Tahlequah Daily Press

July 24, 2013

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Above-ground pools a lower-cost alternative

Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — With sweltering temperatures common to Oklahoma summers, many residents dream of owning a swimming pool.

But the cost of installing an in-ground pool – coupled with the modest incomes prevalent in this state – can discourage such splurging.

Fortunately, there are alternatives that are less expensive, and even more practical for the rocky terrain common in this area.

Teresa Gullett lives near the lake, and opted for an above-ground pool. She said it uses a cooper ionizer rather than chemicals like chlorine and shock to maintain and believes it is the best value for the money.

“We spent $7,000 and got the mid-range pool, which included the pump, the ionizer and the liner and everything. After we added the base material and decking, we spent less than $10,000,” said Gullett. “What is so nice is that it’s virtually maintenance-free. I don’t have to check pH levels, just add a gallon of Chlorox bleach once a week.”

Gullett said standard maintenance is required, such as vacuuming and skimming, but it takes very little time.

“And when we close it for the winter, we just drop the water level a few inches, thrown an inner tube in the middle and cover it up,” said Gullett. “When we open it in the spring, it’s really not a big chore. The water is murky, but we add two gallons of bleach and the ionizer takes care of it within a few days. We don’t have to shock it or anything like that.”

According to Carefree Clearwater Limited, a company providing copper ionized water features, water has been successfully treated with copper and silver for centuries. The technology was perfected when NASA developed an electronic system to purify drinking water for the Apollo space missions.

Ionization systems release copper and silver into the water which destroys bacteria and algae and are then filtered out. According to the site, it can easily be added to existing equipment.