We live in a constantly changing world. Today, consumers are becoming far more aware about the use of chemicals, not just in swimming pools, but in their drinking water, in their food and in their gardens.
As we become more conscious of the harmful effects of chemicals, that until relatively recently were considered to be harmless, everyone wants to be more ‘eco-friendly’ or ‘green’ – the green ideal being a completely freshwater swimming pool. Of course, most of us as individuals are perfectly genuine about this but in the industry, there are those who are more interested in cashing in. Rather than making a real difference it’s more about being seen to be green.
Certain people in the swimming pool industry are very good at “re-inventing the wheel”. Recently, they have started to call themselves the “enviro-friendly” swimming pool water purification system. It might just be an energy-saving pool pump that draws less power. They’re still using the same old chemicals but they’re portraying themselves as environmentally friendly, based purely on the savings of electricity.
Here are a few recent examples of how the swimming pool industry likes to re-invent the wheel:
Sand has been used as a filter in nature for millennia and it’s been used all over the world for filtering water for many years. Now, the latest craze here in Australia is this: instead of putting sand into the filters, they’re putting recycled glass. How do you create glass? Sand. They’re portraying it as being a far better filter than nature’s sand but it’s not. The way they market it, every one’s sold on it.
Another case of clever marketing: the ‘ozonator’ which is portrayed as a greener, safer system. What they fail to mention is that while the ozonator is a very good oxidiser and sanitiser, it can only disinfect the pool water at point of contact. As the water goes through the machine, it sanitises but it leaves no residual sanitiser in the main pool. So when you use ozone you need to use a residual sanitiser such as chlorine. So they add on what is basically a salt chlorinator. What they’re doing is taking an old technology and dressing it up to make it appear as a much greener healthier system.
Then there’s the “spin” they’re putting on the pool pump. To put it into context, the energy suppliers are struggling to keep up with demand. In Australia, the suppliers have worked out that the pool pump is the biggest single source of power consumption in a residential home. If all the pool pumps are running at 4 in the afternoon, and it’s 40 degrees, and everybody’s switched on the air-conditioning – they just can’t cope with the demand on the supply line.
So what pool supply companies have done now: they are selling you on a pump with switches on it so you can cut down the output. It will run at a third of the power. But the trade-off of doing that: in a swimming pool you have to turn the whole volume of the swimming pool water through the filter once a day. So if you slow the pump down by two thirds, you’ve got to run it two thirds longer. Thanks to the wonders of marketing, people truly believe they are saving money by buying these pumps and the upfront cost of the pump is three times more than a normal pump.
Another reinvention on the green bandwagon: accompany claiming to offer the first chlorine-free pool cleaner. Actually, it’s not. It’s hydrogen peroxide, another really nasty chemical. It’s really expensive. People are going to have to purchase hydrogen peroxide from pool shops. It’s far more dangerous to handle and transport than chlorine. It’s a lot of hassle and it’s definitely not “enviro-friendly”- AND very expensive.
It’s a messy industry – poorly regulated and confusing. It’s hardly surprising that many pool owners are confused about the realities, and this is why we’re taking a stand. One of the reasons we are putting these materials out there is to help people establish the facts and learn the truth about deceptive marketing about natural pool cleaners.
Everything we say is backed up with evidence and we welcome any questions you may have – just get in touch.