Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED®) uses established and innovative practices, standards, and technologies to provide a voluntary consensus-based national standard for green building. With operations impacted by rising costs of utilities, chemicals, and maintenance, Owners & Designers are looking for innovative ways to recycle hundreds of thousands of gallons of water at aquatic facilities and waterparks. Innovation includes revising pool wastewater for flushing toilets in the bathhouse to installing a 200-gallon backwash system rather than the traditional 5,000 gallons. Examples of sustainable design approaches that can lower operating costs via water conservation and energy efficiency include:
Regenerative Media Filtration
A Regenerative Media Filter system utilizes technology that has been in the industry for 50 years. The primary reason for the major return of interest in these systems is the reduction in equipment room space requirements and reduced water consumption. A single tank oriented vertically in the filter area can act as the filter system for the entire pool by enclosing hundreds of hollow tubes adhered to a regenerative filter. This single tank can accommodate the same filter area as five or six traditional high-rate sand filters, creating a significant reduction in required mechanical room space. A typical RMF system may reduce a pool’s water consumption by up to 97%.
High Efficiency Direct Fired Heating
Direct fired pool heating technology has dramatically improved in recent years. Improvements in burner design as they relate to the integrated heat exchanger have resulted in results that achieve 95% to 97% heater efficiency. In addition to the sustainable energy processes, these new design solutions have increased system durability and longevity allowing for an extended warranty period beyond industry averages.
Underwater Pool Lights
LED technology is now available for underwater swimming pool lighting. The bulbs provide energy efficiency in operation by utilizing just 70 watts each compared to the traditional underwater bulbs that use 500 watts or greater. These energy efficient bulbs also provide 10 times the life making them a cost effective and “green” addition to the pool.
Pools lose thermal energy in a many different ways. This energy loss is mostly through water evaporation and its corresponding evaporative cooling. The most efficient way to reduce this form of energy loss is by covering the pool with pool blankets during down times. As pools lose heat through evaporation, the pool heaters supplement this lost heat. The use of pool blankets reduces the demand on pool heaters for maintaining pool operating temperatures. Pool blankets offer a second benefit in that they are an insulating cover that helps maintain heat in the pool. Pool blankets may reduce operating costs from water, heat, and chemical losses by as much as 50% if used every evening for 8-10 hour periods.