Hot sun makes cool pool water

The beginning of summer swim season is here and an area public pool is starting to see the results of solar heater technology.

Treasure Island water park in Sunray installed Solar Attic water heaters last summer as an alternative way to heat the city's pool.

"Most city pools public pools lose money to begin with so anytime that you can find something that will save money or at least keep your expenses from getting higher," said Greg Smith, Sunray City Manager.

Smith expects those savings to reach between $5,000 and $10,000 a year.

He thinks the initial $12,000 investment will take about three years to make-up in natural gas savings, depending on the current price.

To work, Smith says a portion of the water from the filtration system gets pumped up into the attic and goes through one of two radiators.

If the water temperature gets below 86 degrees and the attic is above 90 degrees, the fans in the radiator will blow hot air through and the heated water is piped back to the pool.

Aquatics director Tanya Smith says pulling the hot air out of the attic helps keep the pump room and snack bar underneath cooler and more comfortable.

"They are in and out of the pump room all day long stocking the snack bar and getting their equipment out of their bags," said Tanya Smith.  "They're back there all day long so it has made a big difference back there."

Solar Attic says homeowners with these heaters would see up to 30 percent savings on the demand for air conditioning.