Cost of filling up varies for pool owners

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 3, 2007

With summer heat hitting the Tri-State early this year, people are already enjoying the water-related fun of their swimming pools.

But one of the aspects of having a pool that isn’t so fun is the cost of filling it up.

A 15-foot by 24-foot oval pool holds about 8,000 gallons of water.

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In Ironton, it will cost about $75 dollars, at $9.40 per thousand gallons (water and sewage rates), to fill it up. If you have Hecla Water, it will cost $7.50 per gallon for a total of $60.

A larger pool, of course, means a bigger bill. A 20-foot by 40-foot above ground pool holds 33,000 gallons. In Ironton, it will cost about $310. With Hecla, it will cost about $250.

Ironton City Water Administrator Eleanor Smith said that the city sees a spike in water usage this time of year.

“That’s not just from pools though,” she said. “When we get warm weather, people are watering gardens and flowers, if you have children they want to fill their little plastic pools, and run through the sprinklers.”

The city does not eliminate or adjust sewer rates for filling up a pool, meaning pool owners still have to pay the $5 per thousand gallons of water.

“Our (sewage) rates are based on (water) usage so if you do anything like that, it increases bills,” Smith said.

But people love their pools despite the job of keeping it filled and all the chemicals required to keep it clean.

Ironton resident Kyle Addis is one of those people. His parents own a pool and the Ohio University student said it’s nice to have a pool.

“My friends like me having a pool,” he said of the 14-foot by 28-foot pool the family owns. “I think we get a few more visitors because of it.”

They most recently had a pool party over the Memorial Day weekend.

“It’s nice when it gets hot,” he said. “You can hop in and cool off.”

He said they don’t have to fill up the pool every year, they just drain off about a quarter of the water and treat it with chemicals in the


“We only fill it partially,” Addis said. “It’s not really that expensive that way.”

Besides water, the other basic ingredients every pool needs are the chemicals to keep it sanitary.

Amanda Cochran-Moore, who works at her

parents’ store, Cochran and Company Pool Store in Ironton, said there are only three chemicals needed.

“That’s chlorine tablets which are your main sanitizer, shock to keep the chlorine active and algaecide to keep the pool from turning green,” she said.

She said the main issue that people have this time of year after opening their pools is cloudy water or green water from the pool water sitting untreated since last fall.

“Our rainwater around here is acid rain and it lowers the ph levels and algaecide,” Moore said. “So when those are low, your chlorine doesn’t work and you grow algae.”

She said there is no big shock when it comes to keeping the pool clean and usable as long as you keep up with the chlorine tablets because the sun and number of people using the pool affects the chlorine level.

“You have to have the tablets with chlorine and a stabilizer,” Moore said. “The sun just sucks out the chlorine in a day so you have to have the stablizer.”

Moore said the most popular size of inground pool they sell is the 16-foot by 32-foot size. It goes from 3 feet deep to eight feet deep and has a diving board.

“It’s the mid-range size,” she said. “It’s a nice size pool that doesn’t take up too much space.”

Alan Pancake of Kitts Hill was in the Cochran and Company Pool Store Saturday to pick up some pool toys for his sons.

“We’ve had the pool for five years,” he said, adding that he had it put it in to give the kids something to do. “All the pools around here are closed here except Sta-Tan.”

Asked if he could imagine living without a pool now, his answer was simple. … “Nope.”