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Converting a swimming pool into a water tank in Canberra.

By 4 May 2011 23

We are really getting into the gardening thing at our home in Tuggeranong. Meanwhile our large concrete pool sits alone and sad, doing crap all except providing various insects, reptiles and birds with a watering hole.

I’ve heard of a few companies who can convert an unused pool into the mother of all rainwater tanks. Unfortunately, these companies are not from Canberra.

Has anyone got anyone who knows anyone who has done this to their pool? I would love to get an idea on cost, recommended companies etc.

Thanks for any info……

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23 Responses to Converting a swimming pool into a water tank in Canberra.
#1
Keijidosha9:54 am, 04 May 11

I can’t provide information on converting to a water tank, but I will suggest an alternative: Convert the pool to an artificial wetland. This is a cheap and simple process that can attract all manner of animal species to your yard (assuming you don’t have predatory pets). You can still use the storage to water your yard, and provide habitat for native species.

#2
Chop7110:10 am, 04 May 11

Keijidosha said :

I can’t provide information on converting to a water tank, but I will suggest an alternative: Convert the pool to an artificial wetland. This is a cheap and simple process that can attract all manner of animal species to your yard (assuming you don’t have predatory pets). You can still use the storage to water your yard, and provide habitat for native species.

Awesome if bugs, mozzys, frogs and ducks in your backyard are your thing. Personally i’d rather hook up a heater to that pool and go for a swim.

#3
Pooks10:25 am, 04 May 11

Keijidosha said :

I can’t provide information on converting to a water tank, but I will suggest an alternative: Convert the pool to an artificial wetland. This is a cheap and simple process that can attract all manner of animal species to your yard (assuming you don’t have predatory pets). You can still use the storage to water your yard, and provide habitat for native species.

I like the idea in theory… We are aiming to be partially self sufficient with a big vegetable patch, chickens etc.) After seeing this photo however, I’m not sure that I agree with the wetland thing.

http://www.permaculture.org.au/images/swimming_pool_fish_pond.jpg

I can see it turning into an algae ridden mosquito swamp….

#4
Keijidosha10:57 am, 04 May 11

Of course if not set up well and maintained properly an artificial wetland will become nothing more than a dirty swamp. Most important is to ensure you have adequate water replenishment to stagnation. Obviously routing your home’s stormwater into the pool is the simplest method, and allows you to use the wetland for irrigation without massive drawdown.

As the name of the example you linked to on the permaculture website suggests, that is a pond and not a wetland. To convert the pool to a wetland you need to create a transition from water to land (i.e: taper or remove the top lip of the pool to create a shoreline.) You also need to plant out the surroundings with appropriate vegetation to encourage native species to use the area as a habitat. Yes you will get mosquitos, but insects attract lizards and birds, so in time the system should find balance.

Here’s a better example of a working model:
http://sites.google.com/site/pool2pond/home

#5
ConanOfCooma11:17 am, 04 May 11

Regardless of whether it’s converted to a wetland or pond, under legislation you will still need a pool fence around it.

I would also expect a fenced wetland area in your backyard would have a negative impact on the value of your house, as opposed to a residence with a pool.

#6
Chop7111:51 am, 04 May 11

ConanOfCooma said :

I would also expect a fenced wetland area in your backyard would have a negative impact on the value of your house, as opposed to a residence with a pool.

In Tuggeranong, probably not!!!

#7
Pooks12:40 pm, 04 May 11

Keijidosha, Thanks for those other photos. A backyard wetland looks a lot nicer than I imagined. I would have to agree with Conan though. I doubt many future potential buyers are going to be impressed with a backyard pond.

#8
Rangi3:24 pm, 04 May 11

A large pool is going to be 60000+ litres, even allowing for some loss from the conversion, it would be overkill for just garden use, have you thought about bladder tanks ie for use under houses & verandas, or with the wide range of shapes and size of plastic tanks find one to fit, then building a deck over the pool, it would be much cheaper than having to get a concrete lid built over the pool

#9
Postalgeek3:33 pm, 04 May 11

If you’re worried about mozzies, fish will help control that problem. Get some Hardyheads or Gudgeons.

#10
djk3:45 pm, 04 May 11

How difficult is it to remove a pool and fill it with dirt? I am sure builders from all over Canberra would be lining up to give you “dirt” to fill it up with.

#11
Pooks4:32 pm, 04 May 11

djk said :

How difficult is it to remove a pool and fill it with dirt? I am sure builders from all over Canberra would be lining up to give you “dirt” to fill it up with.

You’re right, The top soil fill is very cheap (possibly even free). You can get the hole filled in for next to nothing. It’s the physical removal of the pool that is so expensive. It can cost up to $20,000 to get the pool broken up,removed and then filled in.

I would rather pay for the heavy duty bladder/pump/decking that Rangi has suggested. At least you get something useable for your money.

#12
troll-sniffer4:37 pm, 04 May 11

Nothing to stop you putting a concrete roof over the pool for other use such as a garden, or even a corrugated iron or stramit roof if you have some lightweight use for it. The important thing about a reservoir of water is that if sunlight is excluded, the water will remain clear. As for the notion above that 60,000 litres is overkill for a garden, I dispute that. Run a couple of sprinlers for a few days and see how much of your 60,000 litres is left.

If you do decide to use it as a tank, you’ll probably need a pump to extract your bounty.

If it were me I’d probably try and find a cheap tough material to use as a liner then fill it in, and if you ever sold your place you could advertise that a pool exists, it just needs to be dug out! You could plant bamboo to your heart’s content knowing it wouldn’t spread! Thank of that!

#13
Hosinator7:34 pm, 04 May 11

I would hazard a guess that companies that do this don’t do it all that often and would be willing to travel to Canberra to do it. Give them a call and go from there.

Give these guys a call and see where you go, keep us updated.
http://www.undergroundwatertanks.net.au/conversions.html

troll-sniffer said :

As for the notion above that 60,000 litres is overkill for a garden, I dispute that. Run a couple of sprinlers for a few days and see how much of your 60,000 litres is left.

I agree with this comment, we have a large tank and it’s good for only about 2 to 3 good lawn waterings during summer.

A 60,000 ltr tank would be the minimum that I would install in a house that I built.

#14
I-filed8:45 pm, 04 May 11

ConanOfCooma said :

Regardless of whether it’s converted to a wetland or pond, under legislation you will still need a pool fence around it.

.

Are you sure? ACT Gubmint’s wetland – with deep pond – in O’Connor (or Lyneham maybe) has no fence at all, just some posts. It could easily drown a child.

#15
I-filed8:53 pm, 04 May 11

You would still have to chlorinate the water constantly, though, wouldn’t you, unless you seal the space?

My 2c worth: making something attractive would take much time, effort & money – probably as much as or more than breaking it up gradually and getting rid of it.

Just filling it with dirt would still be ugly – even if you disguised it, you would still know the pool is there, ugly, and it would never feel right.

If you wouldn’t ever put a wetland in your back yard in the normal course of events, you’re unlikely to really put your heart into a wetland that’s basically to disguise an ugly white elephant.

Essentially it’s an expensive bummer no matter what you try to do with it.

(Above ground pools with deck around seem so much more sensible these days than concrete pools. )

#16
Pooks9:21 pm, 04 May 11

Give these guys a call and see where you go, keep us updated.
http://www.undergroundwatertanks.net.au/conversions.html

troll-sniffer said :

As for the notion above that 60,000 litres is overkill for a garden, I dispute that. Run a couple of sprinlers for a few days and see how much of your 60,000 litres is left.

I’ve seen that website before…seems pretty decent. I’ll give them a call. As for the overkill water, we live on a 1100 sq block that is filled with plants. I’m confident that a 60,000+ litre tank would not go far.

#17
Mr Waffle10:39 pm, 04 May 11

Two words:

Fallout shelter.

#18
ConanOfCooma8:11 am, 05 May 11

I-filed said :

ConanOfCooma said :

Regardless of whether it’s converted to a wetland or pond, under legislation you will still need a pool fence around it.

.

Are you sure? ACT Gubmint’s wetland – with deep pond – in O’Connor (or Lyneham maybe) has no fence at all, just some posts. It could easily drown a child.

Are you sure that legislation pertaining to residential pools and ponds also applied to the ACT Government.

#19
Thumper8:37 am, 05 May 11

Snake pit.

Or crocodile enclosure.

Awesome.

#20
Pooks9:51 am, 05 May 11

Thumper said :

Snake pit.

Or crocodile enclosure.

Awesome.

I would love to host a Crocodylus niloticus in the pool. Unfortunately I have been out-voted by Mr Pooks. He’s worried about the chickens.

#21
Rangi10:26 am, 05 May 11

I said 60000l was overkill from personal experience, I have a 120,000l tank for both garden, household needs for a family of 7 and for topping up a swimming pool and that is more than enough.

60000l for a backyard garden for a house in town still connected to town water, would be unnecessary, I think an average household uses something around 1000l per day, even if we say half of that is used in the garden and assuming is dosen’t rain,that is 120 days worth.

I had to pump out my small pool, (50,000l) for repairs and it flooded the paddock, if you are using 60000l in a just few days on your lawn you are a wasteful fool, wake up to yourself.

BTW in a closed system ie dark inside alge will not grow, it need sunlight, no no the water doesn’t need to be treated.

#22
jadie36011:00 am, 05 May 11

We have a large in-ground concrete pool in our back yard that the previous owners decked over. It looks fantastic and is a great place for our outdoor dining.
It currently has a small bilge pump to get rid of any rain water, however the idea of putting in a bladder type tank is excellent. I think I shall look into retro fitting one.

#23
Pooks2:21 pm, 05 May 11

jadie360 said :

We have a large in-ground concrete pool in our back yard that the previous owners decked over. It looks fantastic and is a great place for our outdoor dining.
It currently has a small bilge pump to get rid of any rain water, however the idea of putting in a bladder type tank is excellent. I think I shall look into retro fitting one.

I’ve seen the decking idea before…I think it looks pretty good! Plus you can’t go wrong with the additional water tank underneath.

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