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Backyard Pools May Be More Drought-Friendly Than A Lawn

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) -- There are more than 3 million swimming pools California, and more than a third are in backyards.

As more and more residents are looking for ways to limit their water usage during the drought, some cities have restricted the building of swimming pools and how often people can refill them.

Now, a group of experts say a pool could actually save water in the long run.

Debra Fleming, just got a swimming pool.

"Prior to having a pool we had a huge lawn and it took up a lot more water," she said.

There is minimal grass in Fleming's backyard. They re-landscaped when they installed the pool.

"We looked into it and found landscaping with sprinklers uses more water than filling the swimming pool," said Flemming.

The California Swimming Pool and Spa Association is hoping to change the way people view pools during the drought and have launched the 'Let's Pool Together' campaign.

Mike Geremia, president of Geremia Pools believes pools use less water than grass.

"When you put the concrete around it's a big net savings."

It can be challenging to change public perception though and that's why Geremia and a board member of the state's Pool and Spa Association is working with local water districts.

"The number one way to conserve is to put a cover over the pool," said Geremia.

They also recommend checking pools for leaks, cutting down on water features and cutting down on splashing, something that can be hard to do.

Andrea Pook of the East Bay Municipal Water District says water consumption for pools and lawns is "pretty even."

"You can affect that somewhat by covering your pool during the day," she said. She suggests a pool disk for residents with pets and kids who risk getting trapped underneath a traditional cover.

"Pool disks limit evaporation, but are safer."

As for Flemming, she feels she's done her research and feels confident she's helping with the drought.

"I wanted to make sure that when we were going to put this in that we do the due diligence thing for our community."

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