Water from a Swimming Pool

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Seems many people will have a temporary water supply in private and public swimming pools. I'm having a hard time finding out what kind of filtering or treatment is needed to make this source drinkable, and how long it stays drinkable once filtered or treated..... Also, I flunked Chem Lab in college......

I'm finding it interesting(?) how information that normally wouldn't even occur to us as rational, suddenly may be a matter of life.

Thanks for any help

-- Eric Coolbaugh (ejc@spawar.navy.mil), January 11, 1999


I wouldn't think you could consider pool water for drinking water. I don't know about your pool, but we recently had a malfunction with our pool pump, and after about two days, we had frogs in our pool enjoying the algae growth. Also, the toxicity of the shock and the chlorine is pretty strong. Everything I know from pools is from observation, though, so someone more knowledgeable may have an opinion.


-- jhollander (hollander@ij.net), January 11, 1999.

Gee guys did you ever go swimming and not drink some water? It's a source of water, let your WATER FILTER do its job. With the right type of filter you can drink water out of a muddy ditch.

-- johnboy (jlandry@tgn.net), January 11, 1999.

A few years ago my oldest son was travelling in China, and had to get his drinking water at times from swamp water. Without his portable water filter he wouldn't have made it. I'm relying on my water filter and a swimming pool for my water needs. Just hope it never gets that bad.

-- thinkIcan (thinkIcan@make.it), January 11, 1999.

Where can I get a filter that will take care of the frog cooties? I hadn't considered pool water for drinking before, so I'm really glad you all wrote in. Any info would be appreciated!


-- jeannie (hollander@ij.net), January 12, 1999.

Katadyn makes some silver- impregnated-cermaic and activated-carbon models... General Ecology makes some that use hand pumps to pressurize water and force it through a reverse-osmosis membrane... Aqua Pure makes a couple using a ceramic filter akin to Katadyn's, although I haven't found a primary URL for them yet... Any of these could make swimming pool water from 1986 drinkable.

OddOne, who's going to buy a few purifiers in the next few months...

-- OddOne (mocklamer@geocities.com), January 12, 1999.

Here's a good solution for water recovery for drinking water(i.e. rain, snow, swimming pools etc.). If you have water filter questions check out this site http://www.atkinsid.com/bottle.htm and click on his e-mail. If you order mention the name "Duane" anywhere on the form and get 5% for all Y2Kers.

-- Duane (Duane@aol.com), January 12, 1999.

OddOne, Katadyn is at .net not .com. Makes a BIG difference. :-)


-- Gayla Dunbar (privacy@please.com), January 12, 1999.

Katadyn filters are very hard to locate (at least my experience).

Take a look at "The original Gravity filtration system," the British Berkefeld- time tested for over 140 years. Just got off the phone to order mine, 1-2 week shipping time. Rep said it is getting real busy, but expect that to increase in a few months to the point they are anticipating their shelves to be emptied. Check this out at:


Good luck!

-- Joseph (jbabinsky@theriver.com), January 12, 1999.

Check out http://www.solarsolns.com/default.htm for some nifty ideas. Distillation will do an excellent job of getting chemical salts, algae, bacteria out of your pool water. What you will need to consider is making sure your pump is working (photovoltaic power?). You will also want to refill the pool with clean water after the swimming season to avoid accumulated salts and make sure you have sufficient chemicals on hand to keep the pool water in decent shape, inlcuding flocking agents to bind and settle proteins for the filtrations system to remove. Wouldn't worry about the chlorine too much: it dissipates quickly with sunlight (which is why you normally keep adding it) and what do you think your local treatment plant does to sewage, etc. before they return it to the water cycle anyway?

-- Maria (encelia@mailexcite.com), January 13, 1999.

Check now (early Jan) for the status of city and neighborhood pools near you. Many are drained over the winter, some freeze solid, others are "secured" and covered with a tarp - but with no pump or filter running. That will cause water to real quickly turn "green" and scummy. Above ground pools (near houses) more often freeze, since they are exposed to air temp, not ground temp.

Look also at fences, gates, locks, access, distance, etc.

So the status of your local pools "now" is probably what they will be like next year this time of year when you (and ten thousand others) are looking for water.

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.r@csaatl.com), January 13, 1999.

I plan to use our 30,000 gallon pool as an emergency water source. After studying the problem, I decided to invest in a 12volt demand pump (like those used in RV's) supplying water to the house through a water hose connected to an outside faucet. I'll have the 'city water' turned off at the meter. The pump will push the clean pool water (the pool is covered in winter, but the pool pump and chlorinator can still be operated) through a pre-filter. For cooking and drinking, the water at the kitchen sink is pushed through a another series of filters, a 1 micron filter and a charcoal filter that removes any odor, chlorine, and lead. I plan to run my diesel generator about 6-8 hrs a day for refrigeration and to charge batteries. The pool pump will also operate if need be. Beats bringing water in by the bucket. And it allows us to use shower, washing machine, etc. Rain water from the roof will be divirted to the pool to aid in replenishment.

-- Gerald R. Cox (grcox@internetwork.net), January 17, 1999.

Please see my reply to "Best Water Filter," since the answer fits your question too. Best wishes.

-- Arlia Dorough (arlia@worldnet.att.net), May 29, 1999.

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