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There are some very affordable and capacious above-ground swimming pools, and some even come with covers that zip on (bug proof).  They’re designed to be outside, so are presumably UV-resistant, and yet I never see them discussed as possible rain tanks, just wondering why not?

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Good questions!

In Hawaii, there are many places that only have rainwater for the water supply, and using low-cost pools is common. It’s not recommended though, for health and safety reasons, because it’s hard to keep up the water quality, and in these situations people are drinking the rainwater as well as using it  for household needs. For irrigation, where the quality isn’t as critical, I think it would still be hard to keep the water quality good enough in a pool. Light on the water causes algae to grow, and open water is ideal breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Pools typically have chemicals in the water so bugs don’t breed, but that wouldn’t be the case for a rain tank pool, so I imagine it would turn into a very unpleasant situation with yucky, buggy water. Closed tanks prevent these problems!

A natural in-ground pond could be a lower cost solution, that would be easier to keep out bugs by having fish and plants and other living things to create a ecosystem. You probably could do this in a pool, but it would be harder I imagine.

Maybe someone else has experience with this!

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Okay, thank you for your response, Laura.  I was envisioning an above-ground pool with a cover (not open to mosquitos and debris).  The cover and pool could even be spray-painted to make it more opaque.  I would only use it for yard irrigation, although since rainwater lacks salts it wouldn’t be too taxing on an RO system to filter it for drinking purposes.

I was just curious if anyone has a good experience with inexpensive above-ground pools (soft sided)?

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