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Home > Magazine > Culture > Cheap backyard pools are GREAT

Cheap backyard pools are GREAT
June 22, 2013

[Update from 6/13/2008!] Run don't walk...and get yerself a 15-foot kiddy swimming pool for your yard. If you don't have one and it's hot where you live and you can possibly wedge one in. Man, they're great! In the spring they're about $300 for a 15-footer, but in late summer they're $75. They come complete with pump-filter.

Michigan is humid in the summer. We wouldn't survive our daily bike rides and yardwork or even just working without our daily dips.

Add a floating chair with drink-holder and you're stylin'----bobbin' and reading a book under an overhanging leafy branch.

Now, how to keep your sweet little pool sparkly bright and clean? It isn't easy! You MUST follow the rules for the chemicals. And you must run your pump half of every day. If you get even a bit behind the curve, catching up is a real pain. (About the pump, unless you keep the water flowing you'll get mosquito larvae---bummer.)

Anyway, here's the best place online that I've found for easy chemical formulas: www.poolsolutions.com/frm/kiddie_pool_calc.html.

Don't sweat it, but you can't have an "organic" pool---well, you can but it ain't pretty. Get used to a little chlorine smell---if you do it every day you only need a little.

[UPDATE 2008: I confess that I have yet to be able to maintain a clear kiddy pool this year. And I forget how good I did last year. I know that they tend to get away from me. I keep all the chemical levels right to make the little test strips happy, but the water right now is cloudy green. I'll keep trying! I'll let you know if I figure out something reliable...and simple.]

[UPDATE 2013: We've really enjoyed our pool every year for many years now. Hillbilly heaven! Cocktails! I have a floaty chair and just bob around and relax with a book'n'a'beer under a blue sky with a bright green leafy walnut tree branch arching over giving a mix of shade and keeping the pool cool for basically the whole summer. Every few years I get a fresh liner online for $75 mailed. I spend about $20/summer on dichlor and algicide. I've figured out how to keep the pool sparkly. Cinchy! I leave the pump running 12 hrs a day -- that's an expense there, too. And I dose the pool 2x/wk. Plus I net out insects and leaves. And I do the whirlpool siphon trick: I wade around the pool a few times quick then hop out. This leaves a whirlpool which settles and centers any debris in a tidy little "thanks to physics" pile, which I then siphon out. Of course, everyone laughs about my pool. But... It's cool. And wet. And nice. Perfect! It's how I survive summer...]

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