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Drought Has Pool Pros Looking For Ways To Recycle Backwash

The drought in California has pool pros looking for ways to recycle backwash and conserve water in swimming pools.



Drought Has Pool Pros Looking For Ways To Recycle Backwash

The ongoing drought in the Western states suddenly has pool professionals looking at innovative new ways to conserve water. Consequently, one new approach has been to recycle the backwash from filter cleanings.

Drought Puts Pools Directly In Cross Hairs of Water Conservationists

The drought that has plagued many parts of the United States in recent years has been nothing short of disastrous. Record low levels of precipitation have led to widespread water shortages, with many states implementing mandatory water restrictions. The situation has been particularly dire in California, which recorded the driest 22-year period in at least 1,200 years, according to a new study.

Recent storms have added to the snowpack in the Sierras which supplies 30% of California’s water. Experts however say that it isn’t enough. While these storms have provided some relief, they are unlikely to have a significant impact on the mega-drought that California has been experiencing.

For now, major cities like Los Angeles have managed to avoid instituting measures that would prevent homeowners from filling swimming pools. The problem does however make a good case for backwash recycling as it has a direct impact on water usage.

Conservation Study Shows Primary Culprits of Water Loss

A study conducted in 2010 by the California Urban Water Conservation Council looked at ways that water is lost in swimming pools. The study pointed out that the primary causes of water loss in pools are leaks, splash out, evaporation, disinfection, and filter operation.

The topic was certainly a hot-button issue at last year’s Pool Industry Expo in Monterrey, CA. It’s also a reason why products like Best Clear System have suddenly become very relevant to the conversation about water conservation. The system promises to help homeowners save thousands of gallons of water while keeping their pool filters effortlessly clean and helping protect the environment.

Recycling Backwash Conserves Water

To get a better understanding of what the Best Clear System actually does, we spoke with industry veteran and CEO of Aquos Pools, Harold Tapley.

“In a nutshell, the Best Clear System actually clears the water so you don’t have to dump it on the ground and lose it,” said Tapley.

Drought Has Pool Pros Looking For Ways To Recycle Backwash

Why Recycle?

“When you’re discharging, be it backwashing or when you’re washing the cartridge out, you’re getting salts into our fresh water supply. It’s going into the ground or drain in the street and down to the creeks and streams,” explained Tapley, “that creates a conundrum for our industry because it’s almost like Vegas. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Well, what happens in the backyard sort of stays in the backyard because you can’t really see what’s going on. When you see that big white stain in the gutter from D.E. being discharged or somebody out there hosing a cartridge off in the gutter, that really brings it to your attention.”

“If you’re backwashing, the things that are in that backwash, besides salts and chlorine are metals. Typically it’s copper which is deadly to algae in a pool, of course, but when it enters our ecosystem, it creates a lot of problems,” said Tapley, “the discharge itself typically is just sediments of clay or sand, but it does have some stuff in it that’s not good for the environment.”

Pool Pros Put On Notice

Many pool professionals have already begun getting fined according to Tapley. “Here where I live in the Central Valley, the city has actually hired water patrol police. We need real police, but the water patrol, they’re out. There are huge stiff fines for wasting water and dumping it into storm drains and improper disposal is costing pool service technicians a ton of money when they don’t do things the right way. At P.I.E. I ran into several service guys that told me that they had already been fined up to $1,000 for backwashing cartridges in the street,” said Tapley.

By The Numbers

To put the numbers into the proper context, Tapley explained just how much water is used in backwashing filters each year. “A typical backwash for a sand filter is 200 to 250 gallons and it’s recommended to backwash them once a week,” explained Tapley, “that’s over 5,000 gallons a year of freshwater that you have to put back in the pool to replace it. Keep in mind that the skimmer starts grabbing air because the water level drops. So you got to double that. I mean, you’re really talking about 10,000 gallons per pool.”

“When you’re cleaning the filter and you dump a couple of hundred gallons of water out of the ground, you lose that pretreated water,” explained Tapley, “and when you’re putting the fresh water back in, then you got to go right back to your test kit and start readjusting the pool. The service guys realize that every time that they have to put more chlorine in because they just top the pool back up and give it a couple of hundred gallons of water. So that said, I feel like when we have pretreated water that we’re capturing and putting it right back in, that is a savings right there itself. If it is a saltwater pool, of course, then we’re saving the salt water.”

