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How to 'green' your backyard pool

pool

Credit: iStockphoto

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The upshot?

Pools may be an unparalleled summer luxury - let's face it, there's nothing quite like a midnight dip on a hot summer night - but they are certainly not the eco-friendliest addition you could make to your backyard.

If you are going to have a pool, there are ways to make yours the greenest in the neighbourhood. With rainwater and solar power, you can reduce your pool's impact to near zero.

Of course, for those of us lucky enough to live near the sea, a river, lake or mountain stream, nature provides the greenest swimming pool of all.

Tips: before you construct a pool

1. If you're in the designing stage, go for a free-form pool as it generates more efficient water circulation, cutting down on energy needed for filtration.
2. Plant drought-tolerant native plants and create windbreaks with bushes and trees to reduce water evaporation
3. Have the company dig a hole for a rainwater tank to go beneath the pool so the water is topped up when it rains.
4. Choose the pool location wisely - opt for a sunny position that passively heats the pool, cutting down the need for artificial heating.

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