In our effort to create a man made lake with clear water, we construct swimming pools. They operate on fresh water unless one has the luxury to be next to the sea and pump water in and out of their pool ceaselessly.
A pool is a closed water circuit which fundamentally incorporates the swimming tank, a filter, piping and a circulator to push water around the circuit. Lights, diving boards, water jets, etc are extras that make pools more appealing and fun to use.
When managing a pool our main goal is to keep pool water free of germs and fouling agents.
This can be achieved by collecting dirty surface water, channeling it through a filter and when purified, back into the pool. Heavy pollutants, which submerge, are collected from the bottom by means of a hoover.
Types of pools
On above principle we can differentiate two types of pools: overflow and skimmer. By means of a skimmer a number of rectangular openings are introduced around the pool at water surface level. Water is collected through them and then driven into the filter. In the case of the overflow type, water surface comes right up to the brim of the surrounding walls and thus when the pool is used, excess water flows over the walls and into a channel which runs around the pool and into the filter. The latter type is more popular even though a little more expensive, not only for being more efficient but also more pleasing to the eye and sometimes even spectacular like for example, in the case of a vanishing edge or horizon pool: when one looks at the vanishing edge it feels as if there is no wall there and that water flows over it forever.
Concerning their method of construction, pools can either be made of concrete or vinyl-lined steel and even fiberglass. During the last years vinyl-liner pools are very popular.
Reinforced concrete is the oldest means of construction. The pool bottom, side walls and pump house are built on site, either by pouring or shooting concrete. The inner surface of the pool is then treated for water tightness and finished by means of one layer of plaster and one of quartz aggregate. Finally the surface is either laid with tiles or covered by an elasto-plastic coat of paint. The top perimeter of the pool is covered by pre-cast concrete pieces, tiles, stone or marble, depending on the effect one desires to achieve. Reinforced concrete pools can be a little costlier than others because they are labor-intensive but they can take any desired shape, they last for decades and require minimum maintenance.
Vinyl-liner pools are less labor intensive than concrete and can be built at a fraction of time.
Their construction requires assembly of ready made panels, made of steel or resinous materials like fiberglass, which are then covered with a vinyl liner. They are cheaper than concrete pools but their shapes are limited in numbers since panels are pre-fabricated, they require care when used so as the lining is not bruised and need to be maintained carefully.
Swimming pools can be pre-fabricated or cast on site, skimmer or overflow, marble coping or horizon and thus are a hard decision to make. They also need to be constructed properly, hence it is always best to have an engineer helping you to get the right one and yourselves simply enjoy the fun.