Each edition, we provide one Smart WaterMark licensee the opportunity to describe how their product saves water. This month, Tony Marchmont from Backwash Recyclers Australia describes his innovative water saving technology.

With a worldwide shortage of water and so many areas of the globe facing increasingly severe drought conditions, it is alarming to consider the amount of pure, drinkable water that is currently wasted in the maintaining of public and private swimming pools. Research undertaken by Backwash Recyclers Australia back in 2007 found that in Victoria alone there were approximately 130,000 swimming pools, 70% of which were being serviced by existing or newly installed sand filtering systems.

It is common knowledge that maintaining a healthy swimming environment around swimming pools is paramount and with public health in mind, industry recommends that sand filtered swimming pools be backwashed for three minutes once every month. It was disappointing to note that our research indicated that the majority of pool owners did not backwash pool filters nearly as often as recommended because they could not justify the loss of water associated with each backwash.

However, if pool owners did follow recommendations and backwash accordingly, it followed that an average pool which pumps out approximately 400 litres per minute, was losing 1200 litres of pure drinkable water down the drain every month. To be replaced, another 1200 litres of mains water was required to return the levels back to the recommended level, a water usage of approximately 2400 litres per backwash.

This wastage does not need to happen. It is now possible to hold this water in specifically designed backwash tanks for future use during the swimming months when water levels are critical to the maintaining of a functional pool. Some relevant industry personnel believe and hope that with a backwash minimization system, a water tank and a swimming pool blanket, that it is possible for the home swimming pool to become entirely self-reliant on water or in other words ‘water neutral’. So, the question must be ‘Why not do so?’

Backwash Recycling Australia found that if this innovative and available type of backwash recycling kit was installed to only 10% of sand filtered pools in 2007, approximately 115 million litres of water would have been saved each year….that is in Victoria alone! Of course, now ten years down the track, the number of new pools installed and the associated water wastage has increased substantially.

In this era of environmental, economic and social concern, surely a swimming pool backwash system that can conserve and store for future use, the chemically treated water currently being flushed down the sewerage system with each backwash and can return it instead to the pool already chemically treated, ticks all the boxes.

Tony Marchmont
Backwash Recyclers Australia

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