guide, you will probably need to site your swimming pool at least 3.0m from your rear boundary and allow at least 1.2m from the side boundaries of your property, so check this out first of all and see whether you are likely to encounter any planning problems with your swimming pool.
For a typical family pool that accommodates four people, you will probably need about 130sqm of space overall, so get the tape measure out and see if your dreams of a swimming pool can become a reality with the space you have in your garden.
Different types of pool
You can get swimming pools that are made from a number of different materials, and this has an impact on the price you pay.
If your budget is limited, you may have to opt for an above-ground pool that is made from vinyl and steel. Digging below the ground and installing a fibreglass pool with plumbing is another option to consider, which is more expensive than the former option.
A concrete pool gives you greater flexibility in terms of design options, but this is almost certainly going to be your most expensive option.
Fit for purpose
Once you have chosen your pool and had it installed, there is the issue of keeping it clean and free from bacteria.
Chlorine is the most common default option for keeping bacteria away from your pool and combined with a filter, a regular maintenance schedule should help to keep your swimming pool free from any dangerous bacteria.
Environmental concerns are now making pool owners consider alternative options to using chlorine. This has led to a number of solutions being offered that utilize ozone technology. Ozone generators produce ozone in the water and not only keep the water clean and safe, but they also help to balance the pH levels in your pool.
Make sure you are aware of the levels of maintenance that you will have to carry out yourself to keep the pool in top shape, or allow a budget for getting a pool maintenance contract.
A swimming pool is going to be a lot of fun for the family and a great activity, but you should always be aware of the dangers associated with water and take precautions to keep everyone safe.
Water Safety New Zealand have some excellent tips on how to make your pool and surrounding area a safe environment. Even a home pool should have safety signage and rules that are clearly displayed and obeyed without exception.
Children should always be supervised by an adult whilst they are anywhere near the pool. For example, the New Zealand law dictates that all swimming pools need to be enclosed by a fence that is at least 1.2m high, with no gaps and a self-latching gate for controlled access. Be sure to look up the swimming pool laws in your own area.
You should make sure that any hazardous pool chemicals such as chlorine, which are being used for cleaning your pool, are kept locked away and out of reach from children.
Having your own swimming pool is great fun, just make sure you know everything about staying safe! Now it’s time to start shopping for new swimwear!