Jun 13 2023Share

Ways to keep your pool waterwise as temperatures rise

By AMWUA Staff

Outdoor water use accounts for most of a household’s monthly water budget, and pools are among the most significant outdoor water users. As temperatures continue to rise, more people will be looking to stay cool in the pool. Still, before diving in, it’s important to ensure your pool runs as efficiently as possible throughout the summer heat.

Leaks in your pool system may be difficult to find and create water waste that can also leave you with a high-water bill. Often leaks like these can go undetected for the entire summer which adds up to a significant amount of water loss. An ongoing pool leak can waste hundreds of gallons of water.

To ensure your pool is in tip-top shape when it comes to water use here are some easy steps for you to take.

First look for any visible leaks
Turn the pool equipment on and look for visible leaks on pipes. Walk around your pool and yard while carefully inspecting the area around your pool equipment, which is where a lot of leaks can be found. Look for white crusty mineral deposits on pipes which could indicate a slow leak. Also, look for wet spots on the ground around the pool, pool equipment, and between the equipment and the pool.

Test for hidden leaks
Check the pool autofill for proper operation. Pool water evaporation is normal; however, an abnormal drop in water level may indicate a leak. An autofill (automatic pool water leveler) can mask a leak as it will automatically replace water lost and thereby prevent a visible drop in pool level.

You can also do the bucket test which is easy to do. Just follow the simple instructions below or watch

  1. Disable (turn off) the autofill (if present).
  2. Place a bucket or container on a pool step without submerging it.
  3. Use a large rock or brick to weigh down the container.
  4. Fill it with water so it is the same level as the pool water.
  5. Mark the water level inside the bucket using either a water-soluble marker or a piece of tape.
  6. Mark the pool water level on the outside of the bucket.
  7. Wait at least two to three days to let natural evaporation occur.

Compare the two water levels.

  1. If the pool water level (outside mark) dropped more than the bucket's water level (inside mark), you may have a leak and may want to contact a pool contractor. 
  2. If the level changes are the same, only evaporation has occurred.

Resume normal autofill operation.

Once your leaks have been fixed there are few other simple ways you can conserve water in the pool this summer.

Keep filter clean to avoid backwashing
Clean your filters regularly. The average backwash uses between 250 to 1,000 gallons of water. So remember to only backwash when necessary. Recycle your water by running your backwash water onto lawns and shrubs. Ensure that water is absorbed before it leaves your property and avoid allowing runoff to enter adjacent properties.

Lower the pool temperature
Reducing the temperature also reduces water loss to evaporation. Cooling pumps can lower pool temps up to 15 degrees.

Don’t overfill the pool
Keep the water level lower to reduce water loss due to splashing.

Now you are properly prepped to stay cool, be waterwise, and ensure water remains in the pool where it belongs. Also, make sure you check for leaks periodically throughout the summer and year-round. It’s an easy way to conserve water and save money.

To print or save this week's blog, a PDF version is available HERE.

For over 50 years, Arizona Municipal Water Users Association has worked to protect our member cities’ ability to provide assured, safe, and sustainable water supplies to their communities. For more water information, visit

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