The Great Pool Debate

Every summer, ever since we built the house, the Great Pool Debate has raged. A pool, a decent sized one, is the one item we always said that we would like to have. We would love an inground pool, but we think an above ground one will be more in our price range. Unfortunately a pool comes under the “luxury” coloumn not the “essentials” coloumn – hense the debate.

This year we have been swimming nearly every night in the dam. Now that the last of the ducks has died and it has been drained and cleaned out properly, it hasn’t been too bad a place to cool off for an hour or so. Ashley has been keeping it full with the irrigation water, which is lovely. Unfortunately the leeches that have come with the water are not! And yes I know leeches can’t hurt you, but that’s not the point. Another reason for the debate to begin again. Also it has the full afternoon sun on it, which means that we can’t go swimming until quite late or risk being sunburnt.

So yesterday Ashley went tothe local pool shop and checked out the prices and bought home a few brouchures. We have also been checking on ebay and in the trading post, but are leaning towards a new pool that at least comes with a warranty if something goes wrong.

Here are some things you may not have known, especially about above ground pools….

Did you know that a pool ladder does not come as a part of the pool. It is classed as an optional accessory and must be purchased as such. One has to wonder how you would get in or out of the pool if you didn’t have a ladder. The prices of such ladders also range from $250 (basic design) to $850 for a super dooper design. Which I might add sits inside the pool, so you would still need some decking or another ladder to get into the pool.

If you purchase what they call a braceless pool (one which has straight smooth sides with no peices sticking out to brace it) and the pool walls are over 1.32 metres in height (if it is above the ground), then you don’t need to fence the pool. In Victoria (and probably Australia) it is law to fence a pool with proper pool fencing that a child can’t climb and to have a child proof catch on the gate. However apparently a pool with sides that are 1.32 metres in height is considered too high for a child to climb and therefore safe. The only part of the pool that much be fenced is where the ladder and the filtration/pump system is. I’ve seen my children climb, there isn’t a snowflakes chance in hell that I would trust any of them not to figure out a way to climb something if they really wanted to.

Also Salt Chlorination is the way of the future – better for you than straight chlorine (remember all the girls with blond hair – it always went green form the amount of chlorine they put in the town pool) and much cheaper in the long run. Unfortuately that too is an optional extra and at close to $1000 ($1500 if you don’t purchase it at the time you purchase the pool) an expensive one at that.

Did you know that while swimming pools have to be fenced, a dam doesn’t!!! There are no guidelines laid down by council that say you must fence the dam. Now ours in in the orchard which has a fence around it, but it isn’t exactly child proof, just chook proof. This is the one area where we do trust our children. They know they are never to go into the dam without Ashley or I being there and have never, ever even tried to go swimming without us. I guess like all parents we have to trust their word – they know dams are dangerous, but don’t have the same fears about swimming pools, probably cause pools are regarded as “safe” places to play.

Now I know we could go swimming in the outdoor pool (run by council) or at the Leisure Centre (a health club with public use pool) but quite frankly it would cost a fortune for all of us to go, and whenever I have gone swimming in the town pool I always end up with a tummy bug. Neither option appeals to us. The thought of me in a swimsuit in public view may also have something to do with it….vbg.

So after weighing up all the pros and cons, finances won out in the end and there will be no pool in Calidores garden this year. All up it was going to cost us over $6000 (and that wasn’t the biggest pool there was) so we have decided against it. The thought of taking that much money out of what we have paid into the mortgage sends chills down my spine and until we can get a crystal ball that can see into our financial future or we win tattslotto (unlikely cause we don’t buy a ticket) or a rich aunt dies and leaves us some money (don’t have one of them) then the pool will stay in the luxury coloumn for another year or two.

Which is a pity, cause I spent a couple of hours planning how the garden would go around the pool and it was starting to look really good in my minds eye. Ahhh well, off to do some weeding instead.

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2 thoughts on “The Great Pool Debate

  1. It’s always a tough decision to weigh up “luxury” items over “necessary” items. That’s why I just put everything into the “necessary” column.

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