September 2005

Recycled Glass Around The Pool

Are you closing the pool for the fall and winter seasons or are you enjoying a few more weeks of comfortable swimming weather? Let me give you some ideas for incorporating recycled glass into your swimming experience now and in the seasons to come.

Recycled glass could be used in the construction of your new pool or used in the sand filter. You might see it available as landscaping gravel for around the pool. All these uses will bring significant advantages in the durability, performance and appearance of your pool installation and set-up.

Recycled glass the size of small pebbles can be coated with a special color coating that adheres to the glass like a second skin. It will not fade or flake off the glass surface. Colored pebbles or aggregate along with small white pebbles are mixed with cement and applied to the sides and bottom of in-ground pools. These beautiful pool designs can be found in resorts, Las Vegas hotels and many private outdoor pools. The colored pebbles give the pool its distinctive color and charm but the chlorine in pool water is especially hard on the colored coated aggregate used in this pool finish. In Australia, the introduction of colored glass as a replacement for the colored quartz traditionally used in these applications is demonstrating that the color coated glass is a superior material for Pebble-Crete finished pools.

As the colored glass experiences wear due to foot traffic or exposure to chlorine and other chemicals, some of the coating may wear off but instead of exposing a non-colored aggregate base, the glass acts like a window and the color coating on the backside of the pebble becomes visible. The result is no loss of color on the pool sides or bottom, just a little sparkle when the light is reflected through the glass. Keep your eye on these Pebble-Crete pools that use recycled glass, the sparkle you see is the magic of the glass shining through.

Does water splash over the sides of the pool and you could use an attractive buffer strip to absorb the water without mud migration or moss growth? Sun Stone (tumbled glass aggregate about ¼” in size) provides the ideal material. The water goes right through the stone and the sparkle adds an attractive landscaping detail to your pool side landscaping. It won’t break down with time and it keeps its sparking appearance through all types of weather.

Another place you may find the recycled glass is in the pool filter. Pool sand traps contaminants and filters the water to keep your pool clean and bright. As the sand breaks down over time, the pump has to work harder and the time between back flushes decreases. Introducing – recycled amorphous silica (RAS) – also known as recycled glass sand. The properties of glass keep it from breaking down over time and the water goes through the media ten times faster and easier than regular sand. In Lubbock, Texas, a side-by-side analysis was performed using recycled amorphous silica (RAS) and silica sand in two pool filters. The silica sand filter required 40 psi pressure but the RAS only required 4 psi to do the same work. What a savings in energy and wear and tear on the pump!

Pulverized glass has been available on the island of Maui, Hawaii for close to 15 years now and almost all the pools and gold-fish pond filters use RAS to provide maintenance free, long lasting and optimum water filtration performance. In fact, since RAS works much better than silica sand, the need to replace the media is measured in 10 or 20 year increments and the consumption of chlorine or other chemicals to achieve the needed water purity goes down. What a savings!

Why can’t you find the RAS in your neighborhood pool supply store? The distributors of pool supplies realize that RAS works so well that it will become a one-time sale for sand filter media and the amount of pool chemicals they sell will decrease. The supply of RAS will depend on the consumers demand.

Whether the recycled glass is in the pool construction to give the pool its color and unique design; around the pool to keep the feet clean and the yard beautiful; or in the pool filter to keep the water clean and bright, it can be pulverized, cleaned, sized and coated to provide valuable products that produce long term performance and low maintenance costs. Look for the recycled glass in and around your pool.

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