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Pool Tips

Do I need plans to build a swimming pool in Durban, South Africa?

Everyday I receive telephone calls from prospective swimming pool owners wanting a quote on a new swimming pool. I always ask them if they have had the pool approved by town planning, and 70% of the time, the response I get is: "Do I need plans to build a swimming pool!??"

The answer is yes, you not only need plans, you also need an engineer to sign the plans and you need approval (permission) from the local municipality before you can commence with the build. Building a swimming pool is adding a structure to your property. You are also changing the footprint of the land, so you need experts in both the drawing and building of your swimming pool.

Usually, a swimming pool is not too complicated to design and draw, but there are certain regulations that need to be adhered to in terms of building lines, safety fences, waste water disposal and in some cases structural support - in case the soil conditions aren't favourable. If you don't get permission from the authorities, and you build the pool regardless, the structure is an illegal one. You may not be able to sell your house, or even worse, you could be instructed to demolish your pool.

To safeguard yourself when building a swimming pool, make sure the builder is a registered member of the National Spa and Pool Institute of South Africa. There have recently been cases of companies lying about their membership, so don't simply believe a company is a member because they say so. If their company is not listed on www.nspi.co.za then they are not members. Don't even consider dealing with non-members, the problems you could encounter will make you never want a swimming pool again.

Please beware of pool companies that tell you plans are not required for swimming pools. Swimming pools of any shape and size must be approved by the authorities before the pool is built. In some cases, special permission can be given to commence before the plans go through the final stages of approval, and this is when it's better to deal with an expert with regard to the drawing and submitting of your swimming pool plans.

 

 

We still regularly get asked if plans are needed build a swimming pool in Durban, South Africa.

Almost very day I receive telephone calls from want-to-be swimming pool owners for a quote on a new swimming pool. I always ask them if they have had the pool approved by the municipality, and 70% of the time, the response I get is: "I need plans to build a swimming pool!??"

In short, yes, you not only need plans, you also need an engineer to sign the plans and you need approval from the local municipality before you can commence with the build. Building a swimming pool is actually adding a structure to your property. You are also changing the footprint of the land, so you need experts in both the drawing and building of your swimming pool.

Usually, a swimming pool is not too complicated to design and draw, but there are certain regulations that need to be adhered to in terms of building lines, safety fences, waste water disposal and in some cases structural support - in the event that the soil conditions aren't favourable. If you don't get permission from the authorities, and you build the pool regardless, the pool is deemed an illegal structure. You may not be able to sell your house, or even worse, you might be instructed to demolish your pool.

To protect yourself when building a swimming pool, always make sure the builder is a registered member of the National Spa and Pool Institute of South Africa. There have been many cases of companies lying about their membership, so don't simply believe a company is a member because they say so. If their company is not listed on www.nspi.co.za then they are definately not members. The problems you could encounter when dealing with non-members will make you never want a swimming pool again.

Please beware of pool companies that tell you plans are not required for swimming pools. Swimming pools of any shape and size must be approved by the authorities before the pool is installed. In some cases, special permission can be given to commence before the plans go through the final stages of approval, and this is when it's better to deal with an expert architect with regard to the drawing and submitting of your swimming pool plans.

 

 

Calcium Hardness is an essential aspect of your swimming pool water balance and should be checked regularly. (At least three to four times a year, after heavy rains and especially after draining and filling up your pool.) A high calcium level can cause scale (staining the pool surface) and if it's very high,it could affect the efficiency of other chemicals in your swimming pool.

In a marble plaster pool, keep your calcium hardness at 200 to 275 parts per million, and if it's a fibreglass pool, 175 to 225 parts per million.

Decreasing calcium hardness usually means dumping the water and topping up with fresh water. Some claim that there are chemicals on the market that can remove calcium from water, but the jury is out as to whether it just hides calcium from tests or whether it actually removes it from the water. To increase the calcium, add calcium flakes to the water.

calcium flakes

After a heavy rainfall, your swimming pool may go brown from surrounding garden sand being washed into the pool. This could take days to clear by running the water through the sand filter. Sometimes the sand filter clogs up within hours, and the circulation is then so poor, that the pool remains dirty.

A quick-fix to this problem is to flocculate (cause the dirt to form clumps and settle at the bottom of) the pool.

coagulate

Use about 2kg’s of alum powder per 50kl of pool water. Always add alum to the pool with the filter set to ‘circulate’ so the alum bypasses the filter sand.

Once the alum is mixed in with the pool water (1 – 2 hours), switch the pump off. As the alum starts to settle, so does the rest of the dirt in the swimming pool. This usually solves the problem 1st time round.

When all the dirt has settled on the floor (approximately 24 hours later), be sure to vacuum it to waste (not through the filter) as the filter will clog up within minutes, and will most likely blow the dirt back into the pool, leaving you at square one!

Make sure the swimming pool is topped up to the brim before starting to vacuum, or you could run out of water half way through the process.