Cost of salt water pool installation

Ritaruth Image
08/25/2011 - 12:47

Can anyone give me a ball park figure for installing a 4 x 8 metre salt water pool please. Moving to Liguria in November and would love a pool but we don't know if we can afford it as we haven't a clue of costs. Could be anything between 20,000 & 200,000 Euros for all we know! Hope its not the latter!!!!


The 'extra' cost of a salt water pool (compared with a more conventional chlorine system) is probably around the €2000 level. The stuff which is more costly is any metal which comes into contact with the salt water:  here I'm thinking pool steps (obvious), but also screws holding the underwater lights, and metal items in the circulation pump/filter, any plumbing connections which involve metal etc etc. It is essential that you use a pool company which understands how aggressive salt water is, and can source exceptional quality stainless steel (the specs for stainless vary widely). A 'trad' 8m x 4m pool I'd expect would come in at around the €20,000 mark (that is for the pool, excavated, installed, equipped but with basically no surrounding paving), using a 'system' and a plastic liner. About the same for a reinforced concrete pool, painted with a plastic paint. You can check all this stuff out in English on many swimming pool sites, American or UK. You might discover that 'salt water' is a sort of marketing myth appealing to aspirant 'greens' - I'm hoping to hear wonderful reports from people who have a 'salt water' pool - the fact that you float more easily in salt water is the only plus I can see - you still need the chlorine...

I think Fillide is really spot on here, especially his comments on the corrosive nature of salt water. I'd go quite a bit higher than his €20,000 estimate for a standard 8x4 pool but I have to say that I have no experience of liner pools and have never really looked at prices. That said, we bought into the idea of a salt water pool here in Sardinia. We operated it as such for two years and it was OK ish in the spring and autumn but in summer no amount of salt or filtration could keep the water clear. We were forced to use big quantities of anti-algae chemicals which rather defeated the object of having a salt water pool in the first place and found that we were having to clean the pool every day. Are you really sure that you want to go down this route? Since we reverted to good old chlorine the water quality and clarity has improved no end. Good luck though, maybe it will work for you.

Capo Boi is reporting EXACTLY the same issues about this 'salt water' myth which I have come across. Maybe we'll get some plus points from people using this stuff and happy with it - because that would be useful. (And BTW Capo Boi, Fillide was quite a famous prostitute, and therefore I'm a she!!) 

Yes,i've actually been in four of these in different places.None of them were crystal clear and the final result of the water is actually quite unpleasant, as the other replies state, because chemicals are anyway near as you get to a soup! IF the problem is that you don't like chlorine then you can always use the more expensive (quite a lot btw) bromide based chemicals.Lots of people including many pool owners seem to be unaware that all these products are not used "for fun" but without proper treatments a pool can be extremely dangerous( to the point that i no longer go in people's private pools)and nasty infections can be picked up ,i actually got a serious ear infection from a pool.Anyway the bottom line would be just get a normal pool installed ,then follow EXPERT advice on water treatments,then you're looking at 20.000-30.000 plus of course paving lighting and whatever else......................

A pool with liner should indeed be about 20 to 30k. Think if 8m is enough to make it useful and if you are swimming lengths it may be too short.  Pools dont need to be a fixed proportion so a long thinner pool may be good for swimmers but not great for splashers. I heard of an alternative system but I have no direct experience of it  The system uses UV light (i think in the pump room) to kill bacteria.  Thinking about this it sounds pretty attractive:  we use Cl or Br to make the water inhospitable to microbes and UV could do the same.  I suspect that if a colony of microbes gets  grip it would not be coped with by UV and you'd need to revert to CL to kill them.  The pool I saw in Como looked in great condition from the neighbouring property  It's worth bearing in mind that in Italy the pool temp is often in the high 30's and if you get dirt blowing into your pool the speed that the pool will degrade can be shocking.   I have seen pools go from crystal clear to broth in a single day Our pool guy says that if the pool water is clear its a good guide that it is safe so no swimming in soup unless you are prepared to purse your lips and plug your ears (which makes swimming tricky!)

Hello Fillide, I'm very sorry. I did actually know that. Typed without thinking. A friend of mine in Bergamo was actually responsible for arranging two international Caravaggio exhibitions. Think one was at the New York Met last year.

We have a large, 20 000 litre, above ground Intex pool in which we have salt water. We have been running it for 2 years now and it works like charm. One must now that it is not enough to just put salt in the water - that will never keep it clean! One must install a salt water clorinator, a machine that produces clorine from the salt. The clorine produced by this machine is less agressive to human skin and eyes than the normal clorine used in pools and I cannot even feel any smell of it. The water is crystal clear and very pleasant to the skin and the eyes. The only problem that I have had is that I have to clean the clorinator from calcium regurlarly, but that is because our water is very hard. The salt I just by in the supermarket €0,13/kg, and I need 55 kg to start up the pool from scratch. So though the installation cost is higher, the running costs are much lower.

Thanks for all the comments. So I guess I'm looking at between 20000 and 30000 euros. ..and as for thr salt water thing, the jury still semms to be out, although Smeralda, my brother has a system like yours on his pool in FRance and his pool is always crystal clear. I have to say that my reasons for leaning towards the salt water system are exactly as Smeralda says, much kinder on the skin and eyes!!