What Are the Best Practices for Reducing Operating Costs in UK Public Swimming Pools?

Operating swimming pools can be expensive. Between maintenance, staffing, and energy costs, the expenses can pile up quickly. For public swimming pools in the UK, these costs can become a significant burden. Luckily, there are several best practices that can help reduce operating costs. These include energy efficiency measures, automation, effective maintenance schedules, and strategic staffing. By implementing these tactics, public swimming pools can continue to provide a valuable community service while maintaining financial sustainability.

Energy Efficiency Measures

One of the largest expenses for any swimming pool is energy. Between heating the water, keeping the lights on, and powering filtration systems, energy costs can add up quickly. However, there are several energy efficiency measures that can significantly reduce these costs.

LED lighting

Switching to LED lighting is one of the easiest and most effective steps towards energy efficiency. LED lights use significantly less energy than traditional incandescent or fluorescent lights. Additionally, they have a much longer lifespan, reducing the frequency and cost of replacement.

Solar power

Another effective strategy is the use of solar power. Solar panels can generate a significant portion of a swimming pool's energy requirements. While the upfront cost can be high, the long-term savings on energy bills can more than make up for it.

High-efficiency pumps

High-efficiency pool pumps can also significantly reduce energy costs. These pumps operate at a lower speed than traditional pumps, using less energy but still effectively circulating and filtering the water.


Automation can also play a key role in reducing operating costs. Automating various processes and systems can save time, reduce errors, and increase efficiency.

Pool chemistry

Automated systems can monitor and adjust pool chemistry, reducing the need for manual testing and adjustment. This not only saves time but also ensures that the pool remains at the optimal chemical levels, reducing the potential for costly repairs or maintenance.

Energy management

Automated energy management systems can monitor and adjust energy use throughout the facility. These systems can turn off lights when not in use, adjust heating and cooling based on occupancy levels, and manage other energy-using systems. This can significantly reduce energy consumption and costs.

Effective Maintenance Schedules

Regular maintenance is crucial for the longevity of swimming pool facilities. A well-maintained pool will have fewer unexpected breakdowns and repair costs.

Regular inspections

Regular inspections can catch potential issues before they become costly repairs. This includes checking for leaks, inspecting equipment, and ensuring the pool is structurally sound.

Preventative maintenance

Preventative maintenance, such as cleaning filters and servicing equipment, can extend the life of these items and prevent costly breakdowns.

Strategic Staffing

Lastly, strategic staffing can also significantly reduce operating costs.

Cross-training staff

Cross-training staff allows for greater flexibility in scheduling and reduces the need for extra hires. For example, lifeguards can be trained in basic maintenance tasks or customer service roles.

Hiring seasonal staff

Hiring seasonal staff during peak times can help manage costs. This can reduce the need for full-time staff during slower periods.

By implementing these best practices, public swimming pools in the UK can significantly reduce their operating costs. This not only makes them more financially sustainable but also allows them to continue providing a valuable service to their communities. Whether it's switching to LED lights, installing solar panels, or cross-training staff, each step can make a significant difference in the bottom line.

Importance of Community Involvement and Partnership

Another key aspect in reducing operating costs for public swimming pools is community involvement. By promoting the pool as a community resource, it becomes possible to garner support and assistance from local residents and businesses. This can take several forms.

Volunteer Support

Volunteers can help with a variety of tasks such as maintaining the pool, assisting with events, and even providing lifeguard duties. This not only saves on staffing costs but also strengthens community ties. UK swimming pools can tap into local networks or organisations to recruit and coordinate volunteers.

Business Sponsorships

Local businesses can be approached for partnerships or sponsorships. This can involve sponsoring events, providing equipment, or contributing to maintenance costs. In return, businesses get visibility and association with a community-serving facility.

Fundraising and Grants

Public swimming pools can organise fundraising events to help cover costs. These can be fun community events that raise money and increase awareness of the pool. Additionally, pools can apply for local and national grants aimed at supporting community resources and initiatives.


In conclusion, while operating a public swimming pool in the UK can be challenging due to high costs, implementing best practices can significantly reduce these expenses. Embracing energy efficiency measures such as LED lighting, solar power, and high-efficiency pumps can dramatically cut energy costs. Automation of pool chemistry and energy management systems can further increase efficiency and cost savings. Effective maintenance schedules, involving regular inspections and preventative maintenance, can prevent costly repairs down the line. Strategic staffing, including cross-training and hiring seasonally, can optimise labour costs.

Moreover, involving the community in the operation of the pool through volunteer support, business sponsorships, and fundraising can further alleviate costs while strengthening the pool’s ties to the local community. By adopting these measures, public swimming pools can continue to provide an invaluable service to their communities while ensuring their long-term financial sustainability.