Chandler nation’s tops for swimming pools

By: SanTan Sun News 

A national survey found that Chandler is the best place for swimming pools in the country. It is one of seven Arizona cities ranked in the top 20. “The Phoenix metro area is one of the biggest swimming pool markets in the world,” said Cohl Workman, owner of Thunderbird Pools & Spa.

The survey ranked Chandler first because about 60% of single-family homes or condos for sale have a swimming pool. For those who don’t have a pool at their home, there are 2.3 public pools for every 100,000 residents. The survey also considered storage space for pool accessories, and said Chandler ranks just above the national average for a 10’x12’rental unit at about $142 per month.

Workman said people who don’t have a pool in their yard but are considering it, expect to pay about $55,000. “It was nearly $35,000 before the pandemic, but it has nearly doubled,” he said. The pandemic has led to huge increase in the number of new pools being built and also the increase in price, Workman said.

“The swimming pool industry has been majorly affected by the pandemic,” Workman said. “The demand for pools went up during the pandemic.

“People said if I’m not going to go to concerts, or out to eat, and I’m going to be spending a lot of time at home, well, that money went into their house, and their backyard.”

Workman said the pandemic also prompted many people to decide to move to the Sun Belt or sunny areas. He said people moving from expensive areas, such as California, could buy a cheaper home and have extra money to improve it – like adding a swimming pool.

“In May of 2020, the demand went through the roof,” he said. “We came to work one day and there were over 100 inquiries for a new pool. And it was like that for quite a while.”

Workman said that led some pool companies to oversell, meaning there was no way they could build enough pools fast enough. He said some people have been waiting up to two years for a pool they ordered to be built. The other problem facing the industry right now are the supply shortages every other industry is dealing with.

“This year we’re dealing with a crippling concrete shortage,” Workman said. “We’ve had to cut the orders we can take in half.”

Owning a swimming pool in a desert can help families escape the summer heat. But, all that water sitting in backyards during a drought is being noticed. Las Vegas officials voted this month to limit the size of swimming pools in that city because of the drought and falling water levels at Lake Mead. Phoenix is encouraging residents to cover their swimming pools to prevent evaporation.

Chandler has no plans to limit how its residents use their swimming pools, officials said.

Gregg Capps, the city’s utility resources manager, said there are steps they can take if the drought gets worse.

“If we reached Stage Four, which is the highest level of our current plan, there could be restrictions put in place related to outdoor water uses, such as for irrigation purposes,” Capps said.

“Those decisions would be made based on the demand and available water supplies at the time. We are proactively evaluating municipal water uses to identify water saving measures that could be implemented.”

The city is currently in Stage One of its drought management plan. That is using education to encourage residents to take steps to conserve water.

“There are no specific restrictions outlined in Chandler’s Drought Management Plan related to the city’s pools and aquatic facilities,” Capps said.

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