MONTVERDE—What's most remarkable about Roberto and Cyndi Carrion's new pool in Montverde isn't its party-friendly design or even its eye-catching view of Lake Apopka — although those are noteworthy features. It's that the pool manages to be environmentally friendly, too.
The Lake County couple wanted to enjoy a bountiful lifestyle but not at the expense of the environment, so they partnered with the publisher of Green Builder Magazine to design a "glamorously green" home and pool that showcase energy and water efficiency and sustainable construction ideas.
American Pools and Spas of Orlando built the 15,000-gallon pool that demonstrates eco-sensitive construction by using features such as a salt chlorine sanitation system, solar heat technology and high-performance variable-speed pumps.
A salt chlorine generator, for example, reduces the need for chemical chlorine, and solar heat is an efficient and renewable energy source.
Sam Brown, sales and design consultant with American Pools and Spas, says his company used the "most advanced energy-efficient pumps on the market to ensure the pump operates at the exact power level needed and no harder."
The variable-speed pumps are programmable, which can result in energy savings of up to 90 percent, he says.
Also used was an oversized Pentair diatomaceous-earth filter that "requires the least amount of pumping power to achieve a needed flow rate, lowering your utility costs," Brown says.
D.E. filters ensure better water quality as well by trapping "dirt and debris as small as five microns," Brown says. "That means body oils, suntan lotions, pollens, dust and even some bacteria are caught in a D.E. filter, leaving behind sparkling clear, healthier water."
An advanced Paramount PV3 automatic in-floor pool cleaning and circulation system was custom-designed for the pool to ensure that "at least 99 percent of the pool is clean at all times," Brown says.
The system allows the homeowner to use fewer chemicals and less energy, and here's why: Pools typically circulate water near the surface where chemicals and heat quickly evaporate. An in-floor system is better because "heat rises and heats it [the pool] more efficiently," Brown says.
Meanwhile, the Paramount Clear 03 water purification system generates ozone, creating a water-cleaning process similar to the process used for purifying bottled water, Brown says. This helps reduce the demand for pool chemicals by up to 70 percent. When ozone is introduced into the pool's pump, he says, chlorinated compounds are removed, which helps to increase the lifespan of the pool filter and other equipment.
"It's like a natural shock system, without chemicals," Brown says.
Don't think that just because a pool is eco-friendly, it can't look good too.
The Carrions wanted to entertain in and around the pool, so Brown included a knee wall, built of flagstone and faux stone, that serves as extra seating during parties. Inside the 15-by-32-foot pool with aggregate finish is a granite bar with a foot rest and four concrete stools. There's also a tanning ledge and beach area.
"I wanted to show you can build a green pool and still make it glamorously sexy," Carrion says.
The pool features a vanishing edge, but "the water just kind of flows over the edge instead of splashing, so less water is wasted through evaporation," Brown says. Even the LED color-changing lights are energy efficient.
The greener choices cost more upfront, Brown says, though he did not have precise figures, "but in two years, you've recouped those costs and [in the meantime] you can see a noticeable difference in water quality," Brown says.