If you love your backyard swimming pool but hate dealing with the chemicals, then a chemical-free water sanitation system may be worth looking into. There are quite a few alternatives to chlorine on the market today, and one of the newer ones is copper.
EcoSmarte uses it to clean pools and spas:
“The ECOsmarte oxygen electrodes deliver a non-chemical shock to your water when the water passes through your pressure line. Once per week you test your pH and copper levels. You will switch the button on your Electronic Control Unit and ionize for 4 – 8 hours depending on your pool size and bather load. This will put copper in your pool which is a great algaecide and deadly to viruses.” (And it doesn’t have that strong chlorine smell either.)
According to the company’s FAQ, copper is completely safe for humans and is better for the environment than typical swimming pool chemicals. Of course you’ll want to do your own independent research before committing to something like this, but it sounds like it maybe be worth checking out. The EcoSmarte sanitation system can also be used with hot tubs and ponds.
If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool in your backyard, then you’ve probably already discovered that toys need not be for kids only. While this light show fish might not be as fun to toss about as your other pool toys, it’ll offer some unique lighting after the sun goes down.
“This battery-operated pool toy illuminates the water wherever it swims with vibrant, multicolored lights that shine in all directions.”
The light-up fish has three settings that let you select motion, lights, or both at the same time, and the fins are supposed to give the aquatic critter a “realistic swimming motion.” (We’ll let you be the judge of that.)
It runs on batteries, so no fancy remodeling required to add this type of lighting to your pool.
$35 from Frontgate.
Sitting outside in the hot tub is a relaxing and enjoyable experience–some even say therapeutic for aching muscles!–but if your neighbors can easily see into your backyard, you might feel like a fish in a bowl when you’re out there. For privacy (as well we protection from the weather), a hot tub enclosure of some sort makes sense.
You can stay simple with a pergola (maybe with some latticed walls to add privacy), but if you really want a feeling of seclusion, a full-fledged spa enclosure might make sense.
This 10′ x 10′ red cedar hot tub enclosure has screened windows all around, so you’ve got that privacy, but you can also enjoy the view out onto the yard too.
It comes as a kit with penalized pieces for easy assembly, and the cedar roof shingles come already attached.
$5,000 at Total Backyard
Bubblers and spitters are pretty typical for backyard ponds and water gardens, since they help aerate and circulate water to keep it clean (mucking the algae and other growing things out of a pond is no fun), but you can add these types of features to swimming pools too.
While we hope you have a thorough pool filtration system and these would be purely decorative, they can add a bit of whimsy to the backyard swimming hole.
They can also be nice if you’re going for the natural look, with a pool that includes waterfalls, fountains, stone grottos, and other “natural” features. The ripples created on the water can make it feel like you’re lounging by a stream rather than a regular old swimming pool.
The bubblers here are part of a pool installation that was done by Aquatic Creations in North Carolina. If you’re looking for swimming pool design ideas, they have a gallery full of pictures up on their site.
If you’re fortunate enough to be building a backyard swimming pool (or giving an existing one a major remodel), then you’ll want to think of the surrounding area and not just the pool itself. What sort of decking material would you like to walk barefoot across? Or set your drink on while you’re lounging in a poolside chair? Or just admire as it glistens wetly in the sun?
Wood? Concrete? Brick? An aggregate?
You might dig the classic look these paving stones can offer to a pool deck.
According to Pacific PavingStone, pavers like these out-perform mortar-set stones and brick in durability, flexibility, and strength. The stones are available in a variety of colors and when property installed, they shouldn’t crack, sag, shift, or seperate. Also… they’re nice and smooth for walking barefoot upon.
All in all, a nice option for a swimming pool deck.