Freshwater vs. Saltwater Pools: Which One is Right for You?

Zero Entry Inground Pool with Pavilion Behind

There are a lot of advantages to having a pool in your backyard. The sparkling blue color and calming sounds of the water can make your space feel like your own personal oasis. It’s the perfect spot to entertain friends and family and let kids play. You can get in a great workout without leaving your house. Not to mention, a pool is a coveted landscape feature that boosts the value of your property for resale.

If you’ve decided you want to enjoy the many benefits of having your own pool, there are several things you’ll need to consider when it comes to design and installation. One question to ask yourself is whether you want a freshwater or a saltwater pool.

To help you decide, we’ve broken down the advantages of each option—let’s take a look!

What’s the difference between a freshwater and saltwater pool?

Before you can decide whether a freshwater or saltwater pool is right for you and your family, you need to understand how they differ. When it comes down to it, the only significant difference is in how the chlorine is delivered to sanitize the water.

In a freshwater pool, chlorine has to be added manually via tablets, granules, or liquid chemicals. In a saltwater pool, a chlorine generator breaks down salt—into hydrogen and hypochlorous acid, which is dissolved chlorine—to sanitize the pool constantly.

What are the advantages of a freshwater pool?

Lower Upfront Costs

The initial installation cost for a freshwater pool runs about several thousand dollars cheaper than a saltwater pool. This is because of how complex the saltwater chlorination system is. Exact costs will depend on the size of the pool.

Less Corrosive

Traditional forms of chlorine designed for pools won’t cause damage to any fixtures or equipment. On the other hand, salt can be pretty corrosive, particularly with metal, and damage pool features like railings and ladders. Salt can even build up on stone surfaces and damage surrounding hardscape features, like decks and patios.

Straightforward Maintenance

Keeping your pool water healthy requires a bit of chemical upkeep with a freshwater pool. But as long as you’re adding chemicals on schedule and regularly checking pH levels, your water should be good to go. Plus, if there’s an issue, many repairs are DIY-friendly or easily taken care of by a professional.

What are the advantages of a saltwater pool?

Better Water Quality

Perhaps the biggest draw of a saltwater pool is the quality of the water. The electrolysis process that separates the salt and releases the chlorine leaves fewer minerals and impurities in the water, making it softer and less abrasive on your skin and eyes. In fact, there are even some proven health benefits to swimming in saltwater.

Constant Chlorination

Saltwater pools don’t just feel better to swim in, they are often cleaner and healthier than their freshwater counterparts. Saltwater systems are sanitizing pool water all of the time with a constant supply of chlorine. This reduces the chance for chemical imbalance (which can happen easily when being maintained manually) and the issues that follow, i.e., algae/bacteria growth, discoloration, unhealthy water).

Cheaper Maintenance

While it’s true that maintenance and repair is a little more complicated for saltwater pools, once you get the hang of it it’s fairly simple and much cheaper than maintaining a freshwater pool. This is because you won’t have to buy chemicals all of the time or test the water as often. Despite the higher upfront cost, a saltwater pool will cost you less money over time, eventually making up the extra expense and then some. 

The good news is, whether you choose a freshwater or saltwater pool for your home, VistaPro Landscape & Design can bring your vision to life! Our pool design and installation specialists can set you up with either type of pool and all of the extras your heart desires. We do pool decks, patios, waterfalls, jump rocks, slides, and any specialty pool feature you have in mind to take your pool from basic to luxury.

Call us today to start getting your yard ready for a refreshing summer!