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Are hot tubs and spas water wasters? The mayor of San Jose thinks so - in May, the San Jose city council voted to prohibit filling pools and hot tubs. And in Santa Clara, California, hot tub owners are allowed to replace hot tub water, but only after agreeing to take fewer showers.
Santa Clara also has required "Water School" for the edification of water restriction violators. What's this world coming to? It is the new reality of life in California and other water poor states. Until the drought subsides, or new water harvesting technologies are installed, we will have to comply.
So then, for the hot tub owner who wants to keep their hot tub bubblin', here are some ways to conserve hot tub water.
It's a commonly accepted practice to drain and refill a spa after 3-4 months of use. This is due to a build-up of dissolved solids and and oily substances that can begin to "choke" the water over time, which can make water balance and complete sanitation more difficult. However, there are ways to extend the life of your spa or hot tub water...
Eventually, you will need to change the water, but if a spa is maintained very well and not overloaded to capacity with users, it is possible to extend the time between water changes for a year, or even longer in some cases.
To protect your hot tub health however, you must always maintain the water balance and sanitation, and over-filter the water by running the filter pump for a sufficient amount of time each day. Periodic shock treatment is also necessary, in addition to keeping a constant bromine residual in the water.
A solid spa cover in good condition is important, to prevent water loss from evaporation. Drag off and splash out can also be controlled, and be sure to fix leaks in the plumbing or around the spa equipment.
Some water watchers warn that we are only at the forefront of the current crisis in America and that rationing and cut-backs are sure to continue and escalate in many areas. If your town is under a water use restriction, you probably know about it.
To find out if there are any spa or hot tub restrictions (and not just swimming pool water restrictions), you can do an online search for "City/Town/County water use restrictions", or visit your local government website and search therein.