The Association of Pool and Spa Professionals has developed a standard meant to help combat water shortages.

“APSP-13 American National Standard for Water Conservation Efficiency in Residential and Public Pools, Spas, Portable Spas and Swim Spas” addresses methods and technologies to conserve water.

The standard outlines strategies that should be taking in the construction and maintenance of pools and spas to minimize water loss caused by such factors as evaporation, splashout, filtration, leaks, maintenance, total dissolved solids control and other byproducts of use.

In those jurisdictions that adopt it, the code will apply to both new and existing facilities.

On the design end, the standard calls for such measures as installing devices that monitor water levels to prevent the overfilling of pools and spas. It also says that pool and spa design must include a way to divert splashout back into the vessel whenever possible. Strategies here can include the installation of coping or cantilevered decking that extends 1 inch or more into the pool. The standard also outlines a method by which to check new pools for leaks.

As far as maintenance, the language addresses filter cleaning and backwashing, stating that manufacturer instructions must be followed and stipulating at what pressure and vacuum readings these processes should occur.

Additionally, the standard calls for quarterly testing of existing residential pools for leaks and total dissolved solid (TDS) levels. When TDS surpasses 1,500 parts per million more than the start-up level, the standard allows for reverse osmosis, nanofiltration, partial draining/refilling, and other, equally effective means to lower TDS.

The language states that public pools should be tested for leaks monthly.

APSP also hopes the standard arms professionals with information they can use to inform the public. It includes informational appendices meant for professionals to provide to homeowners, local water boards and other government officials to show ways water can be saved, in the hopes of encouraging good citizenship.

“With the world placing increasing demands on finite water resources, the responsible use of water is an immediate concern,” said Dan Johnson, chairman of the APSP-13 Standard Writing Committee. “The next drought can occur at any time and we need to be ready. Operating in compliance with this standard will make the use of water more efficient and will help reduce water loss in pools and spas.”

APSP said the idea and funding for the standard came from its 501(c)(3) foundation, called World of Recreational Water Foundation. Like its other standards, APSP-13 was developed in accordance with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) consensus process, which involves individuals from a variety of disciplines.

“The [standard] demonstrates the pool and hot tub industry’s commitment to water conservation and the sustainability of its lifeblood: water,” APSP said in the forward to the standard.

The standard costs $87 for APSP members, $165 for non-members. It grants permission to copy the appendices and hand out to pool/spa owners and officials for educational purposes, but other use requires permission from APSP.