Jumbo paddling pool trend threatens Britain’s endangered chalk streams

Preserve precious paddling pool water says water company

The UK’s largest water-only supplier, Affinity Water, is calling on Brits to get paddling pool-savvy, as parents snap up gigantic paddling pools over the summer holidays, which can use a whopping 20,000 litres of water.

The enormous paddling pool craze is adding to the nation’s water-wasting crisis, which without action, could see the UK facing a shortfall of 43 million litres of water per day by 2025.

Sales of oversized ‘mega’ paddling pools have rocketed in the last year, with Brits forced to forgo their usual warm-weather overseas holidays. Retailer John Lewis said that sales of inflatable pools have risen by 78% since 2019, and sales of its largest 12ft-diameter pool had rocketed by 240%. Aldi recently announced it was selling a 10ft pool for just £30.

Affinity Water has made the call for better paddling pool water care as part of its SOS: Save Our Streams campaign, which asks its customer to waste less water to save our streams.

SOS: Save Our Streams Campaign Lead Jane Bellard comments:

“We have heard horror stories where some of these enormous pools are being emptied and refilled on a daily basis, wasting tens of thousands of litres of water. To put it into context – one mega 18-foot pool contains so much water it could provide the drinking water for an entire primary school of children for a whole term. Savvy parents know it only takes a few simple steps to keep pool water clean and fun for much longer periods of time, which is absolutely critical in tackling our water wasting habits which threaten rare chalk streams.”

Coined ‘Britain’s Great Barrier Reef’, the beautiful chalk streams, which boast clear water from underground springs, are more endangered than both the Bengal tiger and black rhino. These iconic natural gems are now at risk due to unsustainably high demand for water. The SOS: Save Our Streams campaign gives customers free water-saving gadgets to help bring down water use.

Members on one of the UK’s biggest parenting Facebook groups, Family Lowdown Tips & Ideas‘ (1.1m members), recently shared their best paddling pool hacks to keep pool water going for longer. These included adding tennis balls to soak up sun cream, using a bowl to wash feet before going in, and using simple filters, covers and even pool ‘vacuums’ to remove debris.

Jane Bellard added,

“The bigger the pool, the more you are probably going to need to do to look after it. Your local pool company will likely be a great resource for advice on anything you could use in the water to keep it going for as long as possible. When you do eventually drain it, consider using it to water plants or wash the car.”

Affinity Water customers can get a free water saving kit and lots of water saving advice at SaveOurStreams.co.uk.

So what are you waiting for?

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