I suppose it’s easy to imagine that almost every house in Australia has a swimming pool in the back garden. But that’s not true.
I did a little research over at the Australian Bureau of Statistics, who happen to have the exact figures as at 2007. The reality is that just 11.7% of Australian homes have pools. Of course, it varies from state to state and these figures give you a pretty good idea of which states are the warmest.
- Northern Territory 28.9%
- Queensland 17.9%
- Western Australia 15.4%
- New South Wales 12.0%*
- South Australia 7.0%*
- Victoria 6.0%*
- ACT 4.5%*
- Tasmania 3.8%
* These figures estimated from the chart. Source: ABS
I live in Queensland and I’m one of the lucky 17.9% to have a pool. When we first started house hunting, having a swimming pool wasn’t a high priority, but it was a bonus. It just so happened that the house we ended up buying, sight unseen on the Internet if you remember, (you have read about how we bought our house, haven’t you?) had a pool.
But, are they worth it? First, let’s look at the rough costs of running a swimming pool.
The Costs of Running a Swimming Pool in Australia.
A big expense of running a pool is the cost of electricity to power the filter pump. Your pool filter needs to run for about four hours a day during winter and eight hours a day during summer, six will work for autumn and spring. I calculate that it costs around 15 cents per hour to run my filter, so the annual costs are something like $328.50. Or $27.37 per month.
On top of that, there’s general maintenance. This mainly consists of keeping the balance of the water as it should be. About once every 4 weeks you should take a sample of the water to the pool shop to have it tested. They will tell you what you need to do. Add salt, add hydrochloric acid, add extra chlorine, that sort of thing.
Now, because I use whizzy software to import my bank statements, with about three clicks of my mouse I am able to tell you that since November 2008 I have spent $1,130.07 on pool maintenance.
That adds up to around $40.36 per month. Add the cost of electric and I think we can safely say it costs me something like $68 a month to run our pool. That’s just a couple of bucks or so a day. Bear in mind that everybody’s pool will be slightly different.
Is it worth it? Well, I don’t go in it is much as I should, but my daughter uses it all the time. The swimming season generally starts with the September school holidays and ends after Anzac Day, which is 25th April. So it’s about 8 months. Elizabeth can go swimming in our pool at least 4 times a week, sometimes more during this period. She loves it!
Her friends will often come round after school for a swim or maybe Elizabeth will go round one of her friends’ houses for a swim. The kids around here are like little fishes. Or mermaids, as they prefer.
So is a pool worth it? You bet!
But what happens when pools turn green? Easy! I’ve made you a short information video…