Water conservation is a core concern at the heart of everything Pool Service Mesa professionals do day in and day out throughout Phoenix’s East Valley. We see the urgency every day in upholding sustainability and the most effective use of our desert’s every viable resource.
If a Phoenix-area family, such as the McClungs of Mesa, has to repurpose their home’s swimming pool, it’s just their exact demonstrated commitment to resource management that makes a Pool Service Mesa expert pretty accepting of having one less pool to help maintain.
Five years have passed since the McClung family renovated, retrofitted and ultimately repurposed their home’s swimming pool into a closed-loop ecosystem garden, and those intervening years have given way to a burgeoning partnership between their enterprising Garden Pool 501(c)3 nonprofit group and Naturopaths Without Borders. Together, this innovative family and the worldwide sustainability and conservation group have ventured to expand this outside-the-box hydroponic concept across America and into the corners of the globe where water management remains a developmental imperative.
“I love it,” said Dennis McClung. “I dream about it. What inspires me is watching families’ lives being changed, watching communities change, observing the change.”
By converting their one-time swimming pool into the revolutionary “garden pool” that’s spawned a rising trend in sustainability practices, the adaptable horticultural environment has diminished the monthly family grocery bill reportedly by up to three-fourths on average since 2009 by growing enough hearty broccoli, sorghum, wheat and potatoes — among other crops — to easily fill the family of five’s bellies. The McClungs have even adapted their garden pool to raise thriving tilapia and chickens and cultivate algae and duckweed.
A rain catchment system reduces watering needs to a bare minimum and disperses life-sustaining condensation throughout plants nurtured in clay pellets and coconut coir beneath a transparent plastic roof. As excess moisture drips from the plants, it plummets into the pond beneath.
Here’s where leveraging each “waste” product into something significantly useful reaches ingenious brilliance. Allowing the chickens’ excrement to pass through a wire mesh over the pond feeds the algae and duckweed without need of fertilizer. In turn, the water from the algae-and-duckweed-fed tilapia’s habitat ultimately quenches the garden pool’s plants with water enriched by the nitrogen-rich feces of the fish and distributed via solar-powered hydroponic network.
Visit the McClung’s online Garden Pool hub to check out Dennis McClung’s informative online hydroponic retrofitting tutorials and excerpts from his 117-page book on the benefits and possibilities of garden-pool renovations.