Interested in learning more about recycling backwash using the Best Clear System? Listen to our entire conversation with Harold Tapley on the Pool Magazine podcast.

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Editor in Chief of Pool Magazine - Joe Trusty is also CEO of, the leading digital agency for the pool industry. An internet entrepreneur, software developer, author, and marketing professional with a long history in the pool industry. Joe oversees the writing and creative staff at Pool Magazine. To contact Joe Trusty email [email protected] or call (916) 467-9118 during normal business hours. For submissions, please send your message to [email protected]

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Pool Equipment

Fluidra To Acquire German Pool Equipment Distributor

Fluidra to acquire pool equipment distributor in Germany for €30M



Fluidra, global leader in pool and wellness equipment and connected solutions, today announces it has reached an agreement to acquire 100% of the Meranus Group, a leading distributor of pool equipment in Germany, for approximately €30 million on a cash and debt free basis.

  • Meranus Group is a well-known swimming pool equipment distributor in Germany.
  • With this acquisition, Fluidra will enhance its leading position in the German market and offer a more comprehensive product portfolio to a wider customer base.

Founded more than 40 years ago, the Meranus Group is a recognized swimming pool equipment distributor in Germany, and comprises Meranus Haan GmbH, Meranus Lauchhammer GmbH, as well as Aquacontrol GmbH, a manufacturer of swimming pool dosing and control technology. Its expected revenues for the year ending 31 December 2022 are over €25 million. This transaction will allow Fluidra to enhance its leading position in the German market and offer a more comprehensive product portfolio to a wider customer base.

“Our team is looking forward to welcoming our new colleagues to the Fluidra family. We are grateful for the Sellers’ commitment to make this happen following ongoing conversations over the last months”, said Carlos Franquesa, Fluidra’s General Manager for EMEA. “Having the Meranus Group operate side by side with Fluidra’s existing brands allows us to reinforce our multi-product strategy and bolster our existing distribution infrastructure in Germany. The transaction is expected to generate significant synergies and benefit our customers, suppliers and employees.”

“We are excited to join a global leader in the pool and wellness industry while, as always, we will continue to strive to better serve our customers”, said Anje Janke and Angelika Kitzing, General Managers of Meranus Group.

The transaction is subject to competition clearance and other customary closing conditions and is expected to complete in the first quarter of 2023.

Read more news about Fluidra

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Pool Owners Brace For Hard Freeze This Holiday Weekend

As the holiday weekend approaches, a hard freeze has pool owners scrambling to prepare.



As the holidays approach, pool owners across the country are bracing for record-low temperatures and the dangers that come with them. One major concern for pool owners is the risk of their pool freezing in such cold conditions. More than a million and a half people in the United States are currently without electricity. A “historic winter storm” is impacting many areas of the country.

Power Outages in Winter Freeze - December 23, 2022
Power Outages in Winter Freeze – December 23, 2022 – Credit:

Holiday Plans Canceled – More Than a Million and a Half Without Power

The hardest hit thus far has been the Northeast and South. As of Friday morning, 152,915 were without power in Virginia, 201,243 in North Carolina, and 182,637 in Tennessee. The entire country is watching Texas, one of the largest pool markets in the nation. The deep freeze encountered in 2021 caused many to lose power which led to catastrophic damage in pools. Currently, 73,324 consumers in Texas are without power.

Wind Chill Map - December 23, 2022
Wind Chill Map – December 23, 2022

A powerful Arctic front continues to spread through the eastern third of the nation. Consequently, the National Weather Service has issued a travel advisory. As the nation prepares for a hard freeze, roughly 60% of the country is under some sort of weather advisory.

Tieleman Movable Floors

Hard Freeze Has Pool Owners Scrambling

The news of a hard freeze over the holidays has had many homeowners scrambling to prepare their pools. According to the National Weather Service, a hard freeze occurs when temperatures remain at or below 28 degrees for an extended period of time. On both Saturday and Sunday mornings, temperatures in the teens and twenties are expected in many areas of the country.

