Saturday, May 09, 2009

Expense and Reuse

Keep in mind that throughout the the project, I searched for ways to reuse existing materials and found ways to do things much cheaper than what landscapers and other contractors would lead you to believe. My goal here is to do this entire project for less than $3,000 and I am projecting under this budget already. A new 5400GPH pump, a new .45 mil EPDM pond liner, bulk landscape materials(sand/humus/top soil/bark mulch/rock grow bed media) and materials for building the grow beds and other things around the pond, cost approximately $1,700. With only electrical material and landscape rock left as major purchases, it looks like the budget won't be a problem, and that's a good thing.

I thought of reusing the pumps from the original pool since they were both in good shape. Looking at pond pumps I realized that my pool pumps were not even close to the efficiency of pond pumps. The wattage rating of the pool pumps was almost 6 times the wattage rating of the new pond pump. Since the pump will be running 24/7 efficiency is very important. The money saved in electricity alone will make the purchase of a new pump a No-Brainer. The difference in efficiency leaves me baffled as to why the pool industry is still hanging on to these energy hog pumps. They have to know there are better solutions out there. I figured the cost of the new pump running all day to be about $25 a month.

I originally planned to reuse the old pool liner, but as soon as I started removing it I realized this wasn't a good idea. It easily ripped with any heavy pulling. Dropping small rocks onto it created instant paths to the ground below it. No way was it going to last more than a few months. A new EPDM liner is said to last 75 years and has a 25 year warranty. Once again I am baffled at the pool industry not adapting to the new technology. But for this I suspect a bit of greed is at play. If the liners lasted that long, how would they make so much money replacing liners every 10 years? I have no evidence, but I'm pretty confident this is a good explanation for them not improving pool liners. Anyway, a new liner had to be purchased.

Also not included in the $3,000 is future expenses to make the entire system 100% self-sustaining. Well almost 100%, the fish will always need to be fed by hand and maintenance will always be required. Future expenses would include solar panels for the pump and aeration, and rainwater collection/storage systems to replace used and evaporated water. Both of these are huge expenses and will be done as funds for them are acquired.

Looking at just the cost of filling the pool in with dirt, the amount of savings is large. Doing things economically, while being as friendly as I can to the earth and its inhabitants are all goals I strive to achieve in everything I do.

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