Hot tubs can help you be healthy, happy, and more relaxed. However, some spa owners worry about the impact they have on the environment, trying to make sure they aren’t negatively impacting prevalent droughts or ensure they’re not being wasteful.
Your desire to be environmentally conscious does not have to be at odds with hot tub ownership. The Association of Pool & Spa Professionals (APSP) are strong advocates for water conservation and know that hot tub isn’t inherently wasteful. If you do all you can on your part as a sensible hot tub owner, hot tub water conservation is a completely attainable goal. All it takes is a little bit of education and effort! We’ve compiled 10 simple tips to get you started.
1. Get a cover
This is such a majorly important factor in hot tub ownership. Among other benefits, spa covers keep water from evaporating which means you’ll use less water to replenish it. You’ll also use fewer chemicals as it’s easier to keep the water properly balanced when dirt and debris are kept out of the mix.
Covers reduce evaporation and water waste by a whopping 95%! Take good care of your hot tub cover to extend its life and look to replace it when it starts looking worn and becoming less effective. You may also want to consider adding a floating cover on your hot tub. These thermal covers prevent evaporation, keep water from collecting in the cover, and helps to retain heat which makes it more energy efficient.
2. Use the hot tub for relaxation instead of a bath
This one may seem odd, but hear me out. No, I don’t mean use the hot tub to get yourself clean. In fact, please don’t! Soap residue is a major problem for hot tub chemistry. What I mean is that if you like to soak in hot water as a form of relaxation and own a hot tub, swap out your typical bath for a soak in the hot tub. A typical 80 gallon bath tub uses enough water to fill a 400 gallon spa in just five uses. Instead of bathing twice a week for four months and consuming 2,720 gallons of water (yikes!), you can use just 400 gallons of water throughout the same four months. That’s a serious difference.
3. Only drain when absolutely necessary
While some spa manufacturers suggest that you refill your hot tub every 3-4 months, do your best to maintain your water so that you only need to replace it 2-3 times a year. If you’re an excellent hot tub owner, you should be able to use the same water for 4-6 months at a time.
If your water is staying properly balanced, is clean, and you don’t have to do any repairs to your hot tub, don’t drain it!
4. Keep water balanced
Relatedly, keeping your water properly balanced means that you will have to replace your water less frequently. Some water chemistry problems mean that you’ll have to do a manual reset by replacing your water entirely. To avoid those kinds of issues, make sure you follow a strict maintenance schedule and are constantly keeping an eye on your water chemistry.
5. Reuse the water
When you do have to drain your hot tub, consider reusing the water to water your landscape. A few days before you drain the pool, stop adding chemicals and let the water rest for between 48-72 hours. If you don’t want to wait that long, some retailers sell a neutralizing agent that will make the water usable immediately.
The water can then be used on your lawn and flower beds. Skipping even one sprinkler cycle on your lawn can save a significant amount of water.
6. Fix leaks
Be vigilant as a hot tub owner. This means keeping your eye out for possible hot tub leaks. Whether it’s before each use or several times a week, take a walk around your hot tub and check for any wet spots on the lawn or decking, depending on where yours is mounted. Check inside the cabinet and take a look at the pump and heater, making sure you don’t have any errant leaks. This can obviously be a significant waste of water and the sooner you catch a pump shaft seal leak or on one of the unions, the less water you’ll waste and the less wear on your equipment.
7. Clean your filters
Your hot tub filters need to be cleaned regularly in order to extend your spa’s cleanliness which lends to less frequently draining. Your filter catches all the dirt and debris that enters the spa during use. Filters should be cleaned monthly by removing and spraying off with a garden hose to remove any trapped dirt that have been filtered out. You can also use spa filter cleaner to make sure they get extra clean.
8. Rinse your bathing suit
This seems like a weird request, but if you take proper care of your swimsuit and don’t use a standard detergent when cleaning, you won’t bring soap residue into the water with you. Residual soapy detergent is a major contributor to poor water quality and may cause you all sorts of problems with keeping your water chemistry up to snuff. You may not be able to control what your guests bring into the water, but you can make sure you do your part.
9. Recycle water
While we’ve already suggested repurposing old hot tub water, you can also use gathered water to replace any evaporated water that may have escaped your spa. Some people use rain barrels or similar setups to catch rain water and refill their hot tub with it or use it around their yard. This is a great and savvy suggestion.
If you have an older hot tub that is difficult to keep balanced, consider an upgrade. Spas manufactured in the past five years are more advanced cleaning systems that keep the water clean much longer. Check with your spa dealer or look around online and decide if only having to change your water every six months is worth the investment!
Look over all 10 tips—are these things you’re already doing? Or could you stand to be a little more water conscious? Implement these hot tub water conservation techniques and you can save thousands of gallons of water a year.