Is a pool water delivery service worth the cost?

updated: January 22, 2021

Of the many necessary tasks required to maintain a swimming pool, refilling it is one that many people don’t think about until it suddenly needs to be done. But like all aspects of pool ownership, there’s a cost involved.

Refill Your Pool Water
There are basically 2 main reasons filling a swimming pool is necessary

  1. An irreparable pool – This could be a pool seriously damaged due to a natural disaster such as an earthquake. In this case, it must be drained and repaired. Also, your pool water may be beyond help if it’s been neglected for too long. The chemical balance, algae, and bacteria might be so bad that no pool treatment will work. In that case, the only option is to drain the pool and start all over.
  2. New pools – This is obvious, but certainly a better situation than #1. At least in this situation, it’s not an emergency or health hazard. So you have time to plan and budget for exactly how you want to go about filling the pool.

Most people also need to top off the water level when opening it for the summer or after a lot of evaporation or splash out. Other scenarios that require refill include converting to a saltwater pool, or if it’s been 3 – 5 years since the last refilling.

How do you determine the best method for filling a pool?

Several factors can determine the most cost effective options to fill your pool. Make a list of all of these factors to give yourself a better idea of how to proceed. Here are a few:

Cost of water
  • Where you live
  • The type of water your home uses
  • Cost of water in your region
  • Time of year & weather conditions
  • Pool water volume

Which method is right for you?

There are 3 basic methods of refilling a pool:

City or County Water

City water supply

Once you’ve determined how much water you need and how much it will cost to use, you may find this to be the cheapest and easiest option. To get a good idea of how much it will reflect on your water bill, call your water utility office and see if they can tell you what you might pay per gallon. For a partial refill, it might not cost that much. For a total fill, however, you might be out quite a bit of money.

In some areas, municipal water usage can be costly. During droughts or wildfires or other natural disasters, there may be water shortages or enforced water rationing. If you fill a pool, you could be looking at an excess water usage fee or even a sewage fee if you’re on a city sewer system.

It’s possible that if you call the water utility office and let them know about your pool refill, they could give you a discount rate or even waive the sewage fee.

Well Water

Well

If you’re lucky enough to own your own well, you could save a lot of money. However, this may not be a perfect solution. There are 2 things to consider here:

  1. Water quality – Does your well water have a distinct rotten eggs taste or smell? This is due to naturally occurring sulfur and other minerals that city water plants usually filter out. Even if you don’t smell or taste anything, your well water could still contain metals like iron, copper and other elements that could damage your pool. These things can make getting the right chemical balance nearly impossible. The best thing to do before using well water is to have it tested with an at-home test kit or at a certified testing lab in your state.
  2. Capacity – Some wells may not be able to handle the amount needed to fill a swimming pool. If you run the well dry, you may have to drill a new one, which can cost thousands of dollars and several weeks.
  3. Well pump – If you have an older pump, it may not be able to handle the strain of filling a pool. Even if it can, it might not be able to adequately pump water through the pool filtration system. You may need to install a new, stronger well water pump if you plan on using it for the pool.

Water Delivery Service

Water truck
This is by far the most convenient and time-saving of all these options

These trucks can often fill an average sized pool in under 3 hours, compared to 2 full days with your garden hose. Some companies even offer pre-chlorinated water, though of course you’ll still need to tweak the chemicals for proper balance.

All water delivery trucks should have enough hose length to ensure they won’t need to drive into your yard in order to fill the pool. Many companies will even come out while you’re gone so you won’t have to sit around and wait for them.

For those without a well or who have pricey city water or water rationing, it may be your best option cost wise. Homeowners in California and other western states may find this to be their only option.

What’s the cost of water delivery? It’s not cheap, but varies from state to state. It’s not unusual for 30,000 gallons (approx. volume of a 20’ x 40’, 5’ depth pool) to run over $1200. But call around to compare prices. Some regions may have several delivery services to choose from locally, but if you live in a rural area, it may cost more due to distance.

You will want to schedule delivery well ahead of time, especially in high-demand areas, since they will be booked up solid in the spring season.

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