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There’s never been a better time to own a spa or swimming pool. They’re a great way to keep the family together over the holidays and add value to your home.

Many families are choosing to swap expensive holiday getaways in favour of a holiday at home. For those with a pool, holidaying at home is about spending quality time with the kids, as well as friends and neighbours. It’s also a great way to get fit.

altWhile the benefits of owning a spa or swimming pool are well understood, many people are concerned about water consumption in the current drought.

The General Manager of the Swimming Pool & Spa Association of Victoria (SPASA Victoria ), Brendan Watkins, says the industry has been working hard to ensure that water conservation is a top priority.  “Owning a pool is part of the Australian dream, and we can all do our part to keep it that way by using water responsibly,” Mr Watkins said.

“SPASA Victoria is keen to be a leader and promote good water management practices as well as educate consumers on how they can own a pool as well as make real, positive contributions towards water efficiency,” Mr Watkins said.

In 2008, SPASA Victoria undertook two major initiatives to play its part in water conservation.

Firstly, SPASA Victoria invested heavily on the construction of a bore to access water from the Werribee aquifer, in Melbourne’s west. “The water from the aquifer is highly saline and cannot be used for drinking or agricultural purposes. It’s an ideal source of water for swimming pools.”, Mr Watkins said.

SPASA Victoria also launched the Water Neutral Pool Program. The program aims to help families enjoy their

swimming pool and minimise water use at the same time.

A Water Neutral Pool has 3 key features:

> A water tank to collect rainwater used to top up the pool;

> A pool cover to conserve water lost through evaporation and;

> A  backwash minimisation system to prevent excessive backwashing.

A Water Neutral Pool can save thousands of litres of water every year. Analysis shows that over a 12 month period, pool owners with an adequate sized rain tank, who conscientiously use a pool cover and a backwash minimisation system, will not need to use mains water to top-up their pool. Even in drought conditions more than 6,000 litres of water can be generated for use around the home each year.

Mr Watkins said that pool owners also have a financial incentive to making their pools water neutral.

“Not only does having a Water Neutral Pool take pressure off your mains water supply, it also saves you money, reduces chemical use and increases on-site water collection and re-use,” he said.

The response to the program has so far been promising, with pool owners across the state eager to play their part and be water-wise.

“This is about setting a new standard in responsible pool ownership,” Mr Watkins said.

Once water neutral status has been confirmed by a SPASA Victoria member a certificate and a fence plaque will be provided, enabling the home owner to show their community they are responsible pool owners.

For more information on the Water Neutral Pool Program and for details on how to take part in it, go to Water Neutral Pool