Swimming Pools in Spain
How great is it to have a swimming pool in your own back garden? Especially in August. Houses lined with marble (Marmol) are great for keeping cool inside the house, but nothing beats a quick dip into the cool, blue water.
It also a delight that your kids will be fully fledged swimmers in such a short space of time. Even 3 year olds will be swimming unaided within just a couple of summers. I know our kids were. A swimming pool in the back garden is an essential and enoyable part of living in Spain.
Swimming pool maintenance
Usually this job belongs to the Gardener or Gardeners if you have a really big house. Otherwise there are plenty of odd job guys willing to clean the pool for a few hours a week (On or below 10 Euros per hour is an okay price). Usually he'll go and get the chemicals you need and charge you for it later. Or there are professional pool cleaning companies who will take care of everything but charge a bit more.
Maintaining a swimming pool yourself
Maintaining a swimming pool is absolutely fine if you've done it before. You will know how to backwash and filter with the pump and also empty the waste properly over time so that the walls of the pool don't collapse or pop up out of the ground. You'll also know how many chlorine tablets to put in the skimmer, and how to work the PH tester to check the acidity / alkaline levels in the water.
I do know most of these things by now but its still a pain to do and if you're an amateur like me you should expect the pool to go green on many occasions. Which it has. However, don't panic. A swimming pool has to get pretty bad before it needs to be emptied. In fact most experts recommend that you never empty it. And the Adjuntamientos don't like it either. Expect a large bill from them if you have to refill the poll.
In fact you hardly ever empty a swimming pool. A high dose of chlorine or if its really bad Choque treatment and it will be clear as glass within a few days. Dont swim it it for a bit though or you risk extremely irritated skin for a few days or worse.
Community / shared swimming pools
We have lived in many urbanisations where the cost of maintaining the swimming pool or pools (depending on the size of the urbanisation), is shared amongst many houses and owners. Quite often these pools are much larger although many urbanisations now build the swimming pools below a certain size to avoid having to employ life guards which the Adjuntamiento says is necessary if the swimming pool is so big or above.
If you live in one of these urbanisations where a lifeguard is necessary, great. You can sunbathe with BOTH eyes shut while he watches the kids!
Professional swimming pool cleaners
Better still, think about getting a Gardener or Dedicated swimming pool cleaner. They know exactly how the pump works, what chemicals to use and how much. And then you get a swimming pool that stays blue right through the summer without the hassle.
Building your own swimming pool
Although on the Costas of Spain its rare to find a house without a swimming pool, its not unheard of. We had a friend with just such a house, big garden but no pool. He, like everyone else, have to put in a planning application to put in a swimming pool. I believe that the time it took for approval of the application from submission was about 18 months. This may have improved in the meantime but if the Malaga courts are anything to go thats not very likely. Simpler just to buy a villa with a pool.