Hard Freeze Warning
Parts of southeast Alabama, the Big Bend, the Panhandle of Florida, and south-central and southwest Georgia are under a hard freeze warning from the National Weather Service. Credit – The Times

How a Hard Freeze Can Damage Swimming Pools

When the water in a pool or its equipment freezes, it can cause significant damage. The expansion of water as it freezes can put a lot of pressure on the various components of the pool. Freezing temperatures can also damage equipment, such as pipes, filters, and pumps. This pressure can cause these components to crack or break, which can be costly to repair.

One of the most common problems that occurs when a pool freezes is damage to the pool’s plumbing. The pipes that carry water to and from the pool’s pump and filter system are particularly vulnerable to freezing. If these pipes freeze and then thaw, they can become damaged or burst, which can lead to serious water damage.

Another potential problem is damage to the pool’s filter system. The filter is responsible for removing contaminants and debris from the water. If it becomes damaged, it can be difficult to get the pool clean and clear.

Broken pool pump – Photo Credit: Tom Blue – TrueBlue Pools

Freezing temperatures can also damage the pool’s pump. The pump is responsible for circulating water through the pool and its equipment. If the pump is damaged, it can be difficult to keep the water moving and maintain proper circulation.

In addition to these problems, freezing temperatures can also cause the pool’s liner to become damaged or even rupture. This can be a costly repair. The liner is a crucial component of the pool and is responsible for holding the water in place.

Damaged pool equipment and plumbing – Photo Credit: Tom Blue – TrueBlue Pools

Power Outages Can Cause Serious Damage To Pools

Power outages can have significant impacts on pool owners during a freeze. They can disrupt the functioning of pool heaters and filtration systems. In addition, power outages may prevent pool owners from being able to use electricity. Without power, it becomes difficult to prevent their pools from freezing.

There are a few practical steps one can take to help prevent or reduce the risk of freeze damage to pool equipment. Manufacturer, Hayward has been sharing the following advice to pool owners.

Pool Freeze Protection Advice

Content originally posted in: Pool Protection Tips For Freezing Weather

Run Your Pump When Below Freezing
During deep freeze conditions, it will be imperative that all pumps run while temperatures are below freezing. If you have a controller, it should automatically take over and turn on the pump(s) and rotate between the pool and spa mode on its own. If you do not have a controller, you will need to manage this process on your own.

Cold Weather And Power is On
If you do have power to your home and are not being affected by power outages, keep your pool equipment operating at all times (24/7) until temperatures increase above freezing.

If your power is out or your home is being affected by power outages, keep reading below or contact your local pool professional for assistance:

Cold Weather, But Lost Power
If your power is out and the temperatures are below freezing:

  • Turn off all pool equipment breakers. Even if your power is off, you must still turn off all breakers that supply power to your swimming pool equipment.
  • Open the air relief on your filter, and remove the drain plug on the bottom of the filter. 
  • Open the inline chlorinator and let it drain down.
  • Turn off auto-fill and make sure the feed line is wrapped.
  • Open the salt cell to remove any water inside the pipe.
  • Remove the lids of check valves to keep them from cracking.
  • Unplug and remove your salt chlorine generator cells from the system if you’re able, if not, open the salt cell to remove any water inside the pipe

Wait for Ice to Melt Naturally
If ice has formed on your equipment, don’t turn the power back on. Wait for any ice that has formed to melt naturally. This will help prevent damage to the equipment once power is restored.

Reinstall Removed Items
Once the ice has melted, re-install the drains and salt chlorine generator cells. Turn on the power to your pool equipment.

Get Expert Help
Always remember you can use your local pool professional for help. Reach out to a licensed pool contractor for assistance

Download and share this helpful guide.

Pool Industry Prepares For Hard Freeze

Is the hard freeze here? It certainly looks that way. Professionals in the pool industry have already been taking steps to prepare for the deep freeze by winterizing pools and ensuring that equipment and pipes are protected from cold temperatures.

Pool builder, Luke Norris tests a frozen water feature.

Again, the attention is on Texas which has a tendency to fall victim to sudden freezing temperatures but does not historically winterize its inground pools. During Uri, a sustained freeze accompanied by mass power outages was responsible for much of the damage we saw in 2021. Pool professionals are eager to avoid a similar reoccurrence.

In the event that a pool does freeze, it is important to handle the situation carefully to avoid damaging the equipment or the pool structure. If the water in the pool has frozen, it is generally best to wait for it to thaw naturally rather than trying to force it to melt. If you notice damage to pipes or cracked pool equipment or any structural damage to the pool, the best advice is to contact a pool contractor immediately.

And the condition is getting worse! Water level dropping in pool, pipe is frozen to add water to the pool, and filter is…Posted by Joanne Pisano Di Bella on Friday, December 23, 2022

It is not uncommon for pool equipment and pipes to be damaged during a deep freeze, and many have already begun posting photos on social media to show the extent of the damage and to help educate others about the importance of winterizing their pools. If you own a pool, it is important to take steps to protect it from the cold weather to prevent damage and ensure that it is ready for use when the weather warms up.

Featured Photo Credit: Facebook / Kathy Ott Prior

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Pool Equipment

ePropelled Unveils Energy-Efficient Electric Pump Motors



ePropelled Unveils Energy-Efficient Electric Pump Motors

LOWELL, Mass. | December 6, 2022 – ePropelled, a provider of leading-edge electric propulsion systems and power generation solutions, today announced a new line of energy-efficient electric pump motors designed to be used with pools, spas, and industrial applications. The motors provide optimized energy efficiency, reduced noise, and are compact and lightweight. These innovations allow manufacturers to save energy and money, while delivering better overall value to customers.

Forrester data shows that 68% of consumers plan to increase efforts to identify brands that reduce environmental impact. At the same time, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that more than half of the electricity used in manufacturing powers various motors. ePropelled’s environmentally-friendly motors give industry and manufacturing leaders an opportunity to reduce harmful greenhouse emissions by replacing their motors and systems with improved designs.

Available immediately, ePropelled’s new line of six motors include:

  • SM1650 series for pool – A 1.65hp variable speed motor that is approximately 90% efficient with a programable interface.
  • SM1650 series for spa – A 1.65hp variable speed motor that is approximately 90% efficient.
  • SM3000 series for pool – A 3hp variable speed motor that is approximately 90% efficient with a programable interface.
  • SM3000 series for spa – A 3hp variable speed motor that is approximately 90% efficient.
  • SM1650 series for industrial applications – A 1.65hp variable speed motor designed for industrial environments such as large-volume fluid management, pressurizing water/fluid, chemical processing, water movement and more.  
  • SM3000 series for industrial applications – A 3.0hp variable speed motor designed for industrial environments such as large-volume fluid management, pressurizing water/fluid, chemical processing, water movement and more.

All the Sustainability Motors are compact and lightweight for easier installation, and their quiet performance makes them more comfortable for consumers. Noise pollution is a problem with pump motors in general, whether for residential pools or other commercial uses. In addition, the new motors’ variable speed capabilities optimize pump motor efficiency, reduce energy costs, and allow manufacturers to easily add new features and functions.

“Our new energy-efficient electric pump motors have less impact on the environment and are powerful enough not only for pools and spas, but many other applications within industrial markets,” said Nick Grewal, CEO, president and founder of ePropelled. “Variable speed pump motors are more efficient, which creates more sustainable products, systems and operations and can reduce costs. This is a win-win for manufacturers and consumers alike.”

ePropelled is focused on designing and producing energy-efficient motors and related technology for a variety of sectors, with a particular focus on the industrial pump motor market. Target markets include HVAC, pool, spa, water and wastewater, and other large industrial applications. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), electric motors and systems account for about 40% of electricity consumption globally.

About ePropelled

ePropelled designs state of the art motors, generators, and power management systems. Our technology helps reduce energy consumption and improve system efficiency at a lower cost in the aerospace, manned and unmanned aerial vehicles, electric vehicles, and pump motor markets. We are a leader in magnetics engineering, and our patented technology innovations are used in the air, land, and water, defining the future of electric propulsion.  

ePropelled has offices in the United States, Europe, and India and collaborates with manufacturers of all types and sizes around the world. For more information, please visit